see also:  Back Lift move for extra grip

Some people say that committed body weight is not enough for good grip friction in Classic striding -- that I need to supplement it with some extra down-force. 

(e.g. "Why do you think they call it kick?" :: "Drive the knee down" ::  "Drive the heel down and back".)

Yes, applying extra down-force in the kick does give better grip, which then lets me kick with greater forward-force. 

But there is a "side effect" to using extra down-force:

The center-of-mass of my body starts moving up

And this has some interesting further impacts.  

I think the sequence goes like this: 

1a - Applying extra down-force during the kick to increases grip friction.  We can call this the "launching" down-force. (Positive A)

1b - But it also makes my center-of-mass move upward.

1c - This required real extra work from my leg muscles. (Negative A)

2a - As my body rises after the kick, there is reduced down-force on my glide ski, so it slides better (Positive B) 

2b - Then gravity slows and stops my rise, and makes my body sink back down again. I must wait for this before I can get good grip for the next kick. (Negative B) 

3a - I need to push up to slow and stop my body's fall. This requires real extra work from my leg muscles (Negative C) 

3b - My center-of-mass coming down on the ski produces "landing" down-force.  If I'm taking a long glide, then this likely hits during the glide phase.  So there is increased down-force on my glide ski, so it slides slower.  (Negative D)


So I got more grip friction, but I paid double for it in leg-force work.  Seeing the second "landing" down-force slow down my glide adds "insult". 

But there is another way to use up-down motion for extra grip which does not have this double cost -- see

Back Lift move for extra grip

One big advantage of the "hill-bound" striding technique for steep hills is that it helps both the "launching" down-force and the "landing" down-force fall into the kick phase. I still pay twice, but I also get twice the benefit in increased grip-friction.  See the Steep Uphill is Different "secret"

see Discussion 

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