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Author Topic: Stretches to help front crossovers?  (Read 1482 times)

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Offline Ethereal Ice

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Stretches to help front crossovers?
« on: May 05, 2016, 03:35:56 AM »
Hi guys. My subject title speaks for itself I guess, I am a skating newbie, I have been skating for four months now, about 4 mornings a week for an hour each time. I had my very first real lesson a day ago, I have worked hard on my own to learn as many elements as possible independently, but crossovers have proved very intimidating for me, and I wanted to wait until I had formal instruction to help me with them. After reviewing the basics with me to see where I was at, my coach began working on them with me, both on the rail and then with her supporting me on a circle.

I think it went really well from the perspective of it being the first time ever for me to really ever try it on the ice (I have tried the stepping over motion off ice at the rink, but never on the ice like this. I was pretty happy with that whole part of it. However, I told my coach that I just feel so awkward with my legs crossed over like that, and when I say awkward I mean stiff, off balance, and like my body position is so wrong...normally my skating posture is pretty good, but on my worst attempts, I forget about my knee bends, my butt ends up sticking way out, I am bent forward at the waist, everything I knew you are not supposed to do. Of course my coach's reminders about my edges, my arms, to keep my knees bent and keeping my weight solidly on my foot that is crossed over before attempting to complete the motion really helps....but I really feel like a major problem is still that I just feel so stiff!!!

Ever since I started skating, I have been doing a 30 minute routine most evenings to stretch and strengthen my body. The routine has evolved over time, but it consists of stretches, lunges, twists, balancing, strengthening etc, I also have and use therabands for some stuff. I have also been doing some ballet videos for beginners on my non skating days, I even got a barre. I have a really varied routine now  I have improved greatly with my flexibility and balance in particular. However, I really do not feel I am able to duplicate that "crossed over" motion enough to help me on the ice.....

So far, I do: 1) kind of a lunge where you cross a leg behind you and do a deep bend on the standing leg, it looks like a deep curtsey. 2) sitting yoga twists with one knee crossed over the extended leg, twisting my body away from the crossed over knee using my arm on the knee for leverage to stretch the lateral hip 3) while standing, crossing my legs over and doing forward folds, and 4) alternating legs repeated stepping over in a crossover motion (even that feels totally awkward).

Well, as you can see, I have been working pretty hard on this. I know the ability to have balance and flexibility in that position is imperative, and even though I made good strides conquering my feelings of intimidation with this element during my lesson, I am frustrated with not feeling any progress in my flexibility  :P . Any more ideas/videos/diagrams to help me get more flexible in this position? I would so appreciate it!!

Offline riley876

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2016, 04:26:25 AM »
For me, the feeling of simply stepping at 45 degrees, i.e. equally forwards and to the side, (and also turning the foot 45 degrees) simulates the feeling reasonably well.    i.e.  imagine you are standing on one edge of a reasonably big octagon.   Each pace puts your next foot down smack on top of the next edge.   i.e. 8 steps to go around 360 degrees.   Make the octagon big enough so the strides are decently big.

For CCW turns, the steps onto your right foot should feel a "pigeon toed/knock-kneed" stretch and with the steps onto your left foot you maybe should feel a "open hipped" stretch, (unless you're so already so open that it's trivial)

Try to "push off" the foot you are about to pick up.  You need this in order to be stable and to gain/maintain speed.  And once you pick up that back foot, the toe should be pointing outside the octagon.   It never points inside.   For extra bonus points, actually point the toes.   

In practice, on the ice, it's not going to (always) be 45 degree steps, but it can be.

Offline axelwylie

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2016, 06:28:44 AM »
You mentioned that you have done the "stepping over" version of crossovers on the ice. My coach doesn't teach it that way because she thinks it is a recipe for falling (blade clicking, tripping over your boot, etc). Instead, she teaches it on two feet.

