In another thread, Loops said
Back in the figures days, we always used our old broken in and broken down boots for patch.
So I decided to try NOT taking advantage of the stiffness of my boots. In particular, instead of edging by pushing against the sides of my boots, on moves like power pulls, I pushed through different parts of the sole of my foot.
I haven't played with it enough to be sure, but I sort of like the feeling. There was also a difference in muscle use. I usually use mostly the lower abdominals for power pulls, or muscles even lower down, in the hips. But this way, I had to use more of my core muscles, including muscles a little higher up. I guess adding the upper muscles gave me more strength. In addition, I used to drag my foot back and forth over the body centerline. To make this work, I instead dragged my body back and forth over the foot - I had to shift my body position to the other side of the foot just before the edge change.
That also changes the fulcrum (the point that doesn't move on a lever) from somewhere on the leg or hip to somewhere deep in the ice. Which means that the muscles are applied farther from the fulcrum, which gives better leverage (less force needed).
You couldn't see the difference in a video: Just a couple hundredths of a second or so change, and a few hundredths of an inch position change. But it is a big difference in feel.
I don't have a coach right now, so I discussed all this with my figure skating director. She always pushes through different parts of the soles to control her skates. She also argues for using all ones core muscles, most of the time. She says this gives you better control. She especially liked doing it for spins.
I guess the right feeling would be to use all my core muscles, from the hips through just below the shoulders? And to connect those muscles together through tension?
I definitely need strength training and practice to connect all my core muscles together like that. Some of the muscles I almost never use.
For the moment I've gone back to using my broken down dance boots, partly in order to learn this technique. I even feel like, this way, I can sort of jump in them, which would otherwise need much stiffer boots.
How do you guys feel about these sort of things? How do you use your muscles during power pulls, and where is your fulcrum? Do you connect all your muscles together through tension most of the time?