How To Master The Skierg To Become More Competitive

The skierg is an endurance implement mainly used in high-intensity functional training protocols and often seen in CrossFit programming. Skierg was originally developed as a functional training tool for Nordic skiers. However, like other machines and tools that often have you questioning your fitness level, such as the flipsled, and the original assault bike, the skierg has become a staple exercise and movement. We’re going to talk more about how you can get better and master the skierg, to make it one of your strongest points in programming.

What Is Skierg 

The ski-ergometer or just skierg, was created to produce ergogenic benefit and improve athletic performance variables for skiers. Double-poling capacity for skiers is paramount for long-distance Nordic skiing.  

It’s common that elite skiers will use skis without kick wax and rely solely on generating force from double poling. As a part of this development, cross-country-skiing research has put a large emphasis on the double-poling technique, and since the skierg was born [R]

In addition to technique, the skierg enhances aerobic and endurance capacity, improving VO2 max and oxygen consumption, making it a valuable tool for high-intensity training protocols.

How To Master The Skierg

The skierg may not look like a difficult machine to use and that’s because it’s not. What is challenging, is to generate enough force, while pacing and keeping up your momentum to outrun your competition.

1. Positioning

When you start, you’ll be in the triple extension position, think long arm extension. Triple extension occurs when your arms are fully extended overhead with your hands grasping the handles, hips open, and legs fully extended and straight. The point here is to be as long as possible, keeping your torso and spine stretched to generate more force and power at the highest point of the erg that your anatomical build will allow.

Like the rowing machine, the skierg is not just an upper body exercise it’s a full body movement When using the skierg correctly, your legs will also be engaged along with your core in one fluid movement.

When you start the pull from the triple extension your arms will be bent at 90 degrees forming a right angle. You will be sending all your energy from that initial pull through your body from head to toe, engaging your core, generating power from the hips to the arms. You will be shifting your weight to your glutes, hinging at the hips and pulling all in one fluid motion.

At the bottom of the movement, your hips should be fully extended and hinged, with your chest facing down, and your arms lengthening fully at your sides.  

One thing to avoid, is squatting down as opposed to keeping your hips hinging, pushing back. If you squat you will lose leverage and momentum.

Finishing, your arms should flow through the pockets. Popping your chest back up and arms extended again, will help you breath effectively with an open chest. All of the work and energy is generated at the top of the pull. The follow through will only account for a small portion of that energy. Therefore, loading, crunching down, hinging your hips and pushing through will be 80% of the generated force, with 20% at the finishing sequence.

2. Efficiency and Consistency

Ultimately the key to the skierg is about energy efficiency and consistency in movement. Each stroke and pull should match the one before it and be similar to the one after it as much as possible. The point here, is that you want and try to keep the calorie or meter stroke number the same, avoiding ramping the fan up and down, but keeping consistent strokes. Once the momentum gets going you want to keep it there, otherwise you will be expending a significant amount of energy generating the force back up.

When you adjust the damper, you want to be between a 2-4 to highlight inconsistencies and create efficient movement.

3. The Recovery

When you finish the movement and push through, dropping your chest, squatting, and cutting the stroke short, are some common mistakes you want to avoid. The recovery or how you return to staring position, you want to think about your arms and your hip movements. Once you are pulled all the way through with your arms, you will want to return reaching your arms straight back up to the top, extending your hips back up to the top of the erg, with an open position, breathing in, chest up, then pulling straight back down.

Skierg Benefits

Burns More Calories

Because the skierg is a full body movement, you will burn more calories as compared to other exercises or machines. Like the rowing machine, the skierg is low impact and with consistent and efficient strokes, you will burn a consistent amount of calories. On average, you can burn up to 12 calories per minute. Although you won’t be performing skierg for a long duration, as you would with running, or cycling, you can incorporate the skierg into your training for a quick way to get your heart race up and burn more body fat.

Builds Endurance Capacity 

Skierg can greatly benefit your endurance capacity. There are really two ways you can improve endurance with the skierg – sprints and steady state cardio. Sprints, or short duration endurance intervals can help build VO2 max, and muscular endurance. Steady state aerobic work will help increase and build endurance capacity. By incorporating both types of work, you will incrementally become more effective and efficient with your endurance training.

Increases Core Strength

From the top of the movement in triple extension, you core is lengthened, then you come into a crunch position, when your arms kick down behind you, essentially working as a crunch. Therefore, with each and every pull, you are working your core and increasing your core strength.


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