If skating in a CCW direction, both your left and right feet will remain on the ice. Trace the hockey circle with your left boot and then (with your right leg still on the ice), do a swizzle pump and bring the right leg around to cross (again, right leg remains on the ice). Once the right leg is across your body, the left leg picks up off the ice to start a new lobe.

I find these crossovers to be much more stable, and it also prevents that awkward "pick and lift" motion that many beginning skaters have on this element.
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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2016, 07:59:14 PM »
on my worst attempts, I forget about my knee bends, my butt ends up sticking way out, I am bent forward at the waist, everything I knew you are not supposed to do.

All of this, as I am sure you know, is caused by NOT bending the knees.  Everything else bends, it's awkward, and it doesn't work too well.

If you can try it in slow motion, and then HOLD that cross position, that will do a lot to help you - you cannot hold that position if your knees (yes, both of them) are not bent enough.  The knee on the "under" leg doesn't actually straighten until the end of the underpush, which is also a skill you can work on developing (along with the weight shift) while holding that crossed position.

Offline Query

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2016, 09:46:07 PM »
I think you will find you don't need much flexibility to do good crossovers, if the technique is right.

What you need is for your whole body to be on a line of lean, inwards towards the center of the circle you are skating on. Plus the deep knee bend (on the leg you are stepping over) Sarahspins mentions.

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2016, 01:35:31 AM »
Great responses everyone, thank you for your time!

Riley, your Octagon is an excellent visual for me as was the rest of your post, thank you.

Axel, I used the term stepping over, but my coach has been having me do an outside circle pump as you describe and then kind of swing the foot around in front the stationary one, it does not remain on the ice though, as you describe, but it is not an actual one foot directly over the other either. I may ask her about the type you are describing, the good thing is that she is often at the rink and says I can ask her follow up stuff whenever.

Sarahspins, thank you for the reminder about not straightening the knee until the underpush, my coach reminded me of the same and also about trying to just hold that position and be more comfy with it. I will practice that both on and off the ice. .

Query, your post is encouraging, I find the lean intimidating and I think that is a major part of my discomfort with the motion. While it is nice to know I don't have to be particularly bendy in that regard, I find being on the edges like this in the crossed over position a bit scary.

I will let you guys know if progress is made!

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2016, 10:28:31 AM »
The Octagon analogy doesn't do much for me because crossovers use curving edges but knowing that Riley does inline explains the concept.  What's the circular equivalent of an Octagon - that's what we need to describe!

I teach crossovers as two circles - you push and glide on the outer circle, then cross and place the crossing foot down (on an inside edge) on the inner circle, then let the crossing foot return to the outer circle to push forward again.

Best tip is to turn the crossing foot toe IN towards the center of the circle a bit.  Many skaters bring the crossing foot across, heel-first.  Heel-first = trip hazard because you end up changing direction with a flat or outside edge in the opposing direction.

On-ice, try two-foot swizzle pumps where the outside foot travels past the toe of the skating foot to cross in front.  I have skaters practice them, alternating in a straight line, down the length of the rink.  It isolates the hips and weight shift and provides some stretching.  When that becomes comfortable, doing one side only around a circle lets the skater practice underpushing since you can't let the crossing foot stay too far in front.  Half-swizzle back-to-front, cross and hold, release the free foot toepick and push away with the outside edge.

I hate the "donkey kick" that skaters do when they cross too far in front of the skating foot.  Your legs should remain crossed at the thighs to execute a proper underpush.

The lean is critical so work on edges with lean.  I have skaters turn to stare at the dot in the middle of the circle - that allows the shoulders to rotate naturally to the proper "shoulders over the circle" position.
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Offline Query

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2016, 01:14:05 PM »
Oops.

What I said could be misinterpreted. I mentioned the bend of the leg that is underneath.

