older ideas -- focused on Ski Skating in cross country skiing

what's here

 - - Three Big Problems
 - - Hills different from Flats

 - - Spread load to More Muscles
 - - Assist weak muscles + zones

 - - Supporting moves | Don'ts
 - - the Steeper the Hill . . .
 - - Concepts + Perceptions versus Physics + Video

see also

  

[ under construction ] 

 

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Overview

Handling the hills is the biggest deterrent to enjoying skating for most cross country skiers:   Skiing fast and gliding long on the flats is the fun part.  Climbing up a hill is just a struggle, and even after going over the top, it can leave our legs too burning and tired to enjoy the next section of long gliding on the flats.

What can be done to survive the hills well enough so we can enjoy the rest of our skating?

The question is:

Slow -- How to skate up a hill slowly?

Here we analyze this problem from the perspective of biomechanics and physics, and propose some solutions.

Principles of Climbing Hills

The big problems

The three big problems in skating up a substantial hill are:

  • (A) how not to go so fast that some muscles get overloaded up with bad waste products associated with lactate -- which will make those muscles painful and deliver less power for the next hour or two.

(A1) how to keep the skating "magic" going -- that combination of glide with pushing out to the side -- which is the only way to utilize some of the skating muscles.

  • (B) how to stay away from the low-repetition peak-force strength "stress injury zone" for specific muscles.

  • (C) skating up hills with poles effectively is perhaps the most complicated mode of human-muscle-powered propulsion.  How to coordinate all the moves?  How to learn them?

Gearing

  • (E) Skating Ski:  The "gear ratio" of the skating ski is mostly determined the angle it is aimed out to the side:  The lower the speed, the larger the angle out to the side.  The higher the speed, the closer the ski points to forward.

  • (F) Poling:  The "gear ratio" of the pole is mostly determined by its angle between vertical and backward:  The lower the speed, the more the pole is angled down toward the back.  The higher the speed, the closer the pole starts to vertical.

Physical Efficiency

  • (D) Avoid lifting the weight of the same body part through the same vertical range of motion twice.

Different from ski skating on Flats

Skating on the flats or up a gentle hill is:

  • Not subject to Principle D -- so moving the upper body up and down to generate forward motion is often an effective approach.

  • "Gear ratio" for ski angle makes getting forward less important.  At the higher speeds on the flats, the skis are aimed more forward, so the push is directed more out toward the side, with the line of force is more in toward the center, less forward -- so there is less benefit to positioning the skier's center-of-mass more forward. 

  • "Gear ratio" for pole angle makes getting the shoulders up high more important.  At the higher speeds on the flats, the most effective pole-push angle is more vertical. 

  • Less need on the flats to worry about Principle A1 -- keeping the glide going (except in slow snow or headwind).  And less problem with Principle B -- getting into high-peak-force low-velocity stress zone (because not fighting to raise full body weight against gravity).  So less need to worry about "low-power spots", like the pole-recovery phase in V2 skate and Open Field Skate.

Therefore:

  • V1 ("offset", "paddle-dance") and Single-Poling Skate ("coaches skate", "herringbone skate"), is a more effective technique for climbing steep hills.  While V2 ("1-skate", "double-dance") is often better for gentle and flat terrain.

Because flat terrain permits the full and efficient use of vertical up-and-down motion of the legs and upper body to drive the pole-push -- and V2 has more pole-pushes than V1.  And flat terrain is forgiving of the "low-power" pole-recovery period in the V2 stroke cycle, where on a steep hill V2 would either stall out and lose the "magic" in the pole-recovery phase or require high-stress peak forces to keep it going.

  • Steep V1 skate focuses on optimal leg-push, and compromises on the pole-push.  Single-Poling Skate simplifies the poling to focus on leg-push. But gentle V2 focuses on optimal pole-push power.

  • Steep V1 uses lots of sideways motion of the upper body to assist the leg-push.  While gentle V2 uses lots of vertical motion of the upper body to assist the pole-push. 

  • Steep V1 and Single-Poling Skate use little vertical upper body motion (perhaps V1 has some "chest crunch" during -- or before -- the start of the pole-push).  While gentle V2 uses little sideways upper body motion (perhaps a turn toward the new ski during -- or after -- the end of the pole-push).

The physically optimal poling motion is to align the handle and tip of both poles straight with the skier's overall forward motion direction, and push both poles back straight in the skier's overall forward motion direction.  (Not with the poles or the push aligned with angle of the current ski.)

