Nordic Blading – preparation for the cross-country skiing season

Nordic Blading - preparation for the cross-country skiing season

The skiing and cross-country skiing season is approaching. Nordic blading is a good option for the impatient: inline skating with sticks in cross-country freestyle. The body is stressed holistically and well-trained. Nordic walking has meanwhile gained a permanent place in the fitness programs of all sports organizers. Nordic blading proves that intensive walking can be improved: cross-country skiing with inline skates.

What is Nordic Blading?

Anyone who thinks that Nordic Blading is still a young trend sport is wrong. At least the principle of roller skating has been known for over 200 years. As early as 1760, the Belgian John Josef Merlin made wheels under his skates and called them “Patins á roues alignées” – roller skates with wheels in a row. In 1863, the American James Leonard Plimpton made roller skates with four wooden wheels, two in front and two behind. In 1894, the rubber goods factory Bäumcher & Co. launched tire roller skates with two tires in a row.

Finally, the American Scott Olson, an ice hockey player, made roller skates with the wheels in a row: the inline skates were born. He called them “Rollerblades” and became rich. Inline skates or rollerblades have become an integral part of fitness.


Gentle on the joints, yes, but risk of injury

Experienced drivers reach 20 to 30 km/h, significantly faster when going downhill. Broken bones and bruises are the most common injuries in older people in the femoral neck area, but wrists, forearms, lower legs, head and face are also affected. In addition to protective equipment such as a helmet, knee, and wrist protectors, it always makes sense to learn Nordic skating under the guidance of a trainer.

Because it’s not that easy to coordinate arm and leg movements at this speed, to practice braking techniques and to keep your balance, not to bend your feet inwards and to keep enough distance from the other drivers, but thanks to the sticks, for some it is even easier to learn to skate than without support. All forms of endurance training, interval training, long-distance training, speed and strength are trained with Nordic blading. Using your arms means more muscles are used than with “normal” skating.

According to the sports physician Dr Klaus Gerlach, it is 40 per cent more effective than just skating. In addition to the leg muscles, the entire upper body, including the back and stomach, is trained. All in all, around 90 per cent of the skeletal muscles are used. Those who are reasonably well-trained process about 600 kcal per hour. The joints are protected by impact-free movement, and the combination of arm and leg movements trains the coordination skills.

Techniques like cross-country skiing

The Nordic blading technique is similar to the movement of cross-country skiing with symmetrical and asymmetrical sequences. For example, you move forward with the double pole push, which means letting yourself roll slowly, bending your upper body a little, lifting your arms to shoulder height and putting them on the ground in front of you, then pushing off vigorously. You have to pull your arms back and straighten your upper body again.

With the two-to-one technique, the arm movement is started with every second step, for example, whenever the right leg is in front. When rolling on the left leg, the upper body straightens up again, and the arms swing backwards. The one-to-one technique, a faster variation, combines each leg thrust with the arm movement. The sticks made of carbon are similar to cross-country skiing sticks but are equipped with a combi tip made of metal and rubber or with special Nordic blading tips to offer optimal grip on asphalt. The optimal length is calculated using the following formula: Height (in cm) x 0.9 + 2.5 cm.


Skike als Variante des Nordic Blading

A variant of Nordic Blading is Skiken. In contrast to inline skates, a spike has only two wheels, one in front of the other and one behind the foot. The air-filled wheels have a diameter of 15 cm, and, what is remarkable, have a brake system on the rear wheel that is operated with the calf.

Skikes can be used with regular sneakers, jogging or trekking shoes. Velcro fasteners fix the foot. With a ground clearance of 4 cm and a wheelbase of up to 47 cm, even driving uneven roads is no problem. The brakes, in particular, provide additional safety, and skiing can be learned quickly, even by beginners.

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