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V2 Skating on the Vasa Ergometer

Mon, Aug  13, 2007 - By Mike Muha

We've continued on with our little friendly competition on the Vasa Ergometer, experimenting with different exercises. Mounting the Ergometer on the wall has greatly expanded the possibilities. Not only can you work the upper body and abs with the Ergometer, but you can add in your legs!

Hugh doing V2 on the Vasa Ergometer

We did a "100 meter" sprint doing V2 - arms and legs. Crunch the abs, drive the knee forward and down, pull through while turning the knee to the inside, finish the poling as you "skate" onto the other foot, recover, repeat. In some ways, it's easier to work on V2 technique while using the Ergometer than it is on rollerskis:

  • Balance is less of an issue, so you can focus more on technique
  • You don't have to worry about falling
  • Your coach (fellow skiers in our case) can easily look for technique flaws from multiple angles simply by taking a few steps around you, and provide instant advice.

No coach? Here's a couple other ideas:

  • Put a mirror in front of the Ergometer
  • Hook up a tripod-mounted video camera to a PC or TV. If you have a long enough cable, you can change from a front view to a side view.

One skier had his hands to close together in front. Another was hopping from ski to ski instead of driving the knee down and in. Another was skating off the power ski onto the gliding ski before the poling motion was finished. These were all problems that could be easily identified and corrected using the Ergometer.

By the way, when you use your total body - upper, abs, and lower - the exercise gets harder and your heart rate heads north. In the table below, you'll notice that the time to do 100 meters significantly increases if you add in the legs. Why? First, the timing changes: you tend not to pole as frequently when you add in the legs. Second, even though your legs are moving, they're not actually generating any forward momentum. Finally, the energy expended in the legs reduces the energy available for the arms.

We tried V1 as well. I found V1 a little more awkward, partly because I never use V1 except on uphills. I think putting down a 4 x 8 sheet of plywood on an incline in front of the Ergometer to simulate a hill would be a very interesting enhancement. Body angles and timing change as you go from flats to hills, and it would be easy to focus on those changes with the Ergometer.

Here's our recent personal bests. Garret, at 9 years old, becomes our youngest competitor! (**indicates Garrett competed at the 1st resistance setting):

Personal Bests on Wall- Mounted Vasa Ergometer (Best score in bold. * indicates improved score).
 Level MikeGregHughSpencerGarrett**
Fixed Distance Time

100m Doublepole 3 1:09* 1:06 1:21 1:15 1:46
100m Single Pole 3 1:23* 1:20 1:14 1:26 2:04
100m V2 with legs 3 2:39 1:43 2:03 2:20 1:55
Fixed Time Distance
Doublepole - 3 minutes 1 231m 235m - - -
Doublepole - 4 minutes 3 319m - - - -
Single Pole - 4 minutes 1 260m - - - -

So what's the difference between using the Vasa Erg as it ships (horizontally) versus mounting it on the wall? Everything!