One Ski Diagonal Stride Drill

The One Ski Striding Drill, also sometimes called the Scooter Drills, is a drill for practicing the leg work in diagonal stride in a more controlled manner than when skiing freely on two skis. By skiing on one ski and practicing a single stride at a time, you can zero in on various details of the stride movement and practice with more precision and control.

The interesting thing about this drill is that you can use it in multiple ways, just by changing your focus. If you feel that balancing on your glide ski is your biggest challenge, then that’s where you’ll put your focus, but if you want to work on your kick, you can focus instead on how you load your foot and push against the ground.

The Set Up Checklist

  1. Take one ski off and place the remaining ski in the “wrong” track, so you don’t damage the tracks. (e.g. right ski in left track).
  2. Slide the ski back and forth against the snow to ensure the grip zone is free of snow.
  3. Balance on one foot, the no-ski leg. The stance leg is slightly flexed at the hip, knee and ankle. Take the time to feel your weight across your foot. It should be balanced between the inner and outer line of the foot, biased towards the front of the foot.
  4. Extend the other foot behind you, so the tail of the ski is off the ground and the tip is in the track. Bend the knee.
  5. Bring the arms into position. Whichever leg has the ski, the arm on that side comes forward.
  6. Check your posture: neutral spine and head position, shoulders down and neutral. No tension in the neck and shoulders.

The Action

  1. “Drop and pop” off the stance leg as you swing the arms in opposition. Push the foot down and back against the snow in a jump-like movement.
  2. Step onto the gliding ski with a flexed leg – it will be easier to balance and will more closely mimic actual diagonal striding if your shin is angled forward as you step onto your ski.
  3. Pay as much attention to the leg that doesn’t have a ski as the glide leg. As you glide onto the ski, keep the other foot floating behind you. It’s important to keep some separation between the legs as you glide. The back leg is an important counterweight that helps you balance on your glide ski in a more forward position.
  4. Avoid the temptation to take more than one step. Scootering along the trail invariably leads to poor positioning. Go back to the start of the checklist to set up for the next practice stride.

Suggestions for Focus of Attention

  • Strong, dynamic push off against the ground with the no-ski leg. The push should move you forward more than up. Don’t turn it into an upward leap or jump.
  • Strong, fluid arm movement to encourage free counter rotation of the shoulders and hips.
  • Come onto the glide ski with a flexed knee and strong forward shin angle. The leg should straighten as you glide.
  • Balancing on the glide ski with the trailing leg relaxed behind you and the body weight forward on the base of the foot.

Ask questions about Diagonal Stride HERE.