Friday, May 24, 2013

Spin Till You Win .... Or Not

Today (yesterday) ... I decided to devote my entire skating session to working on the Back Spin.  I tried to keep in mind all of the things my coach said on Monday.  I worked on trying to close my hip and cross my leg over and staying over my back outside edge.... nevertheless ...... the video speaks for itself:


  1. From the video, it looks like our open hip problem could be helped by thinking about your foot position. Your free leg foot is way turned out, and your knee is poking out to the side. It's much harder to hold the spin this way because that position forces the hip open.

    My coach gave me a backspin exercise that might help you with your turn out problem: skate backwards in a straight line, rotate your torso (including shoulders) to the right with arms extended--so your upper half is facing the boards, while your toes are still facing the end of the rink. (Imagine the position if you were standing next to a wall with your feet parallel to it, and then twisted your torso to face the wall with your collarbone flat on it and your arms extended.) Then pick up your left leg into the open 'h' position (as for a good jump), and continue gliding backwards on one foot. (You may find you curve slightly, as you are likely to end up on your right outside edge this way. That's fine, but no need to work on the edge at this point. It's an exercise for hip/shoulder/foot position.) When you are comfortable with that glide, then the next step is to do the glide, rotate, lift into "h," and then cross left foot over right knee. Finally, when you can do all that, do the sequence and add the pull in: your arms should pull in close, as for a tight spin, and your left food should slide down the outer edge of your right leg, so that you end up with your ankles crossed and your pinkie toes touching each other. It's the pinkie toe touch that's most important, since that is the tight leg position that you need in the air for jumps and that will give you closed hips for a back spin.

    Mind you, I can do this exercise quite well now, and I still am terrible at spinning. :) But that has to do with spin fear--a casualty of being over 40 when I first started taking skating lessons. The thing that it does do, though, is create muscle memory for a nice, tightly closed, pull-in, so that when you draw in for your spin, you will have taught your knees and feet not to turn out so much.

    I hope this helps!

    1. I think the exercise my coach gave me sounds very similar to the one you're Coach gave you however execution is another story I'll keep trying nevertheless one of these days I'm going to get it thanks again.

  2. Diane, can you share some tips on preparing to meet the fear of actually lacing up my custom figure skates again? I learned to ice skate in my 30s with a coach. I was working on level 4 and 5. I loved the flow of skating.
    I am overcoming years of health issues. This spring, my energy returned and I am working out 5 days a week. I am focused on yoga and recently incorporated Barre class twice a week. My goal is to step out on the ice again for my 52nd birthday in August. Thank you. I am willing to start at Alpha.

  3. First of all CONGRATULATIONS on getting over (or in my case learning to live with your health issues). It sounds like you are off to a running start. I did a PIYO (mix of Pilates and Yoga) class yesterday and I am SO SORE today!

    Get back on the ice - lace up - you can do it. Just start slow and from the beginning. Don't expect to do everything right away. Once you have skated before you have a lot of muscle memory that makes you think you can just launch a spin or a jump or even THREE TURNS. For me it's been a battle to re acquire many basic skills. As a child I had a back scratch, a back sit, a back camel, a layback (Peggy Fleming style) a flying camel, a flying sit. I did a lutz jump, flip jumps from either entry, split jumps and elusions ..... NONE of which I can dream about doing now .... or YET (hopeful)

    After 1 year back on the ice all my single jumps are back except for the lutz and they are all in a much smaller less explosive form than I did them when I was young. I never had an axel as a kid (click on the story at the top right) and I only toyed with a double salchow. I don't know ISI very well any more. Looking it up it looks like you had a lot of skills. Just lace up and take it slow. If you can, get a coach to help you remember the things you have lost. For me it's a weight and balance thing.... everything is in a different place and there is so much MORE of it at my age!

    Hope this helps, keep skating. Happy Landings!


Last (regular) Dance (lesson) for the summer

Ok .. this is IT.  I’m off to the land of no ice rink for a month or so.  I’ll be back home a few times over the summer but won’t be able to...