In V2 poling, the idea is to focus on that physically optimal motion -- and to achieve that focus, to limit shoulder-torso rotation or tilting motions in V2 (even if those could help the leg-push).  But in V1 the poling motion is a deliberate compromise. Especially the recovery-side pole-push is sub-optimal -- the hand starts low and it pushes toward the side.

V2 uses many muscles throughout the body to drive the pole-push.  But steep V1 uses mainly just the arms, together with an "untwisting" of the shoulders, assisted with a little "chest crunch" (but not "waist crunch" or "hip crunch" with the lower abdominals).

  • Rising up tall to start the pole-push is good in gentle V2.  But in steep V1 it's normally bad.

In gentle V2 the idea is to fall forward onto the poles.  But in steep V1 the idea is more to stay forward -- when there's any forward fall, it's to fall further forward.

Forward hips is a temporary dynamic thing in V2.  But in steep V1, forward hips is closer to a static position to be maintained.

  • Dropping the butt and hips low during the pole-push is usually good in gentle V2.  But in steep V1 it's just bad.

Though even in V2, the idea is to drop the hips down only as far as you have the strength to raise the hips all the way up and forward to aggressively fall forward to start the next stroke.  Lots of skiers have the flaw of their butt "getting stuck" sitting back there "down in the bucket" -- in V2 as well as V1.

And even in V2, it does not help much to drop the butt, if you do not have the strength in all of the abdominal, trunk, shoulder, and arm muscles to transmit the butt-drop force into the pole-push.

Variations on techniques

Even if there were one optimal technique for climbing up a hill, that does not mean it's smart to use exactly that technique in all skiing situations.  Sometimes it's smart to practice a technique that partly contradicts some of the principles of physics and biomechanics on this website.  There are several reasons to use and practice variations:

  • Simplified technique to manage the complexity while still learning.

  • Controlled isolation of weaker muscles in training situations -- to strengthen them and raise their sustained-power-delivery capacity. 

  • Avoid weaknesses in fun and race-performance situations.  This is why most of us cannot simply copy the elite racers -- because we have not trained some of those special muscles all year long. 

  • Exploit our strengths in fun and race-performance situations.  Each of us has different strengths from other sports:  Like think of bicyclists versus inline-skaters versus kayakers. 

  • Focus -- Prioritize the moves selected in fun and race-performance situations:  Focus on the moves that deliver the most sustained-power benefit and ignore the others -- so we don't get overwhelmed by the complexity.

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Strategies for Climbing Hills

Which technique

  • Single-Poling Skate and V1 are better than V2 for steeper hills

  • V1 technique is the primary technique discussed on this page, but most of the ideas are applicable to Single-Poling Skate.

More Muscles -- spread the load

Spread the lactate load across more muscles -- is the main answer to problem (A).

direct leg-push

more muscles for the direct leg-push:

This is the key move for biomechanical Hip-Knee-Ankle configuration -- its objective it to move the ankle joint back behind the knee joint and hip joint --  just before the main leg-push with the big strong knee-extensor (quadriceps) and hip-extensor (gluteus maximus) muscles.

The biomechanics of getting intense force out of the main leg-push just seems to work better if the ankle is strongly flexed, so the ankle joint starts behind the hip and knee joints. At the start of the skating leg-push when the next foot is first set down, the hip joint is low and behind the ankle-joint. So it requires a special move to bring the hip joint up and forward.

To me it's like standing up and forward on a bicycle, to pedal up a hill without shifting down into a lower gear. (The problem with skating on snow is that it does not provide us with enough "gearing" options on the low end of the speed range.)

The mental image of flexing the ankle does not seem to helpful for lots of people. What often works better is to think of driving the knee down and forward. Or you might find it's more helpful to try thinking about driving the heel back and down.

With good skating form, "it's all relative" -- since the hip, knee, and ankle joints are all roughly in a plane with the current aiming of the pushing ski.

Do not bend the knee any further during this move, since flexing the knee joint will move the hip joint lower and further back, just the opposite of good biomechanics for the strongest leg-push needed to raise your full body weight up the hill.

Too many well-meaning skate coaches preach to "bend the knee more", when the true secret of hill-climbing is to bend the ankle more.

