Ski-Specific Training Without Rollerskis by Jacob Huseby
Whether you’re going for a walk around the park, or training for the elite wave, many can benefit from adding weighted poles to their routine.
Ski Specific Training Without Rollerskis
Cross Country Skiing is a sport that takes a lot of practice to build the fitness and technique to excel. While the most popular option for offseason ski-specific training is rollerskiing, they may not be a option for everyone. Nordic walking, “moose hoofing”, and bounding are all suitable options for ski-specific training that don’t require rollerskis, however these options may not train the upper body as much as skiing. We’ve been exploring different options to figure out how we can offer ski-specific training to those who are unable to rollerski. Here’s what we found:
Vipole is an Italian company and manufactures trekking, hiking, trail running, alpine, and Nordic walking poles. They are handmade in Italy and are sold under the tagline “High Quality Poles”. We received samples a few weeks ago and were impressed by the quality of the materials, manufacturing, and technology. Of the technologies on offer from Vipole, the most notable would likely be their shock absorber rotating heads on their trekking poles, shock absorber carbide tips (suitable for rollerskiing!), convenient click strap system, and of course the weighted poles.
Nordic walking is the act of walking with poles while imitating the motion of cross-country skiing. It is not uncommon to see people walking with poles along the road in Finland. Nordic walking is popular among older folks across Europe and is catching on in the US.
Rather than going for a walk/jog which only engages your lower half, walking with poles allows you to use both your lower body and your upper body. Using poles while walking engages more muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, and improves balance by providing more points of contact with the ground. For anyone looking to get moving outside, adding a set of poles can improve their experience.
Weighted poles for ski specific training
Of the poles we received from Vipole, the most interesting offering was a set of heavy poles. The poles are weighted in the grip, and while everyone who has tried them in Madison has been shocked at how heavy they are, it is universally agreed upon that the swing feel is great. After a few training sessions, I have found that they work my shoulders, triceps, and biceps much more than my regular bounding poles. When they are added to Nordic walking, moose hoofing, and bounding drills they can really amp up the intensity of the workout without adding stress on the lower body. One of my athletes hasn’t been able to run but can walk. I’ve given her the weighted poles for our team sessions and she has been able to get up to L4 while walking.
There are options for ski-specific training for Nordic skiing that don’t involve wheels! Those who are looking to improve their daily fitness routine should add poles to their walk. The new weighted Nordic walking poles will allow those who are training at a high level and those who are trekking around their block to increase the intensity of their exercise with an emphasis on the upper body. For my training and coaching, weighted poles will be a tool in my arsenal to change up the training stimulus. To learn more about Vipole, check out the page on EnjoyWinter.com here . If you want to watch me demonstrate the Nordic walking, moose hoofing, and bounding techniques check out the attached video.