jo skates

Skating in the key of life

It’s the pits

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So I was off the ice for a while in June, and couldn’t believe how ungainly I felt when I got back on. I’m thrilled that things are feeling better: getting back that hip alignment and some muscle tone (though I am one tired puppy when I get off the ice, even though I am not going great guns out there).

So this week I had a lesson that included double threes, and Ari suggested that I “slice” my arms (bring them through close to my body rather than move them around). This keeps me from pitching forward or “reaching” for turns, and helps me stay over the middle of my blade.

Today I was on a nice quiet practice session (it’s so hot out that all the kids are at the pool!) and decided to try this on other moves as well. I’m sure this looked a little goofy, moving my arms up and down as if my shoulder sockets worked like a Barbie doll’s. But it worked like a charm in terms of stabilizing my edges, which is about all I care about these days.

Plus in my new “slicing” technique, I discovered a new body part to use for skating: the armpit!

If I think about where my armpit is on my skating side, I am much more aware of my alignment. This makes it easier to control my edges and to keep my shoulders from lifting (which I know will make Laurie happy).

So everything’s coming up roses! And peonies! And irises! And that topiary that looks like a tired puppy!

Lesson notes:

  • back inside (right): engage glute muscles (easy fix)
  • forward outside-outside mohawk: work on proper edge and turning out skating hip against the other
  • outside forward three: bring feet more parallel, then turn skating leg in socket so that you wind up in T-position after turn
  • back outside cross rolls: push is in opposition to upper body position
  • back power pulls: rise and bend
  • inside mohawk, back outside three, inside pull to outside, cross, repeat on other side: don’t touch down! hips forward after back three and really concentrate on establishing your edges
  • double threes: don’t rush into the turn, establish strong edge first

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 “It’s the pits

  1. I have gotten that instruction to slice my arms (but using different words) many times from Coach Kim. And yes, on double threes (and other moves). There’s one variety– back insides? where she wants them coming more around. On the photos– are those your garden? The Midwest has the most amazing peonies, I used to love a peony garden I visited in the spring. Now I just have a couple of treasured ones in my garden. I’m also a sucker for those purple roses and the johnny jump-ups. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. The roses, planter, and topiary are at a public rose garden, but the peonies and irises are ours. I continue to be amazed at how gorgeous our flowers are, especially because it gets so cold around here in the winter. I think it’s the long days in summer. I also continue to struggle with double threes, even with the slicing technique. Time to reassess my positions on those back inside edges.

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