Skating Fridays

A Real Layback Spin?

I lost flexibility in my lower back after I quit competitive gymnastics as a child. I’ve been working on gaining it back. During the stay-at-home order last spring/summer, I worked on lower back stretches about every other day. Recently though, with a crazy work schedule and long days sitting in a chair (ugh), I haven’t made the time to stretch my back.

My coach noticed it one day when we were working on layback spins. She very bluntly said, “That was not good. I’m sad to say that the flexibility you gained over the summer has disappeared. You aren’t stretching.” She was right.

Since that lesson, I’ve made it a point to keep doing my lower back stretches. Not only do they help with the layback spin, but they also help with my sciatica. I have a disc in my back that likes to act up, and it causes pain all the way down the back of my legs. When I do these stretches, the pain disappears. So it’s a win-win!

I was able to capture this layback attempt on video. It’s probably the closest to a real layback spin than I’ve ever gotten in my skating career. When I did the spin, I definitely heard some joints popping, and it helped me lean back further. Don’t worry, the popping wasn’t an injury – it’s normal for me to hear this on a daily basis. 🙂

Take a look and see if it’s resembling a real layback!


  1. February 12, 2021 / 7:27 pm

    Layback looking good, Eva. It’s great that you are taking care of your back–that’s such an important part to be aware of. Skating often focuses on the legs, but everything of course is connected!

    • evabakes
      February 13, 2021 / 7:42 am

      Gaining lower back flexibility is SO HARD – especially as I get older!

  2. Melissa
    February 12, 2021 / 9:11 pm

    Looks very nice to me! Congrats…

    • evabakes
      February 13, 2021 / 7:43 am

      Thanks, Melissa! Hopefully one day I can look back at my skating career and claim that I used to do real layback spins!

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