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Jan 5, 2011: Volume 12, Number 39


Specific Strength Workouts



Elite, recreational and novice skiers alike can increase their enjoyment and performance this winter by working on ski specific upper-body strength and strength endurance.  Whether you are racing, touring or backcountry skiing, arm, back and stomach (core) strength are essential to making the most of your outing, avoiding bogging down on steep sections or with slick wax, and gaining considerable time on your opponents (who aren't as well prepared as you). At the same time, while there is a place for beach muscles, that place is not at km 40 of the Birkie. Here are a few methods to gain strength that is specific to cross-country skiing.


Novice and Recreational skiers: folks just getting into cross- ountry skiing and those who ski recreationally - even those blessed with bulging biceps, can struggle on skis simply because they haven't built up the proper muscle groups in the proper way. The key is doing many repetitions using ski specific muscle groups. This doesn't require a trip to the weight room, or any equipment, or for that mater much an investment in time. Some favorite skier exercises are dips, crunches and sit-ups, pushups and, (gulp) pull-ups. Dips can be performed with a chair or, if you're strong, two chairs. Simply sit on the chair normally and grip the chair's seat on either side of your rear with your hands (so the heels of your hands sit flush on the chair). Stretch your legs out before you or prop them up in front of you on another chair (makes dips harder). Slide your butt off the chair so that your arms support the bulk of your weight. Bend your arms at the elbows as if you were lowering yourself timidly into a hot tub. Rapidly straighten your arms, as if the tub is too hot - and repeat. To make dips easier pull your legs in so that they support more of your weight.



With pushups, keep your hands and elbows narrow to focus on the back and triceps rather than the chest. With both exercises, go from a near straight arm to a 90degree bend. To make pushups easier support your weight on your knees rather than your toes, or do pushups against a wall instead of the floor. Pull-ups can be done in any playground, on a laundry pole, a stout tree limb, etc... to make pull-ups easier, put your feet on a chair to support some of your weight. In general you want to be quick on the up motion and slower on the lowering motion. Do one to three sets of 20 to 40 repetitions of each exercise. Stomach work is quite important and doing a variety of crunches and sit-ups in a virtually non-stop and varied routine of 5 to 10 minutes will yield big results in only a few weeks (An Olympian we know  does an 8 minute routine of 8 exercises of a minute each, almost every morning. The routine includes a variety of stomach crunches and leg lifts). The whole workout can take as little as 10 to 20 minutes - and, done 2 to 5 times a week will really make skiing easier and more enjoyable. Recreational skiers (as well as racers) will also benefit by using ski poles for hiking and running in the weeks before skiing. Kayaking and other upper-body intensive work is also recommended, but don't forget to try to combine upper and lower-body work in a ski specific fashion for maximum crossover effect.


More next week. 





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Hi, I have Grip Tape questions.


What is the difference between Black and Red Grip tape? 

A few folks at this year's Park City National Nordic Coaches symposium also said they had heard longer duration of tape life w/ironing. Is this true?




Extensively tested, Start Grip Tape is easy and fast to apply. It is suitable for racing, training and recreational skiing. Extremely durable it is able to remain on the ski base for an entire skiing season - hundreds of kilometres. There is no need to change waxes according to the temperature, Start Grip Tape always works across a very wide temperature range.

Red is the standard for all conditions from -4F to 41F it is the original Grip Tape for the recreational and fitness skier, who appreciate easy and durable kick waxing. Black, also referred to as Pro, and is a slightly less sticky grip surface for racing speed. -4F to 30F 


But Yes, it is possible to iron the tape but just to refresh it. You can refresh the grip tape with ironing. Low temp just like applying base wax. You can do it bare like binder wax or with parchment paper between. This is normally made after using tape some weeks actively (min  after 250km). Ironing refresh the grip abilities and actually brings fresh grip stuff from  tape on the top (and mixes also the dirt which has been fasten in the tape surface. But when there is too much dirt the grip abilities are gone and the tape should be changed!


Andy G



We have been using grip tape extensively this past week in Sun Valley  Idaho with great feedback from numerous skiers in difficult waxing conditions around 32.  We are even recommending it to recreation racers at this weekend's Snowmaker Classic race at Prairie Creek



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wood ski bench


The New World Wax table is a top of the line team table at an economy price.  Super rugged and stable, with the largest range of accessories of any brand, this is a table for everyone!  From innovative parts such as the spring loaded cam clamp, to handy standard items such as the power strip and small parts bag, the New World table will delight the veteran waxer as well as the novice.  Frustrated by the poor quality of medium priced tables, and equally frustrated by the over-priced team tables, Woodski, Inc. took on the challenge to create a new table that meets the needs of everyone while keeping the price to a point where even individuals will buy one for themselves.


The table starts at $395 and accessories range from the $15. spring loaded wire clamp to $69. for a custom cordura travel cover.  Other accessories include a garbage bag holder, ski rack, iron holder, and lower shelf.  The table comes in two heights (and custom heights are available upon request!)  and can be used by one or two waxers. The frame is welded aluminum tubing (doubled on top for strength and accessories) and the hinges and fasteners are stainless steel.  The table top is tough Baltic birch ply.   More information is at the website www.woodrollerski.com


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West Yellowstone Rendezvous


3rd Annual Rendezvous  March 3, 2012

Great Skiing in West Yellowstone!   


The Rendezvous Ski Trails in West Yellowstone, Montana are in great shape with the entire trail system groomed for both skate and classic skiing.   Elevation and natural snowfall have been our friends this season, and skiers here have been spoiled with fantastic, mid-winter conditions all season.


Make plans now to enjoy some of the best skiing in the world, and mark your calendars for the 33rd annual Yellowstone Rendezvous Race, on March 3, 2012, sponsored by Yellowstone National Park Lodges.


The Yellowstone Rendezvous Race is a cornerstone of cross-country skiing in West Yellowstone, and is part of the American Ski Marathon Series.  There are six different races offered for skiers of all ages.  Marathoners can enter the 50 kilometer freestyle race, which consists of two laps around the perimeter of the Rendezvous Ski Trail system.  Racers can enter the 25 kilometer events under classic or freestyle technique, with the 10k as a great choice for those preferring a shorter distance. The 5k and 2k races are geared for kids... bring the whole family!


The Rendezvous Race is a fun, festive event in a unique location.  The camaraderie at the start is evident and follows racers along the course.  To support racers in the 25 or 50k division, local community groups staff feed stations along the trails, and the theme this year is "Pirates".  Look for eye patches, hooks, hats, and of course, treasure.  Bragging rights are on the line.  Racers vote for their favorite feed station and the winners gloat for the rest of the year.


For most skiers, crossing the finish line is the goal.  The fastest skiers will be rewarded with medals and cash prizes at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening.  All racers are invited to treat themselves to the complimentary desert bar at the Holiday Inn after the race. 


For more information, please visit: www.rendezvousrace.com.  




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About SkiPost

Cross-Country skiing's community lodge. Where knowledge and stories are shared. The goal of SkiPost is to make the sport of Cross-Country skiing easier and more enjoyable for all who choose to participate. If you have questions on Cross-Country Skiing see www.SkiPost.com or email us at weanswer@skipost.com

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Andrew Gerlach
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