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For a long time, the only motion techniques I dealt with were the shuffle, the stride, and the herringbone.  Then I started practicing the different poling techniques, and found them more interesting and more powerful than I had expected.  Later I noticed a conceptual difference between what works best for striding on flat to moderate terrain and what works for steeper uphills -- so here I've tried to distinguish the two.  I've had fun learning these different techniques and using them creatively in a variety of situations. 

  • shuffle  ( = "walking on skis") 

The idea is to simply walk on skis with help from the poles.  The main difference from walking is that you don't lift the ski off the snow.  You slide the ski forward.  That's why it's called the "shuffle".  Sometimes on a gentle downhill there is some glide with each step, but that's not the primary idea.  [ more on this ] 

The idea is that you are taking long gliding strides on skis.  When you step onto the new ski, first you glide on it.  When you are ready, you push back on that ski with your leg (this leg-push is often called the "kick").  As you finish that leg-push, you step onto the other ski, and glide on that one, etc.  For each single leg-stride there is a single pole-push with one arm.  [ more on this

The "diagonal" name is not obvious.  It seems to refer to how it looks at one point in the glide phase:  Where the arm on the same side as the gliding ski is down and back, and the arm on the opposite side is up and forward -- so you get a sort of diagonal line through the two arms.  At the same time the upper body is leaning forward and the opposite leg is angled out behind -- so you get a diagonal line through those two body parts. 

Just do it all with your poles.  Move both poles together in parallel.  Bring your hands up in front of you to about shoulder height.  Plant the tips in the snow with the shafts of the poles angled back a little -- and then push.  Then bring your arms back up and forward for the next push.  [ more on this ] 

The idea is to add a leg-push to the double-pole push.  First push with one leg back against one ski (the "kick"), and at exactly the same time bring both arms up and forward to get ready to do a double-pole push.  Second, start gliding on both skis.  Third, do a double-pole push, and keep gliding on both skis.  Then start the next kick-double-pole by pushing again with the leg (the other leg or the same one -- it's not important which).  [ more on this ] 

To get up a hill too steep for any other technique, you angle the tips of your skis out to the side, and press the inside edge of each ski into the snow as you push on it.  For each single leg-stride there is a single pole-push with one arm.  [ more on this ] 

The idea is to sort of run up a steep hill with long steps or "bounds".  Sometimes both skis can be in the air simultaneously.  Each long step is helped by single pole-push with one arm.   [ more on this ] 

Key ways that hill bound is different from classic stride are: (a) there is no attempt to get any glide; (b) the pole-push is always pretty nearly simultaneous with the opposite leg-push (though sometimes the pole-push starts just an instant before the landing of the opposite leg). 

There are several strategies and techniques for dealing with downhill slopes -- some of which do not include any "skiing".  [ more on this ] 

Any of the skating techniques can be executed with Classic skis.  Most common is to use a sort of one-sided skate for going around a curve.  [ more on this ] 

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