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Author Topic: Use all core muscles? Push through insole instead of boot sides?  (Read 382 times)

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Offline Query

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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?


Offline Neverdull44

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Re: Use all core muscles? Push through insole instead of boot sides?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2016, 07:07:46 PM »
On forward and backwards pulls, I push down most in my ankles, but also in my knee and hip while trying to keep the upper body motionless.  .  But, if I am 'lazy', I can just go from side to side in my stiff Edeas and let the skate do the edge.  Coach yelled a for doing this.   She could tell that I wasn't 'skating it', but letting the boots take me for a ride.   Most importantly, I have to count, "One-two" "One-two" on each side of each power pull, or they get lopsided.

Offline riley876

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Re: Use all core muscles? Push through insole instead of boot sides?
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2016, 11:00:17 PM »
Initial thought is:  if you're on a deep enough edge, there's no point pushing through the sides?  Since a push through the sole is a push sideways,  when you're leaned over.   Plus with the benefit of an unweighting of the skating foot (at the end of the push),  which allows changes of edge, or changes of skate direction or turns or even jumps.

I've been thinking around this subject the last few days.  In particular trying to (re)learn to skate roller skates.   I've noticed there is *something* I do on ice/inline edges that really isn't useful for rollers.  I was thinking it was something to do with steering the skate, i.e. on ice/inline I tend to keep a torque applied to the skate to feed it into the curve.   I think it's both a direct ankle torque AND a weight placement to the trailing end of the skate.   Both of which do squat on rollers (one of course steers via ankle tilt operating the skates steering mechanism).   I didn't even realise I did it until I found myself trying to do it on rollers.

I have got power pulls going on all 3 types of skates.  Ice and inline are essentially identical, I tend to just keep my body over a straight line, and carve strokes to alternately either side of me,   But on rollers this doesn't really work, the skates can't easily be dragged/semi-jumped from side to side,  so I've been moving my body across the top of the skate to do the changes of edge, which requires a sideways push/pull.  I think as I get better I'll be able to steer it underneath me.   But not there yet.

I guess it comes down to, when doing edges, you need your CoG some distance away from the contact point (in a bird's eye view)  To adjust this distance (and hence adjust your curve), you have two options,  either or some combination of:

1. steer/jump/slide the skate to the new required point (at whatever distance from your CoG is needed),  or
2. push laterally on the boot to move your body to get the required distance.

#1 seems cleaner and more natural, and more "dancey".  #2 seems a bit of a hack, but needed for figures, since the tracing is sacrosanct.

#1 needs no sideways boot push (but maybe the aforementioned torque/rearward weight placement), but #2 certainly does.