On this page, I want to talk about your arm position. The correct pole action stabilizes the upper body and minimizes the need for gross upper body movements, putting the finishing touch in your technique and making you look good on the hill.
First you need to know what the correct arm position is. Put your arms in front of you and place your polls horizontal in your hands. The key is to hold your poles at the chest level, away from your body with hands wide apart.
As you link turns, hold the poles level and steady. From the first turns, you will find that it is difficult to turn. That is true because, in this position, your hands and arms are virtually frozen. This position makes your feet work first! That’s exactly what I’m looking for.
You have to begin your turn from your feet. The more you repeat this exercise, the more comfortable your feet will be. Your feet will wake up! Now let’s try it with the poles in a good stance. Hold your arms in exactly the same position as before with your pole straps on. Keep your arms wide apart and pushing forward. Make some turns without pole touches, just keeping your arms in the right position. Feel comfortable with it.
Here is a picture of what it should look like.
The next exercise is the double pole plant. Try to start practicing from a static position, after that in traverse. Keep in mind rhythm and timing. Practice moving your poles with the wristbefore starting to ski. Point the ski tips down the slope and hands forward toward your ski tips. Now you are ready to make your turns. Make medium radius turns first. Tap both of your pole tips before every turn. Reach forward so the touch is well ahead ofyour boots, up by the ski tips. Lift the pole tip quickly and prepare for the next turn. Remember — you have to use your wrists, not your arms, to create the movements.
Plant the pole… then push the arm.Use wrist action on one pole to move the pole tip into position on the same side you wish to turn on. The arm that is not moving should be kept in a stance position, at ease, but ready. You have to always be ready for the next pole swing and touch. Remember: do not drop your inside hand. That will allow better pointing action which, in turn, will improve your edge grip, carving control, and upper body stability.
That is what it’s supposed to look like
Tip — imagine that you are driving a stick-shift car, shifting from second gear to the third.
Keep all this in mind and you will be the best on the hill. Have fun and good luck.