Both knees bend. What actually happens, in a very deep right over left crossover (down on a counter-clockwise arc), is that the left knee, that you are gliding on, bends. Then the right leg comes over top and slightly in front of the other leg. It may be straight or slightly bent. Then it touches down, to the left ofthe other foot. As your weight transfers to the right leg, it bends, and moves a bit to the right, underneath your center of gravity, and the left leg straightens as it comes back and pushes underneath the right leg, and finally leaves the ice.

(Bear in mind, that when I say underneath your center of gravity, which is where a single foot that supports all your weight has to be for stability, I mean underneath in the sense of gravity PLUS centrifugal force - which is part of why you need an outside edge lean.)

For a left over right crossover (done on a clockwise arc), switch left and right in the above.

When we walk and run on the ground, we are often taught, as we grow into adulthood, that falling is bad, may get you hurt, and even worse, may get you laughed at. So, any time a foot and leg are supporting much weight, we lean on the inside edge a little. That prevents falls, because if you start to fall, you can always put down the other foot to stop it. (BTW, when your heal first touches down, but is not supporting much weight, it may briefly be on a slight outside edge. That is a small detail that we can ignore for this discussion.)

So when most people first try to master crossovers in ice skating, they do the same thing: They try to support weight and lean on an inside edge, then try to cross the other foot over that inside edge. That means they have to stretch further, and it makes for a very clumsy transfer. It's psychological - it feels like you CAN'T place your weight on an outside edge, and being on an outside edge creates fear. You simply have to learn to trust that the full outside edge and lean on the ice, to do crossovers, and many other things that are expected of figure skaters.

FWIIW, many hockey players do get away with staying on their inside edges most of the time. AFAICT, those hockey players can't do crossovers, or direction changes, as well as the ones that learn outside edges too, but the strong forward lean, including weight support on the stick (which prevents a forwards fall from too far a forwards lean, at least most of the time), that are used in hockey, lets them get away with a little it better than figure skaters. Unfortunately, figure skaters aren't supposed to have such a strong forwards lean, most of the time, nor do we have a stick to lean on, so you can't use beginner hockey player style crossovers.

Try this exercise on the ground: Walk and run in straight lines. As I said, when put all or most of your weight on a foot, you probably lean a little on its inside edge, for stability. Now run fast in small circles. The foot an leg inside the circle will have to be on an outside edge, to fight the change in effective gravity from centrifugal force. Crossovers on the ice, and other outside edge moves, are likewise done on circular arcs, so you need that same lean into the circle (which is on your inside foot and leg's outside edge). Centrifugal force is the reason we can trust the outside edge to support us. Now push it a little, and walk or run crossing over, to get smaller circles. For the right over left example, you walk or run in a counter-clockwise circle, and cross the right leg over the left leg. Do it until it feels fairly natural. That is almost exactly what you will do on the ice, except that the feet will glide.

Do you remember "Trust the force, Luke" in Star Wars? Try "Trust the outside edge, Ethie" (substitute real name). :)

Many figure skaters don't really do crossovers. They do "progressive runs" - meaning that they place the new (right, in my right over left example) foot in front of the current (left) skating foot, rather than along side it in a full crossed over position. In fact they never really cross one foot over the other. Ice dancers tend to consider that cheating, but freestyle skaters often don't worry about it too much, until they reach higher skating levels. Maybe that style would be easier for you to learn at first too. Try it in the walking or running in circles on the ground example too - don't fully cross over, just put the outside (right) foot in front of the other foot as it touches down. Easier, no?

Offline riley876

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2016, 02:57:33 PM »
The Octagon analogy doesn't do much for me because crossovers use curving edges but knowing that Riley does inline explains the concept.  What's the circular equivalent of an Octagon - that's what we need to describe!

Definitely agree that it's imperfect!   But Eth.Ice did ask for a stretching exercise, and that's the closest you can get with having some means of gliding.   I was trying to get to the essence of the pigeon-toed underpush, and resulting pointed out extension, which for me was the main sticking point to getting crossovers.   

