Back in the ’90s when I worked for NordicTrack, I loved being able to personally coach someone to teach them easy and safe ways to learn to use the ski machines. I’m no longer working for the company, but I still enjoy sharing this skill with new people. I’ve collected some of the most frequently requested issues that people wanted help with.
Folding for Transportation and Storage
The NordicTrack Pro model both folds down compactly and has rear wheels to transport easily for storage! Follow these steps to easily store your ski machine out of the way:
- Remove the loose skis and set them aside (these should be added back to store with the machine when it is put away)
- Ensure Handles are secure, pinch the arm-exerciser snap buttons and fold the top arm of the machine down
- Lift underneath the hip pad and pivot the hip pad into an upright position
- Remove detent pin that secures steel upright frame into the wood base, and fold the steel arm down into a compact position
- Lift the machine from the front end, roll into storage position using rear wheels
- Position loose skis on top of the machine for storage
Learning the Cross-Country Skiing Motion
The NordicTrack cross-country ski machine mimics the motions used when cross-country skiing. Your arms pull on tension-mounted strings, while your legs alternately push against an adjustable level of tension. For a further challenge or to work different lower body muscle groups (an emphasis on quadriceps rather than hamstrings), the incline can be increased.
STEP 1: Stand / Balance with Feet on Skis and Hands-on Handlebars
The first time you approach the machine, have a partner that can secure the skis in a locked “start position” with their feet
- Stand on the skis with your toes in the foot cups and adjust the height of the hip pad to fall at the hip or just below the belly button
- As the one-way clutch mechanism means that there is only resistance in ONE direction on the skis, there will only be tension on the ski when you push back (note this means when your foot is moving forward it will move quickly as it will NOT have any tension to overcome!)
- A common misconception is that the skiing motion is like shuffling – instead, the motion is more like walking (you apply force and push your feet backward, but merely pick your foot up and glide it to move it forward)
STEP 2: Learn Lower Body Motion (without upper body motion)
Start by getting comfortable with the LOWER-BODY motion first (this is also a great way to warm up / cooldown)
- Grab the handlebars with both hands
- Lean into the hip pad (keep your center of gravity sort of pointing forward)
- Push back with legs one at a time (sometimes a higher level of tension can be helpful while learning how to balance on the machine)
STEP 3: Add Movement with One Arm, Then with Both Arms
- One at a time, start adding in your arms by swinging them naturally like you do when you walk (as your leg goes up, your arms go back and vice versa)
- When you feel comfortable swinging both arms, then you are ready to move to the next step of using the upper-body arm resistance
STEP 4: Add the Arm Resistance Ropes
- Start with the lower body motion and pick up the skier Hand Grips
- Alternate pulling the Hand Grips with the opposite cadence as your legs/feet (similar to swinging your arms for balance when walking)
STEP 5: Customize Your Workouts to Your Individual Goals and Preferences
- Program your goals and personal information into the electronics monitor
- Customize your machine with Accessories
- Maintain your machine with regular Maintenance
Best Sportswear for NordicTrack Workouts
As with most physical activity, there are some smart rules to follow to stay comfortable and safe while you exercise on your NordicTrack.
Best Shoes for NordicTrack Workouts
The NordicTrack exercise motion requires a gentle push of the skis followed by gliding the ski forward. The motion requires flexing the toe area, so it is recommended to choose comfortable athletic shoes with a flexible toe. Shoes with stiff support in the toe area (like cross-trainers) may not be comfortable or fit well into the toe cups.
It is also important that you make sure that your shoes are tied properly and that the laces are not too long.
Best Clothing for NordicTrack Workouts
The main thing to keep in mind when dressing for a NordicTrack workout is to wear clothing that fits well. Avoid pants with flared bottoms that could interfere with the flywheel operation. Avoid flared or embellished tops that might chafe skin during the sweeping arm motions.
Be aware that long workouts on the NordicTrack can get sweaty, so consider wearing moisture-wicking clothing including tops, bottoms, sports bras, socks, sweatbands, and more!
Maintaining NordicTrack Ski Machines
Your NordicTrack should last for many years with the right treatment. Be sure to wipe off any moisture or sweat from the machine after each use and to keep the machine free of dust and debris. In addition, following the recommended maintenance in the owner’s manual can help keep the machine in top shape.
These products are the top 4 things you’ll need to maintain classic NordicTrack skiers.
NOTE: Please use extreme caution when trying NordicTracks (or other fitness equipment) for the first time and consult your doctor before beginning a new fitness routine. Statements on this site are intended as a guide towards safely using NordicTrack skiers, but not all scenarios can be anticipated and safety can not be guaranteed even when following the guidelines above. NordicTrackProSkier.com is not responsible for the result of any action taken due to any of the editorial content on this website.