In fact, Ilinykh may be too thin for lifts, or not enough muscle toned.
This from Tanith Belbin is on point. She found gaining a few pounds made it easier for Ben (who had chronic back problems all his career) to lift her. Tanith is near in size to Ben, BTW.
Perhaps North American female dancers train arm strength and core strength harder than Elena and perhaps some other Russian dance ladies accounts for some of the lift problems we see from those teams?Belbin began reading books about nutrition and eating lunch at the rink. She learned to eat foods that would best sustain an athlete’s body.
She also began training harder off the ice, lifting weights, doing push-ups and participating in Karponosov’s boot camps, which involve hard-core skating drills to strengthen the legs.
Karponosov’s skaters would often complain that his drills made their legs so muscular that they could no longer fit into their jeans.
“I was always like, there will never be a day when I can’t fit into my jeans,” Belbin said. “But this past summer, I came to him and said my jeans are so tight. I never thought I’d see that change in my body. It really, really made a difference. It feels good, though.”
Belbin began marveling at her new body. She had gained 10 pounds. Her waist size increased two inches because her core was so much stronger.
Agosto could see a huge difference in Belbin’s skating. During lifts, she was no longer a sack of potatoes, holding on for dear life. She could hold her positions much better, and that made it easier for Agosto because she did not move around as much.
If there is a fault here, it is in the coaching, BTW, not the skaters'.