I suppose you could use a decagon or dodecagon or whatever {large-N}-sided polygon you like,  which probably gets you closer to feel of the curved progressive run feeling,  but if you use those off-ice then there's less stretching involved, and it becomes all a bit vague as to what you're trying to do.    Using a square (or even triangle!) is even better BTW if you only want a good hip opener/closer stretch, but yes, at that point I think the feeling of progression is entirely lost.   

BTW I did learn how to do crossovers properly on ice from an former Scottish national ice dance champion.  And the ice technique seems exactly applicable on inlines.  Which, if heavily rockered (as artistic inlines always are) are just as capable of carving curved edges.  Unrockered inline hockey inlines might need a modified technique though, but I don't know, as I haven't got those.

She had me do a cool little exercise which involved doing crossovers whilst lightly dragging the pick of the turned out free foot at the end of each stroke.   This fairly quickly cured a bunch of glaring problems with my CW crossovers.   

Maybe related:  Here's an interesting clip of Nick Perna teaching forward crossovers (teaching technique).
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC7E1OC7lr8

He's also explains the same thing (but with much clearer footage) on iCoachSkating.

I think teaching lean is premature.  Once you have the pushing happening in a continuous way, the lean will be intuitive and unavoidable.   Beginners typically won't be going fast enough to need more than trivial lean anyway.

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2016, 04:42:47 PM »


On-ice, try two-foot swizzle pumps where the outside foot travels past the toe of the skating foot to cross in front.  I have skaters practice them, alternating in a straight line, down the length of the rink.  It isolates the hips and weight shift and provides some stretching.  When that becomes comfortable, doing one side only around a circle lets the skater practice underpushing since you can't let the crossing foot stay too far in front.  Half-swizzle back-to-front, cross and hold, release the free foot toepick and push away with the outside edge.

The lean is critical so work on edges with lean.  I have skaters turn to stare at the dot in the middle of the circle - that allows the shoulders to rotate naturally to the proper "shoulders over the circle" position

You guys are absolutely amazing, this abundance of info is going to take me a bit to sort out. Let me start with a dumb question FigureSpins. The above exercise when you say "two foot swizzle pumps" etc. I am a little confused. I am picturing basically half Swizzles, alternating side to side, bringing the swizzling foot in front of the stationary as you head in a straight direction,  basically to get the feel of bringing the foot around to the front, but not actually lifting it over, is that correct exercise? On the circle, my coach had me do an outside swizzle and bring it to the front of the inside skate, but then she had me cross it over. If I am understanding your exercise correctly I would love to try it next time. I do have a bit of difficulty knowing where my skates are in space, and I try so hard not to look down, it makes me lose my balance. Stepping over on the rail has helped me learn my skate boundaries a bit but it is a work in progress for sure.

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2016, 04:54:58 PM »
Correct.  When you really "get" it, you can criss-cross.  It works the hips and thighs to improve crossing and stretch a bit.
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Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2016, 05:00:38 PM »

So when most people first try to master crossovers in ice skating, they do the same thing: They try to support weight and lean on an inside edge, then try to cross the other foot over that inside edge. That means they have to stretch further, and it makes for a very clumsy transfer. It's psychological - it feels like you CAN'T place your weight on an outside edge, and being on an outside edge creates fear. You simply have to learn to trust that the full outside edge and lean on the ice, to do crossovers, and many other things that are expected of figure skaters.


Yes, yes, a thousand times yes!!! That is exactly how I feel right now! Your idea of running in small circles to simulate the feeling intrigues me, and I am going to do it! 

To add another interesting note to your whole post, my husband is taking lessons with me and has had to start out in hockey skates due to his freakishly wide feet. I am more advanced than him in many moves, but he can technically do front cross overs. Our coach was a bit baffled when we told her this information, and then she watched him do them. It seems that he is doing them the way you describe some of the hockey crossovers, he it's not on the correct edges, this puts his body in a rather vertical position. She is working too help him correct that issue also, but you have nailed it add to why he was physically able to  cross over, but they were not technically correct. Thanks again Query.

