Tuesday, 27 November 2012

More Classic Roller Skiing Drills

by Keith and Heather Nicol

Roller skiing is the perfect way to practice x-c skiing
      Roller skiing is an ideal way of getting ready for the cross country ski season. It is so much like skiing that when you hit the snowy trails you feel like you already have lots of kilometers under your belt. I like to start out my roller ski sessions doing classic skiing and  I find the Jenex 125 RC roller ski to be an ideal choice especially if you are just getting into roller skiing. This is because it has 2 wheels at the back which gives it a solid feel. I also like the fact that these skis come with pneumatic tires which means it is good for rough roads and irregular pavement. Another bonus is that comes with an easy to apply brake which allows you to slow down if you come to an unexpected hill. To be safe ski at the edge of the road and wear bright clothing or a safety vest for visibility. Also a minimum of helmet and gloves should be worn in case of a fall. I usually ski on fairly level roads that allow me to mix up my technique from double pole to diagonal stride to kick double pole. The following new video shows some good balance drills for improving your diagonal stride on roller skis - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUwRGPiQcI4   Thanks to Jenex V2 roller skis,  Rossignol ski boots and Infinity Ski Poles with their help with this video. For more classic roller ski tips see this post from last year: http://keithnicol.blogspot.ca/2011/12/roller-skiing-into-new-cross-country.html

Monday, 19 November 2012

Some great ways to get ready for the x-country ski season

    by Keith and Heather Nicol

Try a rocker board to improve balance

     An important skill to develop in all types of cross country skiing is balance. And the more you practice balancing exercises before you ski the easier it will be to find your balance on snow. Most of our summer activities like sea kayaking, hiking, or cycling may involve general components of balance but unfortunately this doesn’t transfer to x-country skiing. Therefore through the fall, we will practice on “balance boards” that are specifically designed to improve balance. This is an ideal exercise to do while watching T.V. and a favourite one is a rocker board (basically a square board that has a round piece of wood on the base). We will use one foot and try to balance on it for as long as possible until one edge of the board touches the ground. Be sure to alternate which foot you balance on. Another good balance board for x-c country skiers is the wobble board. It is well named and is a step above the rocker board in terms of difficulty. Again it is good for 1 footed balance exercises. Another board for practicing 2 footed balance is the Extreme Balance Board. As the name suggests this one is quite challenging. Check out Fitterfirst (http://www.fitter1.com/) for more information for various balance boards. We have posted a video of various balance board exercises on You Tube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7ZSgWubtg.
The Extreme Balance Board is good for developing 2 footed balance