Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Fitness Training

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Description

Nordic, or cross-country, skiing is an activity which works all of the major muscle groups and greatly contributes to improved cardiorespiratory fitness, muscular strength, endurance and coordination. It involves skiing across a variety of terrain by propelling oneself forward using ski poles and a striding motion. It is recommended that beginning Nordic skiers seek out a qualified instructor to teach them proper technique and safety procedures.

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Warnings

  • Those suffering from chronic injuries to the lower back, knees, ankles, elbows, hips, shoulders or wrists should seek medical clearance before beginning this type of activity.
  • Remain aware and cautious of environmental considerations.

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Risks

  • Muscle strains of calf, shoulders, lower back or groin
  • Thumb, toe, ankle or knee sprains
  • Tendinitis, primarily in triceps (from poling)
  • Cuts and bruises from falls, branches or accidents with poles
  • Broken bones, fractures or concussions from bad falls
  • Weather-related risks: extreme cold, sunburn, sun damage to eyes
  • Environmental risks such as avalanches
  • Altitude sickness

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Sport-specific applications

  • National, international and Olympic level event
  • Forms part of Nordic biathlon event in winter sports

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Equipment required

  • Boots: lightweight, comfortable and flexible
  • Bindings: attach boots only at toes, not at heels
  • Skis: lighter and longer than alpine skis, usually made from fiberglass or plastic compounds
  • Poles: lighter and longer than alpine poles, need safety strap
  • Goggles: eye protection from the elements
  • Helmet (optional): should be hard shell
  • Clothing: should be waterproof, provide warmth and fit snugly; cross-country skiers need lighter clothes than downhill skiers

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Applicable substitutions

  • Ice skating
  • In-line roller skating with poles
  • Cycling
  • Cross-country skiing simulators
  • Interval sprint training (running uphill )

Skiing - Nordic, Cross-country Reference sources, organizations and publications

  • U.S. Nordic Skiing: c/o U.S. Skiing, PO Box 100, Park City, UT 84060, (801) 649­9090
  • U.S. Biathlon Association (USBA): PO Box 5515, Essex Junction, VT 05453, (802) 655­4592 (Nordic Biathlon)
  • NCAA: 6201 College Blvd., Overland Park, KS 66211­2422, (913) 339­1906



Fitness Benefits

  • Cardiorespiratory 5
  • Flexibility 2
  • Muscular Strength 2
  • Muscular Endurance 5
  • Body Fat Recution 5

Fitness Requirements

  • Cardiorespiratory 3
  • Flexibility 2
  • Muscular Strength 1
  • Muscular Endurance 4
  • Coordination/Skill 2

Muscle groups used

Primary muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, shoulders, biceps, triceps, gluteals, hip flexors, hip abductors and forearms Assistance muscles: lower back (erector spinae), abdominals, calves and upper back (latissimus dorsi)

Energy expenditure

Approximately 0.068 Calories per minute per pound of body weight

Fitness Facts home | Skiing - Downhill, Alpine fitness | Skiing - Nordic Ski Machine fitness

© 1992-2017, All rights reserved. May not be reproduced in any medium without written permission.