And Riley, I believe I understood the Octagon analogy, I took it to mean that I was still going on an arc/circle. I pictured it though, as you mentioned, in small increments basically. I knew you did not mean a major change of angle with each step.

You guys are all amazing I am thrilled with this amount of info and ideas to consider. Thank you all.

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #12 on: May 07, 2016, 09:09:40 AM »
The Octagon analogy doesn't do much for me because crossovers use curving edges but knowing that Riley does inline explains the concept.  What's the circular equivalent of an Octagon - that's what we need to describe!

An octagon is used as a polygonal approximation to a circle.  You don't want to think about it the other way around (well, a circular approximation to an octagon is a circle; so that's not of much help).

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2016, 11:41:32 AM »
Given that your teacher is showing you how to do it in a nice way, I think you should just listen to her, not us. There are so many different ways to do things, that listening to too many people is really confusing.

I think teaching lean is premature.  Once you have the pushing happening in a continuous way, the lean will be intuitive and unavoidable.   Beginners typically won't be going fast enough to need more than trivial lean anyway.

>I think teaching lean is premature.

The original poster indicated problems with flexibility. That probably means he/she is upright or on an inside edge, so the top leg isn't long enough to reach. Move it to an outside edge, and he/she doesn't have to reach nearly as far, and the problem will probably go away. Yes, he/she could achieve the same thing by deeply bending the other knee, but he/she may not yet be strong enough to do that. Proper lean is the only answer that will overcome flexibility issues without requiring much strength.

>Once you have the pushing happening in a continuous way...

It takes a lot of practice to do that. Most people learn to crawl before they walk. From what I can tell from our BS program, most of the skaters don't actually get smooth, doubly pushed crossovers until about FS 3 level - and it may be strongly associated with getting stronger, which takes time.

>Beginners typically won't be going fast enough to need more than trivial lean anyway.

A good point. But proper lean helps give the body the right feel, and greatly reduces the stretch. And until he/she gets onto an outside edge, he/she can never produce those good, smooth crossovers you like. (Unless, of course, they lean way forwards like a hockey player. And good hockey players often use an outside lean too - just watch an NHL game.)

I do have a bit of difficulty knowing where my skates are in space

Then the progressive run may be for you. You don't have to worry about tripping because the back of the free foot (right foot for right-over-left crossovers) touches the front of the skating foot (left foot in same example).

Your teacher's way of just exaggerating an (right foot) outside half-twizzle so it comes in front IS a progressive run. I love her way of explaining it. The idea of starting with your feet side-by-side on the ice, in uncrossed position, makes it easy - in fact, it resembles a USFSA-style ice dance progressive. If you do want to cross over, just shift your weight forwards - which means the (right) foot in front glides back, to be underneath your center of gravity, and push the left foot back as well - and also a bit underneath your right foot.

Done this way, the right foot never has to be to the left of your center of gravity - it simply glides ahead of it, and then underneath it. If flexibility or balance IS an issue, that will be easier than stepping over into a crossed position, with the right foot to the left of your center of gravity. (Note: for most people, it seems to be a bit harder, perhaps because it takes slightly more strength to glide the right foot in front than to lift it off the ice?)

Many of the judges I have talked to prefer progressive and progressive-run -style crossovers, even for freestyle skating, so it probably is more than acceptable to your coach, especially since she is showing you this method.

Of course, to start the next right-over-left cross-over/progressive run, you will have to lift your left foot off the ice and bring it forwards, along-side the right foot, in uncrossed position again. But that is true for the normal cross-over as well.


