jo skates

Skating in the key of life

I’ll take an edge pull with that, please


This post has been sitting here for a week with just two words in it, and now I’ve deleted those two words (which were “the ilium”). I was intending to write about the iliac crest (or top part of the hipbone) and how femur bone moves in the hip joint one way and then another. But then I realized that I didn’t fully understand the anatomical issues that I was trying to write about and then I had lessons this week and gave up the idea entirely.

Thank goodness. One of the things I learned this week was that I wasn’t really keeping my skating hip over my skate. I thought I was, until Ari pointed out that I was confusing my hips with my stomach. Don’t laugh–they’re not that far apart! But in skating terms, they are worlds away from each other.

So even if I had a great theory about how the hips work, it would be a moot point. Instead of theories, I’ll just write about fixes, like the following:

  • Glue your free legs together. I’ve been doing forward three turns with a little glitch in them. The glitch happens when I bring my free leg in and rise for the three; as I turn, I momentarily separate my legs, or even just my feet, and then bring them together for the turn. Laurie has me bringing my free leg in and then acting as though they are glued together; this forces me to use only the skating side to initiate and turn.
  • Turn your free foot out. Forward inside edges. Back outside edges. Back outside three (which is a back outside edge + a forward inside edge). Do you sense a pattern here?
  • Free side travels far. This is on back inside three turns, which I have only been able to do with my free foot behind the skating foot.  I’ve been trying to do these with the free foot extended in front, which means that the free side has to move around the skating side.
  • Where does your weight fall? Skating forward: weight in front of heel. Skating backwards: weight in back of the ball of the foot.

Time to put this post out there. Got to work on distinguishing my hips from my stomach. Oh, and on all those ##$%@!!! edge pulls that Ari gave me. I swear, this week’s lesson with him felt like one edge pull after another. Here we go with these exercises (the sanitized version, with profanities removed).

  • Outside closed Mohawk, two edge pulls, step forward on outside, repeat.
  • Creepers with added edge pull after back outside three (don’t forward to turn foot out on inside edge).
  • Forward outside three, push to back outside three, inside edge pull, stroke to forward inside three (free leg stays extended), cross front, back inside three, edge pull (skating hip under!) swing.
  • Inside mohawk back inside three, edge pull, swing.

Here’s a song entitled “Patience” by the late, great George Michael.

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.

4 thoughts on “I’ll take an edge pull with that, please

  1. Those edge pull exercises do not sound like fun! I also have a hard time keeping my hips underneath me and on top of my skating foot. I tend to pitch forward when I skate so my booty sticks out. Why is something that sounds so easy so incredibly hard in real life? Sigh.


  2. Why oh why? I find I have to work at actually getting my hips forward–they have to beat my stomach to the punch!


  3. Interesting. I think, if I understand your description properly, that I’m the opposite of you on the BI 3’s. I learned it with the free leg in front of the body (though trailing from the perspective of the direction of travel). Doing it with the free leg behind sounds really hard. Edge pulls: Brent Bommentre demonstrated some beautiful ones for us in Sun Valley and I’m been experimenting with them since. It’s so nice when you get a bit of grind, frustrating when you think you are leaning back to get it and yet it just doesn’t happen. I love working on power though, I just like the sound when it works!


  4. The free leg stuff is confusing, and my description of my BI s probably made it more so. I’m supposed to start with the free leg extended in front of the skating leg (the opposite direction from the way I’m travelling) and then turn so that it winds up in front on the forward outside edge. I find that waaaayy harder than just having my free foot in by my skating foot, which is how I used to do them. The Sun Valley lessons and demos sound super fun and useful–hope you came back with power to burn!!!!


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