by Dave Asp, Head Coach Red Wing Nordic
The most basic cross country ski technique is the double pole. Used often in classic skiing, the double pole is also used with the skate ski method. Many skate ski race starts begin with racers using the double pole technique for several hundred feet to avoid congestion, getting out front or avoid breaking a pole. The technique of getting in tracks and double poling is used to rest legs and at times, may be faster on the down hills. . In double poling your lower body is minimally active during the cycle and almost no balance is required since there is no weight transfer from ski to ski. Double poling is not only the basic standard of competitive classic skiing, it also uses the same upper body motion of the V2 skate skiing technique.
The double pole is a symmetrical motion of the arms. The arms are relatively close to the body and grasping the pole with a minimal angle of pole to arm. The poles are planted at the same time as the upper body “falls” forward onto the poles. With knees slightly bent, the upper body using the abdominal muscles, crunches creating the power propulsion forward. After the poles are planted the arms push down and follow through for further power. The upper body then comes up and arms move back in position for the next fall, crunch and pole plant.
Mastering the movement pattern of double poling in an efficient and smooth motion is one of the keys to skiing easy in skate skiing. That is because the application of power from your core and upper body is the largest and highest level of force that you use to move forward in skiing (Pierce, Bill, Birch Scroll, Pre-Race 2014)