SkiErg Frequently Asked Questions
- Why is the SkiErg specific to a two-armed pull?
Concept2 designed the SkiErg to deliver the most effective ski exercise for the price. The hand position can be varied to simulate skate V1 (either direction), V2, or classic double pole; the SkiErg is not designed for classic diagonal, alternating arm swing; however, the conditioning will transfer to all variations of Nordic skiing. The two-armed technique is preferred because it involves more muscles, resulting in increased aerobic demand, calorie burn, and overall higher quality workout. This technique strengthens and involves all the same muscles as single-sticking in a more efficient motion.
Our factory direct pricing philosophy ensures that customers buy direct from the manufacturer, allowing clubs and growing programs to afford the best training tools. Creating machines with separate left and right hands would require significantly more complex systems and higher costs. Our goal is to grow the sport of skiing by offering high-quality, affordable ways for athletes to train.
- How do my legs get a workout with the SkiErg?
Without trying the SkiErg, one might assume that it uses just the upper body; this is not true. The best scores, and therefore most effective workouts, are achieved only with active leg involvement. Take a look at the technique video, and notice the legs raising the body weight each stroke, much as they do when skiing on snow. A maximum effort will leave the legs at least as fatigued as the upper body.
- Is SkiErging a good aerobic workout?
Yes. Based on what we hear from the field, as well as our own experience, a maximum effort on the SkiErg will result in reaching maximum heart rate. In the physiological testing lab at Craftsbury Outdoor Center, Coach Pepa Miloucheva is finding that her athletes achieve maximum heart rates and VO2 readings that are similar to those achieved in other forms of training.
- How do you expect SkiErg scores to compare with rowing erg scores?
To date, SkiErg times are not as fast as rowing erg times. This is probably because of the vertical movement of skiing as opposed to the horizontal motion of rowing. With the SkiErg you do quite a bit of work against gravity as well as spinning the fan/flywheel. Also, the stroke rate (cadence) is generally higher for skiing than for rowing. We anticipate that a good elite time for 2k on the SkiErg will be just under 7:00 for men and under 8:00 for women. For rowing, the best 2k times are under 6:00 for men and under 7:00 for women. So far we haven't seen any skiers under 7:00/8:00 although some are close.
- Why is it called the SkiErg? What is an Erg?
An ergometer, or "erg", is a device that measures work. This is what sets the SkiErg apart from most other ski training devices. Every SkiErg includes a Performance Monitor that gives skiers immediate, accurate, comparable feedback. This allows skiers to measure output, monitor progress, and compare scores with others.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower is also known as "the erg" among rowers because it similarly measures work. The SkiErg now gives skiers the tools that rowers have had for years—the ability to measure and improve their fitness in a way that is not impacted by variables such as snow conditions. The SkiErg is available with either the PM3 or PM4 monitor (compare monitors). The Performance Monitor includes:
- Preset workouts, ski against a previous result, or play a game
- Memory and LogCard for workout data storage
- USB Interface to transfer data to PC or Mac
- Heart Rate Monitoring (Polar and Garmin options available)
- I'm not a skier. Should I use the SkiErg?
Nordic skiing is an exhilarating and aerobically demanding sport, so it's no surprise that Nordic skiers are extremely fit athletes. The SkiErg makes this terrific aerobic exercise accessible to anyone. Each pull engages the arms, shoulders, core and legs in a downwards "crunch," using body weight to help accelerate the handles. It's an impact-free full-body exercise that's complementary to the motion of rowing and good cross-training for a variety of sports.
- Why is a rowing company making a SkiErg?
Although Concept2 is best known as a rowing company, quite a few members of the Concept2 family are skiers. Up here in northern Vermont, the lakes are frozen for at least half the year, and there's plenty of snow during the winter. Skiing and rowing are two of the most aerobically demanding sports and serve as effective cross-training in opposite seasons. Both sports use the entire body, requiring the heart and lungs to provide oxygen to many muscles of the body at once.
In fact, we've been using variations of our rowing erg for ski training for quite a few years now. We first played with this idea in 1982, using parts from the Model A Indoor Rower. We have recently fine-tuned our designs for skiing, and are excited to bring this technology to skiers.
- Does the SkiErg fit people of all sizes? Will my kids be able to use it?
- The SkiErg has been used comfortably by athletes from 4'11" to 6'5". When not in use, the handles hang at a height of 75". If you can't reach this, you may need to stand on a footstool when first grabbing the handles. There is also a limit to how low the handles can be pulled before they bottom out—this happens at about 16" above the floor or base—but this is not limiting in normal use.