But flexible backs and open hips aren't the same. Gymnasts don't seem to have to worry about turn out so much.
Skaters don't need to worry about open hips. There aren't any required moves that require open hips per se, although it does make mohawks easier.
But spread eagles and Ina Bauers are not required moves. Turned-out free legs in spins and spirals are not required -- they may make the move look nice and be rewarded on that basis, but it's perfectly acceptable to choose a different free leg position that doesn't emphasize turnout and to make it look nice in other ways.
Hi, I am the physical therapist who manages Sk8Strong. I feel the need to weigh in on this topic! You CAN have both a flexible back and a strong core. Back flexibility has more to do with the mobility in the joints and the joint capsule of each vertebrae in the spine, not flexibility of the muscles. When you bend backwards each vertebrae extends back on the one below it. If I person does not have good back extension, it should not not be forced, as you are just 'jamming' the joints into extension. This can lead to inflammation in the facet joints, and lower back pain. In regards to hip position, you are genetically born with your hip socket in a certain position/angle. The amount of turn-out is also determined by the position and mobility of the joint capsule, not necessarily the muscles. You can only improve hip turn-out so much with flexibility, as you don't want to over-stretch the capsule.
Every skater needs a strong core to be able to be a good skater. Those with hypermobility in their back need even more core strength to stabilize vertebrae that may move too much. The same applies to a person with too much hip mobility. An extra mobile hip capsule in conjunction with hip weakness (which is very common) can lead to hip, knee, or back problems if not addressed. All skaters need a strong glute medius.
Thanks to the poster who sent people to our articles page! Much appreciated! Follow Sk8Strong on twitter for LOTS of good info.
At the rink. Again.
That would be me. I read your off ice posts on skatingforums and have directed my personal trainer to your site as I am the first skater (adult or otherwise) she's worked with. I figured sending people to a skating-based training page would be easier than just "arguing" with the poster who "guessed" a strong core and flexible back were in opposition to one another and saying "nuh uh, is not".
This is one reason I love this site. How else would we learn stuff like this? All of which is entirely new to me. Thanks!
Originally Posted by rsk8d
I haven't checked out your site but I will. But may I ask, in relation to the topic, how much ballet should a skater do? Is there such a thing as too much ballet?
Originally Posted by rsk8d
Ballet is definitely not my forte, but a competitive skater can always benefit from ballet. It is great for posture and balance, as well as core strength. It should definitely be done in conjunction with the proper strength training program.
Thanks for the reply, rsk8d!
During the 2006-2007 season, it was very tough for the top skaters to get a level 4 layback spin because, correct me if I'm wrong, they needed to get the acceleration feature.
Originally Posted by mskater93
Very few skaters got level 4 that season and it's even tougher to find videos of them. But there are some examples and you can see the skaters accelerating during their layback spin:
Binshu Xu, 2006 Skate Canada FS
2006 Skate Canada FS
2007 Worlds SP
Yukari Nakano and Elene Gedevanishvili also got level 4 layback spins that season, but can't find their videos.
Of course, there could have been skaters who were given the feature for acceleration but missed fulfilling the requirements for another feature and so only got level 3; I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case with Alissa Czisny as I'm surprised she never earned a level 4 layback spin that season (that I can find).