what's here

  • Focus of technique
  • Muscles used
  • Sequence of phases
  • Video checkpoints

see also


Focus of technique

Maximum power thru the skis -- on both sides -- aided by maximum reactive side-force.

  • compromise pole-push motion to achieve optimum skate-push
  • minimize up-and-down motion to focus on side-to-side torso-swing

Analysis of approach

There's no overall beauty to the V1 skate sequence -- no unifying concept which is the key to learning it.  It's just a bunch of useful actions, each with effective physics / biomechanics on its own.

The learning process is to start to "feel the physics" of each one.  Then refine and optimize each action.

The long-term key is to find some trick for noticing when you've forgotten one of the actions and fallen back onto a non-optimal old version of it.

Muscles used

[ to be added


Sequence of Phases

[ to be added


special recovery path for recovery-side arm

After the finish of its pole-push downward and backward -- instead of recovering directly forward to get ready for the next pole-push -- the recovery-side arm can make two moves: (1) first outward toward the side, then (2) inward and forward and across toward the other side.

What to do with the pole? It seems to work out OK if the pole is held loosely during these moves, so the tip of the pole does not follow the arm in moving outward.

If timed accurately, the outward arm-swing move can add propulsive work in the following ways:

  • the acceleration of the outward move adds force to the poling-side leg-push

  • the deceleration of the outward move adds force to the recovery-side leg-push

Timing:  For maximum contribution to propulsive work, the outward move of the arm should be synchronized with the torso side-swing move toward the recovery-side -- which might require a small delay after the finish of the pole-push: hold back, then go quick. The key is that the starting and acceleration of the move occur during the last phase of the poling-side leg-push, achieving maximum sideways speed during transfer of weight to the other leg, then the deceleration and stopping occur after the recovery-side leg has been set-down and started the first phase of its leg-push.

Inward move: Elite racers as of 2005 seem to start the next pole-push simultaneous with the set-down of the poling-side, or a bit earlier than set-down. In either case the deceleration of the inward move must occur while the recovery-side leg is still pushing -- so the acceleration and deceleration work of the inward move are self-cancelling.

But there's another possibility:

If the start of the recovery-side arm's pole-push move were delayed until after the start of the poling-side leg-push, then both the acceleration and the deceleration of the inward arm-recovery move would be propulsive -- in addition to the outward move.

So why don't elite racers do this?  I suspect it's because they they want to get the pole-push move started immediately on set-down of the other leg -- and the first phase of the pole-push if mostly the spine-torso crunch move downward and backward. The main role of the arms in this phase of the pole-push is to "rigidly" transmit the force of from the spine-torso crunch -- instead of the arms collapsing and absorbing the crunch move. The problem is that it's difficult for one single arm to transmit the force of the crunch without collapsing -- which is what could happen if they delayed the start of the recovery-side arm's pole-push.

Video checkpoints

[ to be added


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