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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2016, 12:50:51 PM »
My reply here does not directly respond to the OP's initial question concerning off-ice exercises to help forward crossovers.  But here are some additional tips that I hope will help, rather than confuse.  I've had several beginners at the rink ask me for advice on forward crossovers.  A major problem I noticed they all had was that they couldn't hold a single edge long enough; that is, instead of crossing over from one single edge to another, they were really klunking over from a first two-foot position to a second two-foot position.  What really helped me improve my forward crossovers was drilling on loops:  holding a single edge for a full circle, with the free foot in back for half the circle, and with the free foot in front for half the circle.  Do this for all four forward edges (right outside, right inside, left outside, left inside).  Once you build up holding your single edges, with the free foot in back and in front, crossovers come much easier.

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2016, 02:21:43 PM »
Given that your teacher is showing you how to do it in a nice way, I think you should just listen to her, not us. There are so many different ways to do things, that listening to too many people is really confusing.

>I

My questions here are simply gathering information, I am fine weeding out discussion with personal practicality, so I hope folks feel free to continue to explore the issue if they wish. Originally I was just asking for off ice stretches to help with the front cross over motion, but the information given had been far more interesting than that. There have been some on ice exercises given that go along just fine with what my instructor is teaching, for example the alternating swizzle pumps along a straight line, that is a portion of the motion that she is trying to get me comfortable with. I am not going to attempt to learn this a completely different way, but I am capable of exploring other mindsets, and taking away those things that help me and my current form of instruction.

I understand the concern of a beginner reading multiple opinions on a subject and then switching around from technique to technique, I have been an equestrian for over 35 years and see newbies do that to the confusion of themselves and their horses and trainers. At some point though, hopefully we reach a place where we can just take in information for the sake of exploring other ideas, not necessarily acting on them. Thanks again.

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2016, 03:27:20 PM »
My reply here does not directly respond to the OP's initial question concerning off-ice exercises to help forward crossovers.  But here are some additional tips that I hope will help, rather than confuse.  I've had several beginners at the rink ask me for advice on forward crossovers.  A major problem I noticed they all had was that they couldn't hold a single edge long enough; that is, instead of crossing over from one single edge to another, they were really klunking over from a first two-foot position to a second two-foot position.  What really helped me improve my forward crossovers was drilling on loops:  holding a single edge for a full circle, with the free foot in back for half the circle, and with the free foot in front for half the circle.  Do this for all four forward edges (right outside, right inside, left outside, left inside).  Once you build up holding your single edges, with the free foot in back and in front, crossovers come much easier.

This is what I mean when I say an exercise that will compliment my coach's instructions. She has emphasized how important it is to be on correct edges, that the motion she is teaching will be much easier if I am on them. This will be a good exercise for me to gain confidence with them, thank you T stop.

And more thanks to Query, FigureSpins, Riley and Axel...I am a rather analytical person and have really enjoyed your views on this element. Add to that my wonderful Coach and I am sure I will make some progress with this over the next few weeks. Though you all may have some differing views on how the element is best learned, the gist of key pieces to achieve the forward crossover remains the same. I will keep you all posted.

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2016, 09:08:15 PM »
I understand the concern of a beginner reading multiple opinions on a subject and then switching around from technique to technique, I have been an equestrian for over 35 years and see newbies do that to the confusion of themselves and their horses and trainers.

Poor horses!

I'm curious about what variances in interaction exist with horses.

E.g., are at least the most basic signals (like move forwards, speed up, slow down, stop, turn) the same for all schools of riding, in all parts of the world?

I took skating lessons from too many coaches, sometimes simultaneously, and ended up very confused. They seemed to differ a lot on what was "proper" technique. Didn't realize that more than one technique can be "proper", as long as it is consistent. I finally realized that the ice dancing coach with the highest competitive credentials was considered good in part because he and his partner had a fairly unique style of movement and interaction, which didn't work at all well with most prospective U.S. ice dance partners.

I had similar problems with two very good kayak instructors.

