The SkiErg greatly engages the upper body and core but don’t underestimate the role of the legs on each pull. A bend in the knees helps drive the body weight as the core is engaged in a forward crunch. There are four drills to help understand the value of involving the legs in your drive.
1. Alternate Legs/No Legs
Begin with 10 pulls of normal full-body skiing. Take note of your pace, displayed in the center of display on the PM. Switch to 10 pulls where you keep your legs totally straight. Again, check your pace. Then take 10 pulls with legs, and, again, 10 without legs. What did you notice? For most people, the pace is much slower when the legs are not used, and it feels harder to get power into the pull.
2. One-Legged Skiing
Start skiing for about 10 pulls. Shift your balance to stand on just one leg for the next 10 pulls, then switch to the other leg for 10 pulls, and finally back to regular 2-legged skiing. Repeat the sequence several more times. This is a good balance exercise that helps you appreciate the added power you can produce when using both legs.
3. Getting the Right Amount of Leg Involvement
Take 10 pulls keeping your legs completely straight. Then, take 10 pulls where you finish in a squat position (deep knee bend). Find the perfect position in between those two. You should finish the pull with knees comfortably bent.
4. SkiErg Ball Squats
Place a stool or exercise ball behind you to serve as the target for your squat. Aim to tap the target each pull. On each pull, aim for horizontal thighs in a squat position.