Skating Fridays