Is it time to stop using the “Ab Crunch” cue? – Cross Country Ski Technique

Is it time to stop using the “Ab Crunch” cue?

I don’t usually make long videos (20 min) for YouTube, but the “ab crunch” cue is so deeply entrenched in cross-country skiing that it merits a thorough discussion.

You don’t need to watch this the screen to get the gist of my arguments, so go ahead and multitask!

Here are some of the reasons I don’t like this cue:

  1. It encourages flexion in the spine, which scientists who research spine biomechanics advise against.
  2. You should be able to flex your torso forward to power your pole push by moving at theĀ  hip joint and maintaining a neutral spine. (More likely “neutral-ish”, since most of us already lost that…)
  3. You can still use your “abs”, even if you don’t flex your spine.
  4. We already flex our spines forward way too much!

And, to be a good sport, here is a reason to like the “Crunch” cue:

  1. It may help skiers use their poles more powerfully.

It takes forever for out of date cues to pass away. I still hear skiers say you should turn your torso to face each ski in skate skiing. (That’s an ancient idea.)

I’m sure skiers will be “crunching” for years to come, but maybe this video will prompt some much-needed debate.

Want to add to the list of pros and cons? Leave a comment below.

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