Sorry if this is spammy. I looked for other threads I could use for this, but didn't see any that had a focus on specifics of use.
I recently bought a Skier's Edge III. For those not familiar with the concept, it's a piece of workout equipment that takes the form of a tubular construction metal arc, with foot pedals on the top where you stand in resting position, and a huge rubber band ("power band") below that provides resistance and rebound. You use it to simulate parallel/carving turns. To "turn right", you move your feet to the left, and vice versa. It's easy to make one "turn" per second or so. The pedals also allow you to put weight on the edges (though really only the inside edge). If you google it, you can find pictures and videos.
Here are my specific questions.
1 - My machine doesn't have the optional handbar ("assistant coach" or whatever they call it). I do have ski poles that came with the machine, but I haven't used them yet. I mostly use the machine with nothing in my hands - sometimes I rest my hands on my hips. Is there an advantage to using the poles (perhaps timing)? Is there an advantage to keeping your hands empty (perhaps balance)?
2 - Sometimes, I crouch down a bit, rest my hands on the nearby sofa back, and use the leverage this position gives to try to blast through turns faster in hopes of working particular muscles harder. In doing this, balance is not a factor since balance is provided by my hands holding onto something to keep me steady. I think this lets me put more burden on leg muscles, but I also think this removes some advantages for small muscle groups/balance. Anybody have insight into whether I'm guessing right?
3 - Should I treat these workouts the way I would treat weight lifting - that is, seek muscle failure about 3x per week, and let the muscles rebuild on the off days? Or is it better to do some turns every day? So far, I've been doing it on a daily basis and not seeking muscle failure while I get used to the machine.
4 - I have an opportunity to buy a Skier's Edge 4 for dirt cheap. It's the same height/steepness as my III, so no advantage there. I don't plan to upgrade it, the only upgrade I'd want is greater steepness and that's not possible. Is there any other reason to sell the III and get the 4?