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Committed balance is the foundation for all the other techniques.  For more on what is is and why it is so critical see 

Balance and Weight Commitment "secret"

Solid committed balance on one ski is the critical move for breaking out of the "intermediate" rut, and moving into advanced classic striding. 

It takes lots of practice with special exercises.  But if you like learning new things on skis, you will find the process very interesting.  It's a great achievement to get it.  

The payback in effectiveness is that you can get better grip and better glide with less strength and less fatigue.  But it also opens the door to other fun and interesting things. 

And you don't have to master it fully to get the benefits -- 40% better balance and weight transfer yields a 40% improvement in grip and efficiency.

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Approach for learning

  • The key learning secret is to do lots of skiing without using poles.  The specific exercises are on this page: 

Exercises for Learning Balance and Weight Commitment

  • It's pretty important to work with a good instructor or coach on this stage -- especially in the first couple of practice sessions -- then again at later points for "check-ups".  

The reason is that learning solid balance and weight commitment depends on a complicated interaction among ski flex, waxless pattern (or grip wax), body position, pressure distribution, etc. -- so it's tricky to sort out what's going right and what's going wrong -- and some of those key factors are invisible. 

  • Getting videotaped is valuable for this stage, 

but it's important to have an experienced observer or coach to help interpret -- because there's so much complex interaction to sort out, and the most visible deficiencies in form are not necessarily the most important ones to work on improving. 

  • To give your arms some exercise too, spend some time doing some pure poling with no leg push -- see our page on double poling

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