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Thread: Spread eagle tips?

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    Question Spread eagle tips?

    I started working on outside eagles a few month ago, and never achieved good speed / ice coverage. Somehow it always closes in to a small, edgy circle. Any attempts to make a larger curve will slow it down even further. I currently enter from forward stroking. Never had a stable inside spread eagle as the circle is even smaller, fine on a straight line though. Any tips on drills, entrance, position...? Thank you so much in advance and HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

  2. #2
    Rink Rat i love to skate's Avatar
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    Place your feet in the spread eagle position against the boards and push towards the boards and lean back from the boards. This exercise helps establish the feeling of the position. Try entering into your spread eagle from backwards stroking as I find this is an easier entrance. Good Luck!

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    What helped me get my spread eagle was holding onto the boards, turning my leading foot out, then pointing and turning out my other foot and bringing it heel first into the instep of my leading foot. That made the trailing foot slide right into position on an outside edge. Then I tried it on the open ice while moving.

    A few other tips: If you are going into the spread eagle by skating forward (which is also how I first did it), take a few strokes, then push out at a 90 degree angle onto your turned out leading foot. Look over your leading shoulder and really solidify that deep outside edge (on a bent leg) before straightening the free leg, turning out the foot and bringing the heel in right to the instep of the leading foot (straighten the leading leg as you turn out and straighten the trailing leg). Keep looking over your leading shoulder and try to push your hips forward.

    Caution: You should not do spread eagles if you don't have naturally open hips. This is a matter of joint structure, not just lack of flexibility, and no amount of stretching will give you "turnout" if your hips aren't built that way. What will happen if you push it is that you will damage your knees. To test the openness of your hips, stand right up against the boards with your pelvis facing the boards, your knees bent and your feet turned out at 180 degrees. Keeping your knees bent, push your pelvis forward against the boards and gradually try to straighten your knees (this is the same exercise "I love to skate" recommends above). If you can straighten your legs with your pelvis pushed up against the boards and your knees facing the same direction as your toes, you have open hips. If not, do some butterfly stretches for a few months and if you still can't do it, leave the spread eagle alone.
    Last edited by vlaurend; 01-01-2010 at 10:59 PM.

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    Thank you so much for the tips! My hips are likely open because I do get full circles on outside eagle, but somehow cannot increase the diameter without losing speed completely.
    Will definitely try looking over the leading shoulder and entering from backward stroking, thank you again vlaurend and i love to skate

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    Quote Originally Posted by jjane45 View Post
    Thank you so much for the tips! My hips are likely open because I do get full circles on outside eagle, but somehow cannot increase the diameter without losing speed completely.
    Will definitely try looking over the leading shoulder and entering from backward stroking, thank you again vlaurend and i love to skate
    Are you saying you can do an outside spread eagle on a deep outside edge (rounder curve/smaller diameter circle) but cannot do an outside spread eagle on a shallower outside edge (flatter curve/larger circle)? That is an unusual problem! To make your circle bigger/flatter, you will need to build up more speed before going into it, since you don't have the deepening edge to keep your momentum up once you are in the spread eagle. Do some crossovers to build speed, then aim your spread eagle at a corner and think of making a flat diagonal line and staying aligned right on top of your blades rather than on the outside of the blades.
    A good exercise for controlling the depth of your spread eagle is to start on an outside spread eagle, then go onto an inside and back onto an outside. It's all an exercise in getting over your blades.
    Last edited by vlaurend; 01-02-2010 at 01:20 PM.

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    Skating is art, if you let it be. Blades of Passion's Avatar
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    You have to think of the number 17 in order to do a really good Spread Eagle.

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    Thank you vlaurend for your generous help! Sorry for not describing the problem better, yes I tend to go into a very deep outside edge and make circles about half size of the center circle. By forcing myself to go on a shallower edge, I can probably trace only quarter of the center circle extremely slowly.
    You are right I should *think* starting with a flat to make flatter curve and work more on edge depth control. How does entrance from backward crossovers work? Also what is the optimal distance between heels? I am afraid my skates are too far away from each other (> shoulder width).
    THANK YOU AGAIN!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Blades of Passion View Post
    You have to think of the number 17 in order to do a really good Spread Eagle.
    Thank you but would you please elaborate a little bit?
    Last edited by jjane45; 01-02-2010 at 06:56 PM.

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    Beliver in Sasha's Perfect Program Tinymavy15's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vlaurend View Post

    Caution: You should not do spread eagles if you don't have naturally open hips. This is a matter of joint structure, not just lack of flexibility, and no amount of stretching will give you "turnout" if your hips aren't built that way. What will happen if you push it is that you will damage your knees.
    Very interesting. I guess that is what killed my knees then. I alwasy wanted a nice spread eagle and did a lot of ballet where I would put a lot of stress into getting a really good second, fouth and fifth position. I achived this (although never the good spread eagle) but now my knees feel like they are 80 years old

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