jo skates

Skating in the key of life

A short post about dorsal fins


So the other day PT Sarah told me that I needed to work on lengthening the small of my back. I think it’s her way of saying “tailbone down,” though since I was in plank position at the time, it felt more like I was growing a dorsal fin out of my back.


Not a large dorsal fin, like on a sailfish, but a small one like on a dolphin or a shark (or a whale, but I’m not sure that’s a comparison I want to make while I’m trying to do a plank). This helps me stabilize my lower back position and gets my core abdominals to kick in automatically.

My imaginary dorsal fin is proving quite useful on the ice as well as off. It is another way to make sure my torso is lined up right over my skate and facing the proper direction. I find that I am sometimes just a little off the circle as I push or as my free leg comes in. But once I thought about keeping my “fin” consistently over my blade, it seemed to help a lot.

I found an interesting article that says that our human genetic circuitry for arms and legs actually developed from midline (or dorsal) fins. So there is something quite basic about the idea of having a dorsal fin. The wikipedia entry for “dorsal fin” says that the fin is there mainly “to stabilize the animal against rolling and to assist in sudden turns.”

Perfect for the Kilian!



Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

2 thoughts on “A short post about dorsal fins

  1. I sure could use a dorsal fin to feel more stable on a lot of things! 😉


  2. Maybe they will come up with a strap-on version for those particularly difficult turns (oooh, interpretative program coming soon).


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