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Thread: For gosh sakes, how long will it take me to get one foot glides??

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Apr 2019
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    For gosh sakes, how long will it take me to get one foot glides??

    9.5 weeks in to my return to skating, and I still can't stay on one foot. I *was* having a little equipment issues, but I spent nearly 3 hours at my skate tech's on Monday, moving blades, adding wedges, punching boots, etc etc, and after skating yesterday the skates finally feel like they might be right. My very pronated left foot finally felt like it was on the flat.

    But I STILL can't do a one foot glide. The one thing I have noticed previously is that I haven't been able to attempt them until I'm really, really, really warmed up. As in, after skating for an hour. I had my first private lesson last week and I told her at the end of the lesson I couldn't even show her how much trouble I was having, because it had only been 45 minutes.

    The times I have been able to attempt them, I was way, way, inside, curved in drastically, and could only hold it for 2 seconds at best. (This was before the blades were moved again and wedges added, so those problems have been fixed).

    I skated when I was younger (I'm 47), so I'm feeling very frustrated about not having this very basic skill. I also don't have outside edges (on half swizzle pumps) so between those two things, I can't begin crossovers.

    I really can't figure it out. Is this a lack of core strength issue or something? I began doing basic balance exercises as soon as I began skating again. It's maybe not great, but not terrible. I have really nice stroking, slaloms (minus outside edges). Advice welcome.

  2. #2
    Rinkside
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    Jul 2018
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    I struggled with this too, especially backwards! Part of it was due to my pronation, but I realized that my ankles, glutes and core were a little weak too, which was making it harder to really achieve a stable balance on one foot. Simply lifting one foot off the ice isn’t enough - you have to realign all of your weight over the one blade, and that takes practice! I found off ice exercise really helpful. Do one foot calf raises on both sides for ankle strength, and yoga poses on one foot (eg tree pose) to help train yourself to lift your free leg from the core, and not from the thigh. You want to really feel yourself tightening your core and lifting your leg from the hip, so that you’re carrying and balancing that weight over your skating foot, and not letting it drag you onto an edge.

  3. #3
    On the Ice
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    Also, make sure you're keeping your torso upright (think of a rectangle going from your neck to your waist).
    If you practice one foot glides going toward the plexiglass above the barrier, you can look at your reflection in the plexiglass to check yourself and this also helps to keep your head from looking down at the ice.
    Your body will be in a better position to keep the glide balance.

    One foot glides are also easier if you have some flow. You don't have to speed skate but you will need a decent amount of speed (maybe a little out of your comfort zone) to keep the glide going for more than a few seconds.

    As for you being 47, I'm older than that and find that I have to do some warming up and light stretching BEFORE I even get on the ice. It's good to do this anyway but the older I get, the more prep I have to do!

  4. #4
    On the Ice
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    Have you tried lifting your free hip? It might be obvious, but if you are dropping your free hip when you are trying to tuck it behind the skating foot, you will end up on an inside edge.

    Edit: Also I really don't want to sound rude at all by this, but if you can't do one foot glides your stroking is suffering also. Each stroke should be short one foot glides with your weight over the skating leg.

  5. #5
    If I risk it all, could you break my fall?~ bunnybarista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nimyue View Post
    Have you tried lifting your free hip? It might be obvious, but if you are dropping your free hip when you are trying to tuck it behind the skating foot, you will end up on an inside edge.
    I was just going to say the same thing! I remember struggling with one-foot glides back when I was in LTS, and it finally "clicked" when my coach told me to lift the free hip. I lifted my hip to an exaggerated extent at first just to get the hang of it. Worked like a charm.

  6. #6
    Bona Fide Member Princessroja's Avatar
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    How is your balance outside of skating? Can you balance on one foot with your eyes closed? Can you stand on one leg without dropping into your hip? Do you pronate a lot (that's always my issue, sigh)?

    Good luck!

  7. #7
    On the Ice
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    Do 100 every skating session if you can. It took me a ridiculously long time to get them. I would avoid them and just work on my other 2ft skating or things that didn't require extended time on 1 ft but when I really buckled down and started actually doing them I got them in a shorter time than I expected. Then I felt stupid for wasting so much time.

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