You are viewing as a Guest.

Welcome to skatingforums - over 10 years of figure skating discussions for skaters, coaches, judges and parents!

Please register to be able to access all features of this message board.

Author Topic: Legs refusing to listen?!  (Read 383 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Angel52

  • Rink Rat
  • *
  • Joined: Dec 2016
  • Posts: 8
  • Total GOE: 8
  • Gender: Female
Legs refusing to listen?!
« on: January 27, 2017, 08:44:36 PM »
Hello everyone~!
I'm not sure if this question has been submitted here before or if I'm the only one experiencing this weird problem but here's my question:
It's been almost a month since I started taking lessons and practicing on my own. I even bought my own skates so I didn't have to keep using the rental ones. I seem to have found a weird issue while I'm practicing the basic steps. When I try to do the swerves(?) or the half circles, my left skate always seem to drag behind. It's like working with a leg that fell asleep? My coach says it's because my left side is generally weaker than my right, but my right side's balance needs work too.... How can I fix this?
Thank you!

Offline skategeek

  • Custom Skates
  • *****
  • Joined: Aug 2013
  • Posts: 1,921
  • Total GOE: 231
  • Gender: Female
  • or is that geekyskater?
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2017, 09:03:09 PM »
Totally normal for one side to be stronger/better than the other (and sometimes not the same side for all the skills!).  The trap you want to avoid falling into is practicing the good side more because it's easier/more fun.  Force yourself to practice the weaker side more to improve it.  When I started, I could do right crossovers but not left, but eventually the left crossovers improved.  Currently my left crossovers are far better than my right- for some reason when I push back I then hesitate to move the right foot up and over.  No problem on the left.  So when I practice, I try to do tons of right crossovers.  Really, this is something that just takes time.  With more practice, your legs will get stronger and your balance will improve.  Good luck!

Offline riley876

  • BladeLock
  • AOSS Member
  • ***
  • Joined: Dec 2014
  • Location: NZ
  • Posts: 788
  • Total GOE: 25
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2017, 11:34:40 PM »
It's been almost a month since I started taking lessons and practicing on my own. I even bought my own skates so I didn't have to keep using the rental ones. I seem to have found a weird issue while I'm practicing the basic steps. When I try to do the swerves(?) or the half circles, my left skate always seem to drag behind. It's like working with a leg that fell asleep? My coach says it's because my left side is generally weaker than my right, but my right side's balance needs work too.... How can I fix this? Thank you!

1. First off a question:  Are you skeletally symmetrical?  Tibias and Femurs in particular are often twisted to some degree (called Tibial Torsion and Femoral Torsion or Anteversion or Retroversion if you want to look it up).   Good to know if you are, but it's not the end of the world, but it can explain a lot.

2. Free foot location is intimately tied up with fore-aft balance on the skating foot.   You may be inadvertently trying to get that fore-aft balance right, i.e foot goes back in compensation for leaning forward.   Typically, for upright postures, the deeper the knee bend, the more your ass goes back, so the more the free foot has to come forward to counterbalance it (this is why forward powerpulls are doing with the free foot ahead of you).

3. Free hip height is really really important, i.e. hiking or dipping the free hip can be (and perhaps usually should be) used as a steering mechanism.  If you're inadvertently hiking or dipping you could be steering in ways you don't intend to be.

4. Are you inducing unwanted/excess/insufficient rotational momentum?   If you don't match your rotational momentum to your curve you will fall off the curve.   You do this by rotating the free foot, or by twisting the upper body/arm.   If you're inadvertantly rotating the free foot out or in you might be instinctively trying to manage your rotational momentum, but either overdoing or underdoing it.

5. Remember that every screwup is serving a purpose.  Find this purpose and you can substitute a more effective mechanism.

Offline nicklaszlo

  • Lipping a Lutz
  • ****
  • Joined: Mar 2011
  • Posts: 1,099
  • Total GOE: 215
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 04:21:11 AM »
Everybody has a dominant side.  Practice using both sides of your body to help even it up.

Defects in the boot or mount of the blade are also possible, but more likely you need some more practice.

