Tag Archives: Swizzles

Olympic Withdrawal & Jump Warm-Ups

3 Mar

 

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Mirai Nagasu, Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

 

And so the Olympics are over and so is my wonderful tv figure skating time

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Now, I finally know how everyone else feels when they get to watch all that commentary about football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. It’s everywhere and you can get your fix at any time. Interviews, commentary, practice sessions, tv time, web time, you name it and you can get it but with figure skating? The only time that is possible is when the Olympics are on… at least in this country. Otherwise, I spend most of my time listening to skating commentary in a mix of Russian and Italian on youtube (and no I do not speak Russian so I have no clue what they are saying…hello google translate) The rest of my time is spent trying to get icenetwork.com to work (which it does not most of the time). Maybe I should move to Japan? I hear they have figure skating on around the clock. Sigh. I’m sure my husband would not be on board with moving to Japan so I will need to find other ways of getting my fix.

So, while it’s been fun getting my figure skating fix for the next four years it’s back to youtube and ice network coverage for me. Seems a little less exciting now. I was perfectly happy before the Olympics with my second-rate coverage.

At least we still have Worlds, right? And now that Adam Rippon has become America’s sweetheart surely we will see at least more figure skating related commentary? I absolutely loved him and his comments. Now, I’m going to go down a very deep rabbit hole on my next comment but I was really getting sick of the Johnny and Tara commentary. I used to like them but now I always end up switching over to Euro Sport on youtube vs. listening to NBC just so I can listen to people who call the jumps and seem to have something more to say about the sport. I’m a big Johnny Weir fan so I wouldn’t even mind if they just let Johnny commentate on his own but the two together? Please. Also, it’s an ice rink so why did I feel like I was going clubbing whenever Tara was commentating? Or was that just me? It may be or it may be that I would just like to focus on the skating rather than what matching sequined outfits the commentators are wearing. Please just put Tanith on! Or just put more clothes on Tara. Is that too much to ask? It probably is but I’m asking anyway.

So, now that the Olympics are over I find myself refocusing more on my actual skating. I’ve been really enjoying my jump class and have started a new group lesson session with the same coach. This month’s lesson will focus on the flip and lutz but before we even get into practicing these jumps (or in my case learning) he has us do a series of jump warmups. These are perfect for anyone at any level and so much fun to do. I’ve posted them below:

  1. Start with two foot slaloms. First forward: Stay down in the knees and then come all the way up, arms completely out. Repeat. Then try backwards.
  2. Swizzles (I’ve mentioned these before)  Forward and Backward, moving arms in forward and out to simulate jumping. Then on the backward swizzles perform a jump from both feet on every other swizzle. Try to maintain speed and push hips forward when jumping.
  3. Backward swizzles with the jump up, land on two feet, then hold landing edge.
  4. Backward Slaloms again: Right slalom: hold right arm back, turn head and jump then slalom on the left side and jump (head turned to back, left arm back). Jumping is on both feet but your jumping on a curve.
  5. Forward Lunges, right and left. Keep arms out. Keep weight on heel.
  6. Backward Lunges. These are extremely difficult and I cannot do them yet. But I keep trying. Keep your back up.
  7. Forward Lunge into forward outside 3 turn to back lunge. Very hard, I haven’t mastered this yet either. Try on both sides. The free foot boot must be on the ice at all times during this move.
  8. Forward outside 3 turn to back crossover and hold landing edge with arms in landing position (similar to a wide v). I mentioned this in another lesson. Hips and arms must be squarely over skating foot. Hips forward, free foot turned out but hips do not turn out. Keep your free foot out and be careful not to let it travel too far crossed behind you… If you are having trouble holding your landing edge from jumps and you are making a small circle curving in (like I was) then your free foot on your landing edge is probably not being held to the outside. Repeat this pattern.
  9.  Add a hop from the landing edge (mentioned in lessons post before).
  10. Do 2 crossovers in your jump direction and jump from backwards to forwards (1/2 rotation) repeat on both feet. Try full rotation, land on both feet. I can only do a 1/2 rotation. Try to keep feet together in air.

Now, we are ready to do the regular jumps : ) By this time though I’m ready to die on the ice from overexertion and I’m usually leaning over the edge of the boards trying to catch my breath. Don’t worry, if you do cardio you’ll be fine, just fine. ; ) At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Till next time!

 

 

 

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Lesson Recap #1

13 Jan

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While I’ve been breaking in my boots I’ve been taking group lessons at a rink about 30 minutes from me. I’m not really ready to commit to private lessons or the cost yet again. I am skating consistently (thanks to the group lessons) and while it’s not an exact substitute for private lessons this advanced adult class has given me enough to work on throughout the week. I feel like I’m almost there where I would feel comfortable to go one on one again with a coach but for now, the group lessons are giving me a good base to work from again.

This time I am taking two group lessons on the same day, advanced adult lessons (this is basic Freestyle 1-6) and a jump class. Both classes are small, the first with four adults at varying levels and the latter with three. There is me and another adult plus a 9-year-old in the jump class. I think it’s great to skate with one other kid because sometimes as adults we start to get too comfy watching and mimicking other adult skaters. This can sometimes be bad. Children I think have a natural rhythm and timing to their skating (plus a fearlessness) that I think adults can really benefit from. While some adults do have this as well I find that when I am skating with kids I limit myself less in what I “think” I can do and I just do.