Shin muscle -- getting the Knee-drive Hip-drive move is partly mental image and balance -- but it's also about developing a specific muscle -- the shin muscle on the front of the lower leg is what must do the actual work of flexing the ankle.

It takes a few weeks to develop the specific strength and specific endurance needed to develop that muscle. So don't overdo it at first with this new move, or you can strain it. Give it a careful program of progressive training, and time to develop.

  • Hip abduction -- push the whole leg out to the side from the hip, using the hip abductor muscles ("gluteus medius").

  • Toe-push -- using the calf muscle.  But only at the very end of the skate-push.

Many coaches warn that it's usually bad to think consciously about toe-push. Some say that if you consciously focus on strong forward-ankle-flex, your ankle will unconsciously make the right un-flex push at the right time.

Ideas to play with: (a) Aim the toe-push out toward the side, not back down the hill; (b) Slice the ski forward as you make the toe-push; (c) Set the other ski down into the snow before starting the toe-push.

weight-shift / reactive side-force

more muscles to help with weight-shift / reactive side-force:

  • Shoulder-Torso swing -- rotate and tilt the weight of the chest and shoulders sideways to generate reactive side-force. 

Both the starting and the stopping of the shoulder-torso-swing move can be timed to help the leg-push.

  • Sideways Arm-swing on the recovery-side.

The winning elite racers have a surprising move with one arm.  The recovery move of the arm on the pole-recovery-side starts outward (and also upward).  Perhaps this could be synchronized with the second phase of the hang-side leg-push to generate a small reactive side-force to help that leg-push.  But it's main purpose is to get into position for ...

Then the recovery-side arm makes a sharp move inward during the recovery-side leg-push.  This generates a reactive side-force that helps the recovery-side leg-push (which often is in much need of help).

Transmission of reactive side-force

[?? to be added ]

move specific body-parts against gravity + air-resistance

[?? to be added ]

forward step (with hip flexor muscle)

forward-hip-rotation (with pelvic rotator muscle)

hip-forward (with shin muscle)

[?? to be added ]

pole-push

more muscles to help the pole-push:

  • Shoulder "untwist" to help drive the hang-side pole-push in V1 skate.
     
  • Chest pre-Crunch before the start of the pole-push in V1 skate (?)

There's a trade-off on this, because while it spreads the load to more muscles, it violates Principle D of not lifting the same body parts (head and shoulders) through the same vertical motion range twice -- in the "Back Lift" move below.  So do not overdo this move, and use even less of it on steeper hills.

Note that the elite racers actually make most of their chest crunch before the start of the pole-push.  And some duck their head.  That way the weight of the head and shoulders gets raised no more extra height than necessary, to minimize the violation of Principle D.

Another way to think of this move is that the sudden dropping of the weight of the chest and shoulders downward generates a reactive force upward (by Newton's Third Law), which helps lift the weight of the legs and butt up the hill -- or at least helps "lock in" any vertical gain from lifting the legs and hips during the recovery-side leg-push.

Warning:  Trying to get more out of this move leads to dropping the butt (a bad idea on a steep hill).  Instead keep all the crunch high in the chest.

  • Back Lift extension -- needed to get into position for the Chest pre-Crunch

Warning:  Thinking consciously about lifting the shoulders (using the back extension muscles) can distract from sideways torso rotation (and other moves) that is necessary maintain side-glide.  So it leads to stalling on the recovery-side, or nearly stalling.  Lose the side-glide and you lose the magic of skating -- might as well just do classic herringbone.

Warning:  Thinking consciously about lifting part of the upper body can lead to thinking about direct lifting of the butt and whole upper body, by using the big leg muscles during the recovery-side skate-push.  There are several dangers from this thought:  (a) distracts leg muscles from pushing out to the side; (b) raises body too much upward and not enough forward; (c) makes it feel OK to have already allowed the butt to have dropped back and down.

Transmission of pole-push forces

[?? to be added ]

Assist the weaker muscles and avoid stress zones

Pair with other muscles

Assist weaker muscles by pairing them with other muscles.

  • On the poling side of V1, we use the poling arm muscles to assist the weaker hip abductor muscles during the first phase of the skate-push.
     
  • On the pole-recovery side of V1, we use the reactive side-force from stopping the previous torso-swing move to assist the first phase of the skate-push.  And we also use the assistance of the reactive side-force from immediately starting the next torso-swing more back toward the poling side.
     
