Anyone have opinions or feedback regarding spirals and hip/back issues?
This isn't really yoga, because I don't like Yoga. I do stretch, though.
What not to do: sharp, uncontrolled leg lifts behind their heel, usually hard and fast. They can strain the lower back muscles something awful. The "plop your ankle on the wall" stretching is also useless for spirals if the skater can't extend and lift behind; they typically open their hip to the side and half-roll into the front-to-back split position later.
When stretching, hold each position for 30-40 seconds. I have my skaters sing the ABC song or use music.
Squats (start with wall squats)
Spiral extensions (use a sturdy chair or counter/barre at first)
Planks, Side Planks (add leg lifts at 45° angle later)
Bridges (especially with ankle crossed over leg - works the hip flexors)