Cross-country skiing is a passion for some and a popular winter cross-training activity for others. Those lucky enough to have access to snowy XC skiing trails can enjoy the benefits of outdoor, whole-body exercise in the winter.
Two styles, to be more precise. The Cross-country skiing races vary by the adopted technique which the participants use to cover the required distance.
The classic technique, as the name suggest, is the oldest one. The skis remain parallel to each other at all time, with the skier’s body moving similarly to walking.
Forward movement is achieved thanks to weight shifting and a better grip level of the middle section of the ski which, when pressed to the snow, allows the skier to push off and glide forward. Using ski poles helps skiers push off better and improve stability.
The skate (free) technique is similar to ice skating or roller skating. It is much faster and demands a better body coordination.
There are important differences between the classic and skate equipment. The classic skis are longer and are selected depending on the weight of the skier. The middle section of the classic skis provides grip, either thanks to a special wax or a permanent texture. The classic poles are shorter and the boots are flexible.
When the roads are too slippery to run or cycle, extend your endurance season and maintain your fitness by training cross-country skiing.