jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Power poses


Some time ago, power poses were all the rage, and now they’re being questioned. But I have my own skating version of the power pose, only it’s not really a pose at all.

Rather, it’s the way my body feels when everything is lined up and I am solidly over my edge. This feels really grounded, especially through the hips. I feel like my femur is set deep into the hip socket, but still moves easily. I feel like my hip muscles are really supporting me, which makes it much easier to put everything else in the right place.

Just for fun (yeah, this is my idea of fun), I was trying to identify which muscles are particularly helpful here. I would guess the adductors!


When you look at ice dancers, you don’t normally think about which muscles they’re using, but it’s pretty evident from these pictures that you don’t get very far without having awesome adductors.

I’ve been working on this set of muscles for some time now, and I know it’s paying off. My left side now feels stronger than my right much of the time (though I still freak out occasionally on that left inside edge–Ari tells me that’s all in my head). I have been working on trying to get those powerful positions consistent on just about everything I do. I would say I’m around 80% on a good day.

My right side still has trouble because of the lack of ankle and foot mobility and strength. But I am working on that as well and once I get it, I will be a tank on the ice, metaphorically speaking. Unstoppable!

Okay, enough posturing. Here are some other highlights of the week:

  1. Laurie pointed out that I wasn’t doing real back inside edges on my right side. Whoa!
  2. She also pointed out that I wasn’t allowing my body to rotate naturally on the left back outside edge. Yikes!
  3. Ari told me to check my posture sideways in the boards, and sure enough, my back was tipped forward. Ack!
  4.  I figured out on my right side power pulls (which I’ve been having trouble with) that it helps if I think about my blade making an action like threading a needle. Well, it works for me!

Music for the week. I’ve always loved the Beethoven trio in B flat major for clarinet, cello, and piano (opus 11). Youthful happy Beethoven! Here it is, starting with the tender adagio movement.

Lesson notes:

  • back inside edges: work on position of free leg on right edge (don’t pull back).
  • back outside swing rolls: good push; allow free leg and hip action to initiate roll, not upper body; on left side, don’t block action with left shoulder; keep free shoulder and arm back to continue into the next edge.
  • inside forward rocker, 2 edge pulls, outside back rocker (learn to use ankles and speed).
  • inside three, continue to rotate, step forward, cross stroke, push to inside edge (with skating arm over inside edge).
  • forward inside three (keep skating arm in front), cross in front.
  • outside closed mohawks: allow free hip to come forward after turn, really think about hip positions.
  • push back, back edge pull.


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 “Power poses

  1. Ooh, I like the needle threading analogy for the power pulls. Those are definitely tricky to get! Keep working on those adductors. I am excited to hear that you’re getting stronger!


  2. Thanks, Eva! I’m going to try other “threading the needle” ideas this week!


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