Classical Technique Teaching Progression for R & G Instructors

Use these descriptions as checkpoints for your own technique analysis. If they make sense, use them. These items are what I think about when breaking down the different techniques and deciding how to teach them

w/o skis
First night review how to use straps and talk about proper dress and
hydration. Talk about stretching. Then begin with the following topics and
take them at what pace the class will bear.

1) Relaxed position
Lean forward with hunched shoulders. Arms dangle in front at knee height
a) diagonal arm swings
b) add abdominal crunch
c) switch to double pole with crunch
2) Ski walking
Walk along at an easy pase and get used to the diagonal timing of opposite
arm and leg timing
3) Falling drill
a) Fall forward on to one leg and catch yourself with the other leg
at the last moment.  Remember fall with a straight leg from the ankle.
(both sides)
b) Link several together (fall walking drill)
c) Add kick at the last moment (do both sides)
i) test for heal pressure by having partner put fingers
under other persons heel.
d) Link several together
i) add arm swings
ii) add compression (oil derrick drill) (drag leg for
balance if necessary)
e) kick to high hip hill drill
Find a moderate uphill. Stand at the bottom.  Place one leg
with straight knee 2 feet up the hill. Collapse ankle and bend knee of
other leg and push (kick) up and over the uphill leg.  Lead with
head, rest hands on the small of your back.  Push hard enough to almost
fall on your nose, hold for a second.  than fall back on to
downhill foot and do again.  Do both sides.  This is what high hip feels
like when you do it right on skis
4) Bounding
Bounding is continuous linked motions taught in the falling drill
a) flats
i) Do it slow at first without arms and concentrate on good
add arms only (really throw the arms ahead to help
propel the body forward)
then add poles
ii) Then pick up the speed trying to maintain the same form,
add arms and poles as pupils get the hang of it.
    Poles are difficult to use in this drill when moving
b) hills
Do the same progression as on the flats.  Do more work with
poles here.
Try counting steps to a certain point on the hill, then
repeat trying to do it in fewer steps.

with skis

1) Double pole
a) Lean from the ankles, then compress with the abdomin and fall on
the poles and follow through the arms
b) Try umweighting one leg as you do the double pole.  Alternate
c) Move into the kick double pole.  Concentrate on proper timing of
the arm swing and the kick?
c) Single sticking to develop the feel for pushing with arms
i) add crunch
d) Advanced double pole: Try Keeping weight on heels as the arms
follow through and push toes up the track.
2) Diagonal stride
a) scooters (do both sides)
    Take one ski off and propel yourself up the track.  Try to
balance on the one ski as long as possible. Do both sides
b) downhill on one ski
    Glide down a long hill and try to ride a single ski to develop
balance.  Put all weight on one ski, use other for balance if needed
c) w/o poles
i) Use extra wax
ii) Strong arm swings to help propel forward and set wax
iii) Strong kick (sink down/collapse ankle and knee) to set
wax pocket
d) add poles (put it all together)
e) Try to get that feeling of the high hip from the dryland drill.
Put the nose right out over the gliding ski and ride it
f) Norweigen wiggle
3) Downhills  (survival and performance)
a) snowplow
i) Come to a dead stop, then proceed slowly.  Learn
Knees together, heels out, tips together, weights on
heels and dig edges in
i) Turns
Dig in harder on one side, shift body weight to that
side: result turn other way!
b) tuck
Rest arms on knees
Lower hands to feet if too scary
c) cornering
i) in track (lean to inside of corner, move hands to inside
as well
ii) step turns
Keep weight on heels.  Unweight one ski, lift tip
and step it to direction of turn.  Push off with other ski and repeat.
Emphisize short quick steps.  The higher the speed
the shorter and quicker the steps.
4) Uphills
There are several ways to get up a hill when classical skiing.  Each
requiring different levels of profiency and energy.
a) Striding
If possible continue to stride up the hill in normal
classical form.  Shorten stride, increase tempo and set wax pocket harder
as the hill gets steeper.
Try to push your toe up the hill in front of you while
keeping the weight on the heel.  This helps set the wax pocket on the next
kick as you drive
up and over the gliding foot. Remember the high hip drill?
b) Running/Bounding
If the hill is short enough and you have enough energy start
bounding from ski to ski and pounding the wax pocket into the snow,
You'll be surprised
how steep a hill you can climb.  Very energy intense.  Just
like sprinters hills when biking.
If the hill gets too steep or your technique or wax are not up to the task
it's time to get out of the track and do the herringbone.
c) herringbone  (step off to the side of the track so as not to
trash the track for others)
i) walking
Splay your skis out to the side and waddle from side
to side as you do a diagonal timing style walk up the hill.  Use if it's
very steep or your tired
This is the easiest way to get up a hill.  Keep your
poles behind you and push on them to keep from sliding back down the hill.
ii) bounding
If you have enough energy you can bound from ski to
ski, basically running uop the hill with splayed out skis.  Use a kick
with your legs to help you
transfer your weight from side to side and your
poles to push you up the hill.  Make sure you don't glide on the ski as
you transfer over to it.
(see next bullet)
iii) flying
Technically illegal but by adding a little glide on
each step as you use the easy walking style you can get up the hill much
faster.  This is really
classical skiing but with your skis splayed to the
side.  Glide with your skis out of the track is not allowed when classical
sking but if your just out to have fun, try it, it works.
This is sometimes called single sticking in skating parlance

A section of drills to improve balance, flexibility and strength.  All are
very important in both styles of skiing
a) balance
i) 1 legged bend over touch ground
ii) 1 leg swings
iii) leg kicks
b) relaxation
i) arm circles ala Antonina
ii) arm swings
iii) lean forward and run very "loosely" with arms dangling
and shaking
c) flexibility
i) ankle circles
ii) shoulder dislocates w/poles
d) strength
i) dips
ii) pole hops
iii) skipping
iv) snow dance
v) one leg lunges