Rochester Active Sports Club (RASC) is a nonprofit club based in Rochester Minnesota, designed to promote nordic skiing, mountain biking and road biking in SE Minnesota.

Ski Post - Articles on Nordic Skiing

Ski Post SkiPost is primarily a weekly email newsletter that reaches 30,000 Nordic enthusiasts each Thursday. They answer your questions via weanswer@SkiPost.comwhile offering ski equipment, waxing and training advice and industry updates in this weekly email format.  Archives of their most recent newsletters (from 2009 to 2013) can be found at the Ski Post Archives. Older articles are listed below.

Three Basic Drills For Classic Technique

By: Justin Freeman

I helped out at a clinic this past weekend, and I was helping skiers at various levels with their classic technique, including both double poling and striding. As I worked with people I realized that there are three drills I always come back to for classic skiing. The advantage of these drills is partly that they are simple but more importantly that they give their own feedback so that anyone can use these any time, whether there is a coach around or not, and will have a hard time developing bad habits.


The first drill is a dryland drill for classic arm swing. Stand with your feet should width apart with your knees and ankles slightly bent. Create a curve in your spine by slumping your shoulders forward and also tucking your pelvis forward – your spine should look a little like a “C” when viewed from the side. Your weight should be on the balls of your feet; the bend in your knees is balanced by the bend in your ankles and your shoulders and hips should be tucked equally forward. Now simply move your arms as you do classic striding. This will naturally create a slight motion up and down in your knees and ankles. You can play with body position and degree of arm swing. If you do this in front of a mirror, get a good look at what your classic skiing is like as you make adjustments.

The second drill is on snow. You simply find a rather steep hill and double pole up it. Try to keep your motion short and tight and your hips forward. Your power should come from your core and from a sharp initiation of the poling motion. The great thing about doing this on a steep hill is that if your technique deteriorates you will bog down and have difficulty moving forward. If you stay in a good position you should be able to keep moving up the hill, though you may run out of strength quickly.

The point of this drill is to teach you good body position and healthy habits in double poling. When you actually double pole in a race you use a much longer motion and more muscles, but if you start from the same position you will use all your muscles much more effectively.

The final drill is a no poles drill. Find a gradual downhill (or a steeper one as you become more advanced). Ski without poles in the track. Extend the time you spend gliding on each ski, and make sure your weight is 100% on the glide ski. When you are ready to kick, make it a secure and snappy kick onto the other ski. I like to glide for a count of three, kicking exactly as I say “three.”

This drill accomplishes two things. First, it improves your balance, helping you to feel secure as you glide. Second, it helps you with the speed of your kick. Especially as you go faster, as slow, lazy kick is not an option – it will most like cause a faceplant.

To truly master these three drills and be able to perform the last two on very steep hills is to have good body position (demanded by the second drill), excellent balance (demanded by the last drill), crispness of motion (demanded by both these drills), and a high level of comfort with the classic skiing motion (from the first drill). In short, to master just these three drills is to master classic skiing.




May 19, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 1- National Team or Not?, We Answer

June 16, 2005

Vol. 6/ No. 2- One Man's Feelings Toward the Track, We Answer, Team Update

July 14, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 3-We Answer, Summer Tips for Preperation, Hyponatremia

Aug 11, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 4-We Answer, Training with Rob Whitney-Fly With It

Aug 25, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 5-We Answer, Volume Training, Skate Rollerskis

Sept 8, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 6-We Answer, Beating the Heat, Andy in Mlps/St Paul

Sept 22, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 7-We Answer, Making the Transition

Oct. 6, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 8-We Answer, Injury Care, Andy Answers

Oct.13, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 9-We Answer, We've Made It, Nordies in the News

Oct.20, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 10-We Answer, Don't Chase the Moose, Events/Announcements

Oct. 27, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 11-We Answer, Muscle Maintenance, Events

Nov. 3, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 12-We Answer, Muscle Maintenance, Andy Answers

Nov. 10, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 13-We Answer, Food for Everyday Health, Vote for Cross-Country!

Nov. 17, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 14-We Answer, Andy Talks Glide Wax, What is Gleukos?

