XC Skiing: Diagonal Stride - Cue for a Better Kick

XC Skiing: Diagonal Stride - Cue for a Better Kick

Dick Moss

When performing the diagonal stride, beginners often make the mistake of lifting their kick foot too early. In fact, it's more effective to maintain contact with the snow as long as possible in order to maximize backward drive against the snow's surface.

Performance Cue
A cue your students can use is to keep their drive foot on the ground as long as possible while pushing downward and back.

The foot should not be consciously lifted--it should only leave the ground as the result of this powerful backward push.

Coaching Tip
As a coach, you can tell when this is being performed by watching body position at the end of the backward push. The foot should be in contact with the snow until the leg is extended - it should form a straight line with the forward lean of the upper body (see diagram).


1. J. Scott McGee and Luca Diana, Basic Illustrated Cross-Country Skiing, Falcon Guides, 2012.

2. Keith Nicol, "Classic Ski Tips--Get More Leg Push." Keith Nicol--Nordic Ski Tips, 2007. http://www.swgc.mun.ca/~knicol/nordic%20classic.htm


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