  • In herringbone skate, we use the single-pole-push on each side to directly assist the skate-push on each side.

Momentum to assist

Assist weaker muscles with momentum (or "kinetic energy") from previous work by other muscles.

  • On the pole-recovery side of V1, we use the greater combined kinetic energy from the poling-side skate-push and pole-push to help the skate-push on the pole-recovery side.

Avoid weak sections in range of motion

Use muscles in the strongest section of their range of motion.  Avoid putting peak forces on muscles and joints in the weak sections of their range of motion -- since this results in rapid fatigue and pain -- even injury.

Avoid peak forces from stopped position

Avoid requiring a muscle to apply a high peak force from a stopped position (or a very slow speed).

  • This is why V2 (even "quick V2") is not effective up steeper hills:  The skier's motion slows down too much in the pole-recovery phase, and that requires starting the next pole-push from a stopped position (or almost).  Or to avoid stopping, it requires a peak-force intensity in the pole-push and leg-push which gets into low-rep / peak-force stress zone -- in order to carry enough momentum (or "kinetic energy") thru the pole-recovery phase.
     
  • There can also be a problem with "stalling" on the pole-recovery side of V1 when the hill gets too steep.  That's why at some grade of steepness, many skiers give up on V1 and switch to "herringbone skate".

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Ideas + Tips for Climbing Hills

Positions for best "gearing"

  • The tip of each ski should be angled way out to the side -- in order to deliver power most effectively. 

When the skier's speed is slower, there is more of a backward and downward component to the skate-push -- Principle (E) for leg-push gearing.  (though the side-push remains important).

The further the ski is angled out to the side, and the more you maintain glide out to the side, the gentler the overall path.  Gliding more out to the side takes the steepness out of the hill.

Required supporting move:  Step the ski up the hill (to make room for the tail of the ski underneath the skier).

Required supporting move:  Keep pushing out to the side with the leg.  Use sideways torso rotation to add more sideways push.  The more you glide out to the side, the less steep you experience the hill. 

Warning: If you angle the ski out only to provide a platform for pushing your body straight up the hill, then you lose the "gearing" -- because the gearing applies only with the magic of actual skating.  The more you switch to the "walking" paradigm, the less gearing benefit.

  • The handle of the pole should be low, and the tip of the pole angled toward the back.

This pole-push angle delivers power most effectively at the slower speed climbing up a hill -- to support Principle (F) for pole-push "gearing".

Required supporting move:  The shoulders should be forward and low.

Supporting moves

  • Step the ski up the hill

. . . so there is room to bring the tail of the ski in close under the body while the tip of the ski is angled way out to the side -- which is necessary in order to effectively skate slowly.

If you stepped directly out the side far enough to avoid crossing tails of wide-angled skis, you wouldn't get a long enough effective-range-of-motion in the leg-push to do a enough real work in each leg-push -- and it also wastes time to step that far out.  If you instead take a narrower ski angle, you can start the push in closer, but the more-forward-pointing skis force you to go too fast, so you burn out.  The only way to get both (a) wide angle for slow speed, and (b) long effective-range-of-push-motion is to step the ski up and forward.

Lift the tail of one ski over the tail of the other ski.  Then land the tail of the ski forward further up the hill, so there is space for it without it coming down on top of the tail of the previous ski.

Pushing out to the side from this more inward ski-landing position requires using the hip abductor muscles (often not well-trained from summer sports).  These muscles can also help with the upward step itself.  So train those little-known hip abductor muscles to help power this move -- that's a key benefit of practice drills skating with hips high and forward.

Bend your ankles strongly to get your hips low so the big gluteus maximus and quadriceps muscles can supply lots of force for this upward step.

Actually it might be OK if the tail of ski bangs the previous ski as it passes over it and lands in the snow.  Some coaches even suggest a practice drill where you to try to tap your ski against the back of the previous boot, before you land the next ski.

Warning:  The point is to step the ski up the hill, not to push your whole body straight up the hill.  The only reason to step the ski up is to be able to bring it inward, so there's more range of motion to then glide further outward on it at a gentler angle up the slope.  Stepping your whole body straight up the slope is the hard way, the steep way.   

  • Keep pushing the ski out to the side.

If the side-glide is lost, then the "magic" of skating is lost -- and then reactive side-forces from the torso rotation moves cannot help with the climbing.

