Wednesday Workout: Cueing the Glutes — The Penguin Walk and White Line Drill (with Video)

Jason AlbertOctober 5, 2016
Wednesday Workout with Dave Cieslowsk: cueing and engaging the glutes while skate skiing.
Wednesday Workout with Dave Cieslowski: cueing and engaging the glutes while skate skiing.

From the penguin walk to what physical therapist Dave Cieslowski calls the “white line drill”, now is the time to embrace strength and efficiency in your skate skiing. But with snow not exactly flying in abundance yet, it’s also time to break out the rollerskis for a disciplined workout to hardwire some specific biomechanical cues.

This Wednesday Workout is an extension of Cieslowski’s Wednesday Workout #1 where we learned how to increase skiing efficiency by engaging the glutes. If on-snow or pavement, Cieslowski advises to start slowly, skate skiing at an intentionally slow speed to feel the glutes firing.

Dave Cieslowski uses a therapy band above his knees to help cues the glutes to fire while skate/roller skiing.
Dave Cieslowski uses a therapy band above his knees to help “cue” the glutes to fire while skate rollerskiing.

The Workout

Part 1:

  1. The penguin walk — a simple back and forth motion using a therapy band stretched around the top of the knees (see video below) — allows the athlete to “cue up” the glutes. In other words, you’ll begin to understand how it feels when the glutes are indeed firing.
  2. Rock back and forth on the skis for two to three minutes. You’re trying to “teach” the glutes to help stabilize your body while on skis.

Part 2:

  1. Without poles go ski while still using the therapy band above the knees. When you come up onto the ski, try to the get the glutes to fire (squeezing the glutes together), keeping the hips high, and remain on the ski a bit during the glide phase.
  2. Do the same drill with poles.

Part 3:

  1. Find a gradual uphill suitable for no-pole, V2 and V2 alternate skiing.
  2. While still using the therapy band, and without poles, ski uphill keeping the white line of the bike lane as centered as possible. The objective is to move up the hill without what Cieslowski calls significant “lateral translation”. You want your force going “down the trail”.
  3. Repeat with poles using V2 and V2 alternate technique.


Dave Cieslowski is a DPT (Doctor of Physical Therapy), CSCS (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist). He also works with the U.S. Nordic Combined Team in and out of the competition season.

Jason Albert

Jason lives in Bend, Ore., and can often be seen chasing his two boys around town. He’s a self-proclaimed audio geek. That all started back in the early 1990s when he convinced a naive public radio editor he should report a story from Alaska’s, Ruth Gorge. Now, Jason’s common companion is his field-recording gear.

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