Both classes are taught by the same instructor this year (usually they are different). This works so very well. He’s Russian so while I have had many coaches with different backgrounds, I have never been exposed to the Russian style of skating. I’m really enjoying some of the basic warm-ups that he is having us do as well as the basic edges and I’m looking forward to sharing them here!

Lesson Recap #1 Adult Group Class

  1. Change Spin – Forward scratch to back scratch: I really dislike any type of back spins (as this blog details) so this is still, alas, a challenge for me. Right now holding my left free leg out longer on the back spin is a challenge so I need to count the revolutions and not rush bringing the free leg in. The forward scratch is fine. Hands need to remain out until I bring the leg in closer. I tend to immediately bring my free leg in tight and then I start spinning faster and out of control. This also makes it a lot harder to get more revolutions in as well. TIPS: 1. Slow down the free leg coming in and 2. Count the revolutions 3. Don’t think of the free leg as much as just getting over the right side.
  2.  Basic Forward and Backward Swizzles with Arms (jump warm up) and Hop: Do forward swizzles with arms bent at elbow going back and then coming forward just as you would in a waltz jump. Same thing for backward swizzles. Bring the arms forward and up when you bring the legs in and the arms back and out when you push out. TIPS: 1. Bend 2. Keep your core tight. Once you’ve warmed up these then add a hop to the backward swizzle.  Side note: I kid you not,  we all thought we were going to kill ourselves on these but they turned out to be so much fun. I also saw one of the adults who has not really learned to jump yet do her first tiny hop doing these. Very cool. KEY TO HOPPING IN THE SWIZZLE: Hop when your feet come together and arms come forward and finally, make sure your hips are pushed forward. Feel that your core is tight. Once I felt my hips pushed forward just like on my jump take off’s these got a lot easier and lighter. That is the key. Use your arms as I mentioned in the exercise above.
  3. Backward Outside Edges: Keep your free leg above the tracing on the ice, no arching of the back (my thing, oops) and open your shoulders and keep arms stretched out against that edge. Really lean into that outside edge but as I said before, no arching and keep your back up. You should not have your free leg way out. These are pretty easy but these are some good tweaks.
  4.  Inside Spirals (does anyone like these?): He said to keep the same arm in front. One of the other adults had been taught opposite arm and leg. I think you can do it either way but for sure having the same arm definitely puts you on the inside edge if you are struggling with that part.
  5. Sit Spin: Need to go lower. He said to fall if I need too otherwise it’s a good spin.

 

Lesson Recap #1 Jump Class: All pre-jump exercises

  1. Basic Back Cross Overs (both sides): Keep back arm headed out in the direction you are going. Really keep the shoulders open on the bad side where I tend to drop it. Skating knee needs to be turned fully out (mine is sometimes a little in which can make it less of an outside edge.)
  2. Crossovers with Landing Edge and Hold (BOTH SIDES muhahaa): Cross over and then hold landing edge. TIPS: On landing edge arms should be in peripheral vision, head up, body square. From Crossovers to landing edge you should 1. be down in the knee at first 2. Toe turned out 3. Then rise up on landing edge. 4. Do not turn head in (common error on bad side.) This is all done on a circle. TIP: If you have trouble holding the arms in the correct landing position hold your arms in landing edge position with palms up. This will keep you from opening up. Side note: This was nerve-racking at first on the non-landing side but I found it got easier the more I got used to doing it. It’s really great for working both sides. 
  3. Add Arms to the Crossover Landing Edge and Hold Pattern: Basically, do what I mentioned above but add arms moving forward as in the swizzles. Then hold your landing edge.
  4. Outside 3 Turn, Crossovers, Landing Edge, Repeated on the Circle: This was challenging at first but then it had a nice cadence to it. 1. Outside 3 turn, cross overs, hold landing edge (down and then up), then 3 turn, cross overs etc. Repeat over and over again. Do this on both sides! Should I insert evil laugh here? TIP: Really concentrate on keeping your hips square on your bad side.
  5. Add 1, 2 and 3 hops on the landing edge from the previous move: So outside 3 turn, crossover, down in knee on landing edge, and then hop on toe pick, rise up on landing edge, turn to do three turn and repeat but with two hops on landing edge, and then repeat with three hops. Side note: This was scary at first and I could only do 2 hops but with practice I can now do 3 but they are tiny. BIG TIP: PUSH HIPS FORWARD WHEN YOU HOP. Just like you should feel on your waltz jumps.
  6. Back spins: These were very, very bad. TIP: Don’t rush, hold the edges into the back spin. We only had a few minutes to work on these. I want to say thank goodness because I really dislike them but I’m finally committing myself to making this spin better. Hopefully, before I kill myself on them. : )

All in all, a lot to work on! Holding those landing edges have been helping immensely. I hope this has been helpful. It’s a lot to take in.

Till next week!