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Endurance Strength training / top 10 double pole tips

By Glenn Bond

Strength training uses periodization principals similar to endurance training and intensity training.

There is no question that xc skiing has more power involved than in the past.  XC Skiing is a power/ endurance sport.  All the top athletes are strength training 2-3 times per week.

I believe endurance strength is the best bang for the buck. (best use of time) Yes, power strength is used to increase max power, which many coaches do use with elite athletes but that cycle of power strength is relatively short compared to the time spent on endurance strength.

I use the same strength routine for 4 weeks then mix it up to provide variety.

Here is a simple yet effective strength session:

1 hour Endurance strength session (you will need a bar with weight and dumb bells- that is it)

45 seconds on

15 seconds rest  between each exercise (I use time rather than reps) (use the same weight for each exercise) Move from one exercise to the next.

Warm up 10-15 minutes on spin bike or run

Dynamic stretch for 5 minutes – leg swings, arm circles, air squats, inch worm, lunges (no weight yet)

Light weight (use 20-80 lbs) I use 40-50 lbs on a bar (total weight)

Exercise #1 clean and press over head

Exercise #2 squats (bar on shoulders)

Exercise #3 lunges (bar on shoulders) 22 seconds each side finish one side then do next side

Exercise #4 lat pulls/ rows – roll shoulders back, hinge at the hips a bit, keep back and core engaged, pull bar to chest, be careful not to hurt the back

Exercise #5 dead lifts

Exercise #6 shoulder press with dumb bells (10-20 lbs each)

Exercise #7 traveling push ups (push up, then move sideways 6-8 inches holding your body flat, push up, move side ways to start location and continue)

then rest 1 minute

Repeat 5 times

Then core

30 seconds on (crawl planks)(crawl forward 1-2 meter then crawl back, repeat)

30 seconds bicycles (elbow to opposite knee)

30 seconds scissors

rest 30 seconds

repeat 3 times

then stretch for 5-10 minutes

Focus on opening the hips up and stretching the front side of your core (Corba pose)

Do this routine 2 times per week. (3 if strength is your weakness)

Increase weight as needed, you should see improvement within 2-3 weeks

Focus on quality movements/ hold your form / alignment.  All ways have your core engaged protecting your spine/ back.

Some double pole tips:

  1. keep your elbows locked at 90 degrees

  2. hands shoulder width apart

  3. elbows in relaxed position (you are not holding up your elbows)

  4. shoulders relaxed and back in nature position (not rotated forward)

  5. hands start at eye level and finish at hips (cheek to cheek)

  6. core is engaged to protect spine and allow force to be applied to the snow

  7. hips and hands come down together and up together

  8. Note: double pole is now 50% legs and 50% upper body (lat muscles (Latissimi dorsi) are the big muscles in the back we want to engage for a strong double pole)

  9. Start standing tall with good posture

  10. Watch some current world cup videos and have fun improving your double pole technique. Double pole is also used in one skate and two skate (V2 and V1). 

Have Fun,

Glenn Bond is an elite skier and coach.   He hosts Glenn Bond XC SKI CAMPS across Canada and provides personal coaching. He has 30 years experience in xc ski racing and raced at the international level. He has worked at the Olympics and World Cup with Atomic Race Services.