jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Back dimples and other anatomical matters


So earlier this week PT Sarah was talking about making sure that my “back dimples” were positioned correctly during certain exercises. I looked the term “back dimples” up, and there is actually a term for this, the “Dimples of Venus.”

These indentations on the back mark the places where the different bones of the pelvis attach to one another, the sacroiliac (SI) joints. They are right above the “intergluteal cleft,” more crudely known as the “butt-crack.”


Identifying those two crucial parts of my anatomy seems to help with my posture on and off the ice. I’m finding that it is easier to think about the position of my back dimples and (ahem) intergluteal cleft than to achieve a neutral hip/back position in other ways.

I have a tendency to over-correct my “anterior pelvic tilt” with a “posterior pelvic tilt,” that pushes my hips forward. Can’t seem to settle in neutral! But gently drawing down those “back dimples” helps me find the correct alignment without straining.


Similarly, making sure that my intergluteal cleft is lined up properly helped as well. Laurie pointed this out on my left swing roll. I was trying to do something that turned out to anatomically impossible. I would describe it, but I don’t even want to think about it right now. But after she told me to face that cleft (not the term she used!) facing into the circle rather than out of it, everything was much easier.

This also really helps on back inside edges. Ari has been on my case to turn in my free foot on the left back inside, but that’s been a hard sell. Lo and behold, another plus for lining up that intergluteal cleft! Works like a charm.

I have been working on some other anatomical matters as well. Laurie and I talked about how to find a good position for my upper body on progressives by lining up my midline (zipper) along the direction I want to go.

Okay, I was momentarily tempted to search for close-up pictures of ice dancers that might in fact illustrate all these anatomical features. But actually finding them is a really scary thought, so I will just go on to some notes from my lessons so I don’t have to think about this anymore.

  • upper body position (zipper) on forward progressives
  • back progressives: draw in feet father back behind body (this is really different from what I have been doing. Waaaay better this way.)
  • swing rolls, practice with skating side lead. And remember that intergluteal cleft!
  • swing roll to inside edge (change over earlier)
  • mohawk, back three, edge, edge (get a good push on the back edge into the three and look back).
  • mohawk, back three, forward inside three, back crossover the other way, repeat
  • three-step mohawk pattern with forward outside closed mohawks: check hip and back position. Your feet should simply move underneath you without rocking or shifting weight from one edge to another. Do these on a circle to make sure you are really on an edge).


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 “Back dimples and other anatomical matters

  1. I love the terms that coaches use when helping with body alignment. Mine sometimes tells me not to drop the $100 bill that is positioned in the intergluteal cleft (she doesn’t use that term, obviously!). Ha ha!


  2. So funny, Eva! It is certainly a way of making these positions memorable. I will think about the $100 bill!


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