The leg-push on a steep hill is more backward than on the flats, but it's not all backward.  Use the feeling of strong side-to-side weight transfer and the working of the little-known hip abductor and torso rotator muscles.  Fight to keep the side-glide.

  • Hips forward -- by bending strongly at the ankles.  (Though the hips not as high as in the initiation of V2 -- there is some significant bend in the knees in V1). 

Starting the skate-push from this position engages the strong quadriceps (front thigh) muscles and gluteus maximus (rear butt) muscles.  With the whole upper body forward, the diagonal force from the skate-push against a ski angled out way to the side is aimed more through the skier's overall center-of-mass.

  • Shoulders forward and low -- by bending at the ankles and from the waist -- and by limiting the lifting by the back muscles on the pole-recovery side. 

In this way the poles are angled further back away from the vertical, which is more effective "gearing" for the lower speeds in climbing a steeper hill.  The concept in V1 is to keep recovering the shoulders forward, not upward.  The shoulders are always slumped forward in V1 -- sometimes even more forward.

  • Hang-side hand extended further out to the side at the start of the pole-push -- but not the whole pole.  Point the hang-side pole tip is somewhat inward.

Otherwise the torso-rotation away from the hang-side starts too early.

  • Recovery-side hand starts its pole-push from closer in to the torso. 

So its elbow is more bent (a stronger configuration to transmit force from the shoulders), and so it's tip can be planted closer in and further back for better "gearing" and leverage -- and for longer range-of-motion in its push.

  • Head counter-rotate -- Turn the head against the sideways swing of the torso, and toward looking roughly in the skier's overall forward motion. 

That way the head stays roughly stable, so the fluid in the "vestibular" motion-and-balance-change sensor in the inner ear is not disturbed.  If the head simply joins the swing of the shoulders (or worse, leads the swing), them the torso swing feels too aggressive, so the skier's cerebellum instinctively restrains it -- or the skier actually starts feeling dizzy.  

Don'ts

  • Don't drop the butt to assist the pole-push. 

Although that's a helpful move for V2 and Open Field Skate on the flats, when climbing up a steep hill, it results in moving the weight of the entire upper body through the same vertical range twice.

Instead:  Always "lock in" the vertical gain of the hips and upper body.  Once you do the hard work of raising your hips upward, keep them up there.

  • Don't use much upper body "crunch" to assist the pole-push. 

Although upper body "crunch" or "fall" is a critical move for V2 and Open Field Skate on the flats, when climbing up a steep hill, it results in moving the weight of the torso and head through the same vertical range twice

Instead:  Focus pole-push on the arm muscles.  Focus recovery of shoulders on getting forward to position the arms to push the poles more back, not on getting raised up to "fall" on poles.

  • Don't land the next ski down just to the side of the previous ski. 

Because then there won't be room for the tail of the ski underneath your body -- which will force you to (a) land the ski further out to the side, with (b) its tip pointed more straight forward.  Point (a) will limit the contribution of the hip abductor muscles and the torso swing, and make it difficult to hold the poling-side hand out to the side enough to point the pole tip inward.  Point (b) is even worse, because it forces you to go too fast up the hill, which will burn you out. 

Instead:  Step your ski up the hill to make room for its tail underneath you.  Bend your ankles strongly to get your hips low so the big gluteus maximus and quadriceps muscles can supply lots of force for this upward step.  Train those little-known hip abductor muscles to help power this move. 

  • Don't just fall from side-to-side like a pendulum. 

"Let gravity do the work" is too slow, and doesn't generate enough reactive side-force.  And if taken literally, puts more load on the (already-well-utilized) quadriceps muscles. 

Instead:  Actively swing your torso from side to side -- by learning to engage some little-known abdominal muscles.

  • Don't plant your hang-side pole with the tip aimed straight back. 

Because if the hang-side hand and hang-side pole tip are exactly aligned with the skier's overall direction of forward motion, the strong force of the pole-push itself will immediately turn the skier's torso away from the hang-side toward the recovery-side.  This early turning away weakens and shortens the pole-push.  It also applies the reactive side-force during the first phase of the hang-side skate-push -- which is less effective than in the second phase when the ski is more strongly edged. 

Instead:  Start with the hang-side hand further out to the side, and the pole-tip aimed partly inward -- so the force of the pole-push will be self-correcting of its own side-rotation tendency, and the torso-swing will be delayed until the most of the pole-push is over, delayed to the second phase of the skate-push.

