The Straight Arm Push Down
I don’t care what snow sport you’re into, chances are if you’re plan is to slide downhill in the snow, no matter how fast or slow you’re going, you better learn how to control your edges.
Turn a ski sideways to the hill and the fine metal edge running along the length of it basically acts like a big scraper. The harder you dig it into the snow, the more stopping power you have.
Normally, those edges are attached to you by boots and bindings of some kind or another, and it normally takes someone quite a long time to build up the strength and coordination to control everything with their lower body.
With the Skki, handlebars make all the difference, and working those handlebars can be,... well, work. In order to get the skis on their edge, you have to pull the handlebars off to the side, cambering the vehicle and presenting the edges to the slope. The harder you lean, the more edge you bring to bear.
Compare to a “straight arm pull down” exercise. Your (uphill) arm is extending away from you as you press your weight forward onto the front ski. You are supporting your own weight, while also trying to push the handlebar away, and into a lean. Your twitch muscles are firing because you also must control your turning by counter steering so as not to fishtail. So, weight forward, press with the uphill arm, and counter-steer. It’s great work for the upper body, and for the concentration.
As a side note, this arm press is a similar move to that of “downhilling” on wheels – (all balance / deep carving / 10% grade or more / no brakes – keeping to 3–4 mph max.) It is a very different skill, and it’s not about speed. Most people focus so much attention on hill climbing, that they’ve never really spent time mastering the slow, tough dance of coordination that is down hill carving. (But I’ll save that for another article.)
Anyway, whether you’re male or female, being able to get the added bonus of a little firming workout in your triceps, biceps and shoulders just from sliding down a mountain all day is NOT a bad gig.
Here’s one thing though ... When you’re all done at the end of the day, instead of your legs feeling like noodles and your upper body wondering what you’ve been doing all day, I can promise you that you’ll instead feel a nice little burn from your shoulders to your toes.
You will certainly sleep well that night. Enjoy!
Dir. Trikke Academy /Trainer Program USA