jo skates

Thoughts about skating and the practice of everyday life

Putting my “best” hip forwards

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So at my lesson on brackets this past week Laurie noticed that I couldn’t shift my left hip  forward of my right without changing the level of my hips or the position of the rest of my body. We spent quite a bit of time just trying to get the right hip forward while skating on a forward outside edge.

Once again, I realized that the actual turn isn’t my problem: it’s the edge into the turn. If I can maintain a good edge, the turn is a piece of cake. I also realized that I still do a lot of skating (and other things in life) with my left hip slightly forward of my right, which benefits certain edges but screws up others.

If I try to force my right hip to move forward, all kinds of things go awry. I immediately start changing the rest of my body. Mostly I compensate for this by twisting slightly towards the left, so that I have the illusion of being neutral.

Once I tried to “encourage” my left hip to move forward, it seemed to help a lot. And this was not just true of brackets, but of many of the things I’m doing.

The lesson really made me think about how far I’ve come in understanding how my body works. I will continue to focus on getting my hips to move more “organically” as well as using more ankle bend for a better position over my skate. I also am trying to push down into the ice more to get more flow. I feel super-positive about these and other improvements that I hope to make. The new skates are working out great, and I have really been enjoying my regular time on the ice and having a chance to work at this.

The weather here has turned much warmer and the snow is melting! Spring is hopefully on the way.

Here’s my son’s suggestion for some super “chill” music to enjoy while I contemplate this new turn in my hips and hopefully the rest of my skating:

Lesson notes:

  • Brackets: hip position; remember that both entry and exit are “forced” edges so they need more attention to correct position.
  • Power pulls:  “sewing machine” action, with equal pressure into both the inside and outside edges. Also, think about keeping body on the axis, and making the edges equal on each side by pushing “outside” and away from the body.
  • New lunge exercise: forward three, push back lunge, push back lunge on the other side, turn into forward lunge, push forward lunge on the other side; repeat. Really push (don’t just two-foot); make sure you can hear those pushes.
  • Variation one: forward three, change edge, push back (really push and bend free leg in; make sure you are looking in the right direction), back three, toe through, repeat.
  • Variation two: forward three, change edge, push back , choctaw, toe through , repeat
  • In circle: inside mohawk, push back, back outside three. Don’t extend after the inside mohawk!
  • Inside three, toe push, inside edge, repeat on other side.

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 “Putting my “best” hip forwards

  1. Ah, those dang hips are always in the way (and misaligned) on brackets and other things… I’m looking at you, Choctaws! I love your lesson notes on the ‘sewing machine’ motion for power pulls. Such a great visual! Your understand of muscles, joints and bones is really amazing, Jo. I think you may have a second career here!

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    • Yes, those dang hips–what would we do without them, though? The sewing machine thing is Laurie’s idea–she has such great metaphors. As for that second career–I would love to pass any wisdom I’ve gained to anyone who wants to know! They may have to pay me to shut up!

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  2. I’m glad you are seeing improvement and feeling positive about the process. And that you have such a perceptive coach!

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    • Thanks so much, Mary! I am so grateful for my coaches and the fact that I can still make progress! I hope you’re doing well–so glad you’re back on the ice again!

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