Forward Body Position for Cross Country Skiing

Posted by Jacob Huseby on Sep 9th 2022

Forward Body Position for Cross Country Skiing

Dear Skipost,

Thanks for answering Bill's question of why we want to lean forward. Watching videos of myself V2 skate, I find that I tend not to and am often sitting back (or as Russian technique videos would call it "sitting on the potty"). What are some technique cues or progressions to establish forward lean?
Thank you.

Hey Chris,

A forward lean is crucial for not only your V2 skate technique, but for all Skating and Classic techniques. Before going through some technical cues, check out this video from USSA regarding the fundamental body position for skating. Around 0:20 seconds are some key points about body positioning for skating. (From the video) You want to be supple in your ankles, knees, and your hips in a forward position. You should feel your body weight press into the balls of your feet, and your shoulders should have a relaxed anterior shrug. At 2:34 in the video, Bryan demonstrates forward movement by putting his body in a forward position with his ankles, knees, and hips. You will notice that Bryan puts his hands on his hips while performing this drill. This is done to encourage the forward rotation of the hips by pressing them forward with his hands. Here are a few cues you can keep in mind the next time you are skiing as well as some supplemental exercises that may help.

Roll your hips forward – Like Bryan in the video, put your hands on your hips and press them forward. You may feel your lower back press out and your glute muscles tighten up while doing this. If you’re having a hard time maintaining this position while skiing, I recommend doing some hip flexor exercises as well as some core training daily.

Supple ankles and knees – Again, check out this video from USSA, this time with Jason Cork. In the video, Jason stands up straight with a pole in each hand. Notice how his hips are rolled forward, his shoulders have a relaxed anterior shrug, and his neck and spine are line with each other in a neutral position. You can think of having another skier in front of you and staring at the back of their boots. This drill forces you to be supple at the ankles. When his ankles are stiff, he must bend at the hips to have his poles contact the ground. When his ankles are supple, he can contact the ground without shifting his hips back. While it is not explicitly mentioned, this drill also requires you to flex at the knees to successfully pole strike the ground without movement from the hips, or arms (otherwise you might pull off this move). If you find that you are stiff in the ankles and knees, try the exercise that Jason demonstrates in the video with a cable pull and low weight. Here are some additional ankle exercises, knee exercises for good measure.


-Jacob Huseby