by Andy Keller and Charlie Dee
Charlie Dee: We promised in the double-poling article last January that we would address classic and V-1 poling.
Andy Keller: Double poling is the starting point for all other poling gears, Charlie, so all those same lessons apply. (See Silent Sports, January 2015.)
Warm up for classic by swinging your arms loosely in the striding motion, one arm forward while the other is back. Think of each arm as a pendulum swinging from your shoulder: The swing forward creates the momentum and power for the complimentary swing backwards.
Classic: Pendulums & lats
CD: What do you look for once a classic skier has warmed up and is on snow?
AK: I stand to the side as they ski by and look for separation between their upper arm and their body as the pole comes forward. If there’s no separation, the motion will be tight, not loose, which means they’re using their small, rather than big, muscles.
CD: All my muscles feel small, so explain that more.
AK: Your lat muscles on the outside of your mid-back are very large compared to your triceps on the back of your upper arms. If I see no separation, it means you’re classic poling motion is more of an up-and-down motion with the arms than a front-to-back motion.
CD: I get it. When I’m up and down, it’s my triceps powering the poles and the bigger lats never engage.
AK: Right. Think of your shoulder as the pendulum’s fulcrum. Swing your arms back to front with a slight arc, like you’re holding a cup of water and trying to douse the person in front of you with the water while still holding onto the cup.
The entirety of the conversation on poling (for both classic and skate skiing) between master’s skier Charlie Dee and CXC Coach Andy Keller appears in the December 2015 print edition of Silent Sports. To order a copy, call 888-706-4045. Or subscribe online here and never miss another issue!