The following is a translated and summarized from an original article by Inge Scheve originally appearing on SkiAktiv.no in February 2013. Reuse rights exclusively for AXCS membership.
Ski technique is all about hips. Get the hips up and forward. The hip moves the leg forward, or else your weight transfer will suffer. And if the weight transfer is off, everything else is too.
“It’s all about hips. That’s where everything starts,” says Anita Moen.
The former national team racer with 18 years tenure on the Norwegian National team is now running her own ski clinics in Trysil, and her observation is that weight transfer is the number one issue most skiers have to work on. And that goes regardless of proficiency level and ambitions.
Hips are everything
Getting the hips forward and high is crucial for weight transfer both for classic and skate. Getting the hips forward can mean the difference between a good and a bad ski experience, and it can mean the difference between medal and list filler in a championship.
“When I look back at my career, there are lots of good memories and a few blisters,” Moen says.
She vividly recalls the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City where she lost the gold medal because she didn’t focus on getting her hips forward and high.
“A silver medal is good, but we were within reach of the gold all the way until I had 40 meters to go,” Moen says, adding that watching that video clip is a sore topic for her.
“I see so clearly what I do wrong. If I had focused on the hip work, I would have snagged the gold. This goes to show how important it is to stay focused at every level,” Moen explains.
Do lots of no-pole skiing
Weight transfer doesn’t just happen. It requires balance and technique and you have to work on it. Moen recommends doing lots of no-pole skiing.
“When you ski without poles, you can’t cheat on the weight transfer. Focus on keeping your weight on the front part of your foot, push your leg forward using you hip and milk each glide,” Moen says.
Tip: If you hear a slamming noise in the track when you ski, that’s not because you’re so wicked fast but a sign that you need to work on your balance and weight transfer needs work and that’s why you plant your ski behind your body, with a slam, Moen says, adding that practice makes perfect.