The Steeper the Hill . . .

The steeper the hill . . .

  • the lower and more forward the hips.
  • the lower and more forward the shoulders and upper body.
  • the more the ski tips are angled out to the side.
  • the less up-and-down motion in the upper body, the more the pole-push work is focused in the arms.
  • the slower the average speed -- to avoid burning out for the next hour or two.
  • the more special neuro-muscular control needed to handle the ski at such a slow speed -- practice, practice, practice, in a variety of snow conditions -- and finding slow skaters to just follow, to help enforce skating at a slower speed.

Concepts and Perceptions versus Physics and Video

As if the physics of the skate-climbing motions themselves were not already complicated enough, there's the entertaining fact that our mental concepts and images and sensory perceptions are not well connected with the objective physics of our body skating.

This has several amusing results:

Mis-perception

I think and feel I'm doing something with a big motion, when objectively it's only a little motion.  Some of my own hill-climbing examples:

  • I thought my little raising of my back and shoulders before initiating my pole-push was OK.  But in video I could see that it was a big raising, way more than any elite racer climbing up a steep hill.
  • I thought (and felt!) that my hips and shoulders were forward.  But in video I could easily see that I really hadn't gotten anywhere into "forward" territory, compared with any elite racer climbing up a steep hill.
  • I thought I had solid side-to-side motion, and felt that if I had any more it would be ridiculous.  But on video it looked weak compared to a front-view of any elite racer climbing up a steep hill.

Advice with unintended consequences

Coaches have found through long sad experience that sometimes just telling a skier a physically correct concept doesn't work.  Because thinking consciously about one correct thing can sometimes unconsciously activate two other bad motions.   Some examples:

  • Forward-Step:  Thinking consciously about stepping forward up the hill, can result in forgetting to push out to the side.
  • Toe-Push:  Thinking consciously about pushing with the toe, can result in forgetting to fully engage the big leg muscles to push out the side, and can result in reverting into "running" on skate skis.

Concept too early in learning progression

Coaches have found that some motions and perceptions are foundational in learning.  If you try to practice a non-foundational motion too early, even though it is physically correct, it could block the learning of a more important motion or perception.  Some examples:

  • Torso Rotation:  Many coaches have found that trying to use torso rotation to help climb hills actually blocks learning of effective control with the legs and the best engagement of the leg muscles in hill-climbing. 

They might say:  First learn "Quiet Upper Body" with no rotating or tilting of torso or shoulders or hips -- in order to learn the foundational skill of controlled and powerful skiing "below the hips".  Only after the hips are complete solid, consider working on torso rotation moves.  A more zealous subset might say that even then any conscious work on upper body movement could trigger a reversion to unstable hips -- so it's better for the skiers to discover the best sideways upper-body moves for themselves unconsciously.

  • Quiet Upper Body:  Some coaches have found that if they teach "quiet upper body" too early to teenage skiers, they don't learn sound weight transfer from ski to ski.

They might say:  First get them practicing turning the upper body sideways to face with the new direction of each ski.  Once they have really solid ski-to-ski weight transfer, then it's OK to start them on "Quiet Upper Body" drills.

  • Knee Bend:  Actually knee bend is necessary for engaging the big quadriceps leg muscles into an effective skating push, and many good coaches used to explicitly teach it.

But then they discovered that many skaters naturally tend to fall into sitting back "down in the bucket", and then it was very difficult to get their hips up and forward again.  So now more coaches focus instruction and drills on strong forward flex of the ankles ("ankle bend" rather than "knee bend").  And trust that after the ankle-bend is strong, the knee bend will usually take care of itself (or in the few students where it does not, the knee bend can be dealt with some other way).

Instructors not knowing physics

My view is that for a coach to know a sound learning progression and helpful mental concepts is much more important than to know physics and biomechanics.  It is critical for an instructor to be able to see the subtle non-obvious things in a skier's motions that tell where they are now in their learning progression, and what concepts and drills that skier needs to work on now to make their next step in learning.

If an instructor makes a justification or explanation which is incorrect in the physics, for some concept or movement they are teaching -- that does not disqualify them as a coach.  The physics you can learn in books and websites.  The specific personal interpretation for you, and for you now is much harder to discover than physics.

more . . .

see also

 

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concept words: skating skate skates skater skaters push glide inline inlines ski skiing snow roberts

skating: skate skates skater skaters push glide