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Workout of the Week: Develop Roller Ski Skills and Balance
By: Pierre-Olivier Dorego (2005/09/29)
Workout Type: Technique
Exertion Level: Easy
Skier Level: Any
Technique: N/A
Season: Dryland
Terrain: Varied

Suggested Trails:

Equipment: Rollerskis


I’m going to describe a few drills I like to do that develop skills and balance on roller skis. After mastering theses exercises, you’ll feel more comfortable during training and make more confident movements, which will greatly help you develop better technique.

First of all, you need to be rolling to do all of the following exercises. I suggest that beginners use skate boots with classic skis and experts classic boots with skate skis.

Warning: Some of the drills can be really hard and somewhat dangerous with classic boots and skate skis… You are encouraged to use your common sense here!

Exercise #1: One legged dips.

Here you want to stand on one leg, go down and up, down and up… You upper body needs to stay still, no swinging with your arms. You can put your resting leg in front of you and have only the back wheel touch the ground. You can also keep it in the air. You can stay in the bent leg position from 2 to 5 seconds. Don’t forget to do both legs.

Exercise # 2: Tippy toe balance

Here the objective is to stay balanced on the tips of your toes as long as you can. Again you need to try to keep your upper body still. Don't swinging your arms.

Exercise #3: The 8 loop

Here you are going to loop around a figure 8, switching sides every now and then. The tighter the loop, the harder it is. You can put 2 water bottles on the ground to go around, moving them closer together to make it harder.

Exercise #4: The grass skiing

This one is very simple, find a grassy hill and ski on it like you would with normal terrain. Go up and down the hill. The uneven surface will make you work to stay smooth. When going down, put one ski just a bit further in front of the other one and put you weight on the one on the back (Tele style). This is by far my favorite exercise, when going uphill, you can really feel like you are on snow.

Finally if you’ve mastered all of theses exercises, I have one last challenge for you. The infamous roller ski wheelie. You want to hit a decent speed and then balance on your back wheels. With classic boots, I can hold it to 10 maybe 15 seconds and with skate boots I can hold it for over 20 seconds. Here the swinging arms are a must.


The only limit to theses kinds of drills is your imagination…

Good Luck,

More Workout Suggestions . . .
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