DrylandTrainingWhy You Should Do Diagonal Skiing On Rollerskis

FasterSkierOctober 8, 2004

For decades I have been approached by skiers that are asking me asked me why I suggest doing diagonal skiing on rollerskis. They have been told that – “it’s bad for your technique” and that they should avoid it.

Here are some reasons why it’s good for you, as well as what you need to work on to reap the benefits from this training method.

My approach is that diagonal skiing on rollerskis is great for developing both MaxVO2 and technique, if you know what you are doing and what you should be working on. Good skiers will benefit more from doing this than beginners and intermediate skiers. The good thing is that everyone can learn to do this right and benefit tremendously from it — just pay attention. 

To ski technically well practice the following:

– Start the kick early and get your weight off the kick ski as soon as possible

– Move your weight forward and onto the glide ski. This ski is now the kick ski — kick early, fast and strive for early weight shift.

– Get the rear wheel on the kick ski off the ground early. A sign of poor weight shift is often that the rear wheel on the kick ski stays on the ground through the whole kick phase. That’s called “sitting on the rear wheel or skiing without weight shift”.

So get the rear wheel off the ground early by moving the weight onto the glide ski by slightly bending the knee in the kick leg when the kick leg is passing the glide ski. Avoid bending the kick leg in the final phase of the back motion too much and/or bringing the heel of your foot close toward your butt — that’s called “biking”.

– In the beginning work hard on kicking straight back and work on steering the ski straight forward in the recovery or weight shift phase.  This will after a while feel natural.

Are World Cup skiers doing this?

Diagonal skiing on rollerskis is used by some of today’s top World Cup skiers. Some coaches might still be against it and warn about the “side-effects”. Judge for yourself.

Send us comments if you like. 

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