In this case, people with ice dance backgrounds do very different crossovers (which they call progressives) from most freestyle skaters. Typical ice dancers seek a "look" with a certain flair, with strong, fully extended lines, 45 degree diagonally sideways and back pushes, brushing the ice with the sides of their boot and leading into posed in-air extensions, and specific toe points. They also move in close quarter consonance with a partner, and are often expected to look into each other's eyes. Good freestyle skaters seem to mostly use crossovers to gain speed and set themselves up for jumps and spins. I think they therefore place less emphasis on making the movements and poses pretty, and more on making them effective and efficient. They often move more quickly, so they have more time for tricks, and don't hold a poses during the crossover at all. It makes sense when you realize that freestyle skaters can earn more points from jumps and spins than from more basic strokes, and that packing many motions into a freestyle program raises their scores = whereas ice dance is all about looking nice, and looking different from other ice dance couples. You can see some of the differences that arise if you look at Youtube videos of different skaters.

Synchro skaters seem to pick up some of the ice dance techniques, perhaps because they also move in close quarters with other skaters.

I took lessons from coaches specializing in different disciplines, including that ice dance coach with the unique flair, and had trouble sorting things out. I'm glad you are confident there will be no such confusion in your case.

Offline Ethereal Ice

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2016, 02:45:00 PM »
Poor horses!

I'm curious about what variances in interaction exist with horses.

E.g., are at least the most basic signals (like move forwards, speed up, slow down, stop, turn) the same for all schools of riding, in all parts of the world?

 

Oh Query.....the stories horse folks can tell! I knew there are other horse people on here who have likely noticed similar things. Horses can be quite comparable to skating in that there is a way to do things that will get you through, and there is a way to do things with finesse. Though there are many disciplines in riding (Hunter/jumper, dressage, reining, western pleasure etc.) In my experience, good riding is good riding, a talented rider can ride well regardless.

I decided to pm you about this because I want to stay on topic for the rest of the forum readers, and a lifetime of horses has given me the ability to rant about the industry for a while :)

Back to skating,  I am intrigued by your explaination of the differences in ice dancing and freestyle. We have the beauty of a coach that has competed and taught extensively in both, she is quite amazing. My husband and I have the ultimate goal of ice dancing together (to what level we achieve remains to be seen, we just want to be able to learn some dances eventually) and we told her this from the get go. She is already encouraging me to consider going for dancing blades for my next blade choice (she prefers dancing blades herself) and I think she is keeping in mind our ultimate goals when she is teaching us these foundation moves.

I am going to be referring to this thread for a while... including your last post, because it has given me a great deal of info to draw from and some possible questions to ask our coach as we make progress over the coming months. Right now, I am just practicing the moves she gave me and some more basic ones that contribute towards learning those moves.

 I must take this slowly, and I will say that taking up figure skating at 42 has given me new respect for the newbie adult riders I meet at the barn. I was enjoying a gentle canter on my sometimes squirrelly mare one day, and when I stopped, one of the beginner adults said, "THAT is what I want to do, totally relaxed and beautiful. I try so hard, and it just doesn't come!!" I gently reminded her that she can't compare 2 years with horses with 35, and that while it looks pretty (I hope), it often takes work to make it look pretty. My body and my horse's body are constantly giving feedback to one another that cannot be seen regarding speed, bend of the circle, her softness in the bridle etc. Not to mention I am focused on my body position being correct and not interfering with my horse. I am not just sitting there, though it probably looks like I am. Skating is no different. You work hard to make it look easy, and I have mad respect for you guys.

Offline Query

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #19 on: May 11, 2016, 10:03:07 PM »
Please remember that I'm not an expert. About 12-13 years trying, but some 5 year olds skate better.

Offline rd350

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Re: Stretches to help front crossovers?
« Reply #20 on: June 01, 2016, 01:14:32 PM »
I had a coach describe it as more of a cross "under" rather than over and that really helped me.  The leg outside the circle should hit the ice before it crosses your midline (or the foot on the inside of the circle) and it's the inside leg that then pushes under the outside leg (and try holding it a bit).
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