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The Importance of double pole.

When I am coaching a new skier, the first technique I teach them is double pole.- To me, double pole is the most important technique to master because the motions and power application transfer directly to both V2 and V2-alternate in skating.- Yes- contrary to popular belief, if you want to be good at skating, you must first become competent in double poling.

The most common problem that I see in skiers is that they do not understand how to apply power with their upper bodies.- This winter I encourage you to make it a goal to double pole. In my last article, I stated that most people skiing do not have enough upper body strength.- Well... The way to get the specific upper body strength is to double pole-A LOT!- The winners of the 90-kilometer Vasaloppet in Sweden often opt to race the classic race on skate skis and double pole the whole race!- Double poling is easily done on skate gear.
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Here are some of the things I look for in a good double pole:
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1: high hands and bent at 90degrees/forward elbows-- hands above eye level to begin the motion, elbows as- far in front of the body as possible. Plant poles in snow 1-2 feet in front of your toes.
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2: A powerful downward motion with a rounded head and upper back- remember-your poles are attached to your arms, but it is the crunch of your core that produces the power and NOT your arms.-
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3: Finish the motion bent over with hands hanging loose at your side.- You should be bent over enough that your hands hang loosely at knee level.- Do not let hands go way behind your body
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4: Lead back up to the high position with your hands!- You should never be standing in the high position with your hands at your side!- This is the most common error people make in double pole
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5: Stay relaxed- Never lock out knees or ankles in any position and keep weight on the middle to balls of your feet instead of keeping weight on the hills
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Once you have figured out double pole, the next step is to take the power application from this technique and apply it to V2-the most important skate technique.- This is accomplished by switching back and forth from 10 double poles to 10 V2's over and over again.- The snow is almost here.- Get ready to make the improvements!