Nov. 24, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 15-We Answer, Life on the Road, Replacing Luck

Dec. 1, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 16-We Answer, Super Foods, Craft

Dec. 8, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 17-We Answer, Swix Brush Info, Subaru Factory Team Apparel

Dec. 15, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 18-We Answer, Babikov Off and Flying, Gift Ideas

Dec. 22, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 19-We Answer, Race Prep, Andy Answers

Dec. 29, 2005

Vol. 6/No. 20-We Answer, Skiing As You See It, Andy Answers

Jan. 5, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 21-We Answer, 2006 US Nationals, Tech Talk

Jan. 12, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 22-We Answer, Racing At Altitude, Andy Answers

Jan. 19, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 23-We Answer, Olympic Team, Andy Answers

Jan. 26, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 24-We Answer, Racing And Recovering

Feb. 2, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 25-We Answer, Rush To The Race,

Feb. 9, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 26-We Answer, Tips To Staying Healthy Through Race Season

Feb. 16, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 27-We Answer, Pressure Maps

Feb. 22, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 28- Wednesday Birkie Edition

Mar. 2, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 29-We Answer, Birkie Tales, Rob's Story

Mar. 9, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 30-We Answer, News From Andy, Skiing Awareness

Mar. 16, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 31-We Answer, Use Your Fast Twitch Muscles

Mar. 23, 2006

Vol. 6/ No. 32- Rollerskis, Justin Freeman on Back Pain





June 1, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 1 - weanswer, Dealing With Potential Injury (Justin Easter)

July 13, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 2 - weanswer, Enjoy Winter Mid-Pack Award Winner (Staff)

Aug. 10, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 3 - weanswer, Stay Motivated This Summer (Abigail Larson)

Sept 13, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 4 - weanswer, Time To Rollerski (Chad Giese)

Sept 28, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 5 - weanswer, A Summer on Snow (Kate Underwood)

Oct. 4, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 6 - weanswer, Ski Bounding (Lars Flora)

Oct. 19, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 7 - weanswer, Keeping it Fresh - Fall training in Alaska (Kikkan)

Oct. 26, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 8 - weanswer, To Caffeniate or Not (Abigail Larson)

Nov. 2, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 9 - weanswer, Another Beginning (Justin Easter)

Nov. 9, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 10 - weanswer, Maintaining Strength In The Winter (Justin Freeman)

Nov. 16, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 11 - weanswer, Are You Ready (Patrick Weaver)

Nov. 27, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 12 - weanswer, A Message From Andrew Newell

Nov. 30, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 13 - weanswer, School and Skiing (Kristina Strandberg)

Dec. 7, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 14 - weanswer, Waxing New Skis (Staff)

Dec. 14, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 15 - weanswer, Which Wax? (Chad Giese)

Dec. 21, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 16 - weanswer, Training Tips (Kate Underwood)

Dec. 27, 2006

Vol. 7/ No. 17 - weanswer, Functional Foods 411 (Abigail Larson)

Jan. 4, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 18 - weanswer, Essay Contest, US Nationals Day 1

Jan. 11, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 19 - weanswer, Chad Giese Defines Success

Jan. 18, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 20 - weanswer, Training on a Busy Schedule (Patrick Weaver)

Jan. 25, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 21 - weanswer, Preparation For Major Competition (Lars Flora)

Feb. 1, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 22 - weanswer, Stay Warm! (Justin Easter)

Feb. 8, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 23 - weanswer, Skiing Without Snow (Justin Freeman)

Feb. 15, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 24 - weanswer, Skiing Downhill (Justin Freeman)

Feb. 21, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 25 - weanswer, Essay Contest Winners (Jackson Bloch)

Mar. 1, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 26 - weanswer, Eating On The Road (Abigail Larson)

Mar. 8, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 27 - weanswer, Dealing With Those Bad Races (Kristina Strandberg)

Mar. 15, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 28 - weanswer, Ice Baths For Skiers (Kate Underwood)

Mar. 22, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 29 - weanswer, Spring Workouts (Patrick Weaver)

Mar. 29, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 30 - weanswer, Greatful For Dirt (Abigail Larson)

Apr. 6, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 31 - weanswer, Preparation and Specificity (Chad Giese)

Apr. 12, 2007

Vol. 7/ No. 32 - weanswer, Swedish Vassaloppet (Chad Giese)

© Rochester Active Sports Club
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software