Offline Olddream

  • Wearing Rental Skates
  • *
  • Joined: Apr 2017
  • Posts: 3
  • Total GOE: 0
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2017, 06:25:52 PM »
I have a similar problem, I have trouble picking up my left foot when doing my regular forward skate strokes.  For some reason I don't feel as secure on my right foot.  My left foot stays on the ice more and that blade gets dull faster than my right one.  I've been practicing balancing on my right foot at home, just on the regular floor, and have also been practicing just coasting slowly on one foot at a time on the ice, that's helped some, but I still tend to keep my left foot down a lot for feeling more secure. 

Offline Ethereal Ice

  • Prerotation Society
  • **
  • Joined: Feb 2016
  • Posts: 163
  • Total GOE: 13
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2017, 12:13:09 AM »
I have a similar problem, I have trouble picking up my left foot when doing my regular forward skate strokes.  For some reason I don't feel as secure on my right foot.  My left foot stays on the ice more and that blade gets dull faster than my right one.  I've been practicing balancing on my right foot at home, just on the regular floor, and have also been practicing just coasting slowly on one foot at a time on the ice, that's helped some, but I still tend to keep my left foot down a lot for feeling more secure.

I have the same issue with forward stroking,  I feel less secure on my left leg.  As others have said though,  it is all strength, and most everyone has a weak side.  In particular, doing back crossovers, ccw is my stronger direction because I can pull and push under strongly with my right foot.  Up until very recently, my cw back crossovers felt so wrong,  I felt like rather than doing a strong pull and underpush with my left leg,  all my weight,  momentum etc.came from my right foot cutting out and drawing behind my left foot. Very frustrating. However, I have been making myself do a certian number of them every practice with a focus on my left leg, and lo and behold,  today I finally started to coordinate my left leg with my right, it feels stronger, and I have a decent left underpush.  Thank goodness.  Anyway,  my point is,  I know that it is hard to be patient,  but if you make yourself work on that non dominate side,  you will start to have breakthroughs and they will feel really good.

Offline tstop4me

  • Ice is the Vice
  • ***
  • Joined: Oct 2015
  • Location: USA
  • Posts: 487
  • Total GOE: 136
  • Conserve Angular Momentum
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2017, 01:34:23 PM »
I agree that most skaters have a dominant side for most maneuvers, and that the dominant side can depend on the particular maneuver.  I also agree that you want to practice more on the weaker side to get it up to snuff.  That said though, be aware that often there are physical asymmetries between your left and right foot (or left and right sides in general) that may require different insoles and different blade mounts in your left and right boots.  This won't be apparent to you when you're a newbie, so at some point try to get critique from an experienced coach or skate tech.  You don't want to spend endless fruitless hours, for example, practicing to build up strength on your left side, when the root cause of your problem is that the blade on the left boot needs to be moved over an 1/8".

Offline sampaguita

  • Doing Slidy Back Crossovers
  • *****
  • Joined: Feb 2011
  • Posts: 1,480
  • Total GOE: 40
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #7 on: May 07, 2017, 08:03:31 AM »
If you're talking about edges and having a free leg that "drags" along, I think it's the free hip height and free foot position you have to work on, just as riley876 has said. You do need some strength to do it right, but for the most part, it's being aware of your hip position.

And yes, one side is usually dominant. However, I'm going to go against the general consensus here -- I advocate practicing on your strong side until you get reasonably good in it. Once you know how it feels on your strong side, you'll know what's wrong with your weak side, and this makes it easier (at least for me) to improve it.

Offline Doubletoe

  • Quintuple Salflutzchow
  • ****
  • Joined: Aug 2010
  • Posts: 1,219
  • Total GOE: 135
Re: Legs refusing to listen?!
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2017, 12:55:07 PM »
If you're talking about edges and having a free leg that "drags" along, I think it's the free hip height and free foot position you have to work on, just as riley876 has said. You do need some strength to do it right, but for the most part, it's being aware of your hip position.

And yes, one side is usually dominant. However, I'm going to go against the general consensus here -- I advocate practicing on your strong side until you get reasonably good in it. Once you know how it feels on your strong side, you'll know what's wrong with your weak side, and this makes it easier (at least for me) to improve it.

^ Agreed.  Take a video of what you're dong on your stronger side and also make note of the position of every part of your body when you're on your stronger side (including your free hip, for sure!).  Then do the mirror image of that position on your weaker side, consciously replicating the body positions and sensations you had while doing it on your stronger side.