All low-impact cardio exercise units have one thing in common: Part of their body weight is helped during exercise – for example, swimming while swimming or cycling on the bicycle seat. This is great because it relieves your joints. On the other hand, simply carrying your own weight is a big plus for functional fitness and endurance.
What brings us to the SkiErg. The machine was modeled after the mast handle used by Nordic skiers and offers a full-body cardio challenge that still has little impact on the knees and generally has little throbbing.
But that's just the first selling point. The SkiErg is a favorite among coaches due to its unique lower body and upper body movement patterns. "All the while, you open and close your hips to increase your strength and flexibility in this area," said Kenny Kane, owner of the Oak Park Fitness Center in Los Angeles. "And it requires full arm extension ̵
Stroke requires some practice. Hold the handles with a slight elbow flexion. Climb up to the bales, stretch your arms up, pull them down firmly, drop your hips back and your fists toward the floor and fall into a slight squat. Immediately press the heels to reverse, then pull again. Your upper body supplies the power for the first part of the turn, then your lower body (especially for the glutes) for the tail end.
As a training device, the SkiErg checks a variety of boxes. You can use it as a warm-up for a hard lifting session, as it makes your hip and shoulder joints smoother and your heart rate higher. It can also be the main event, since it is such a calorie burner – expect to burn 400 calories in just 30 minutes, which is comparable to the running and skipping rope, too. "It's really squat and pull, and every part of your body is used for maximum efficiency," says Kane. And do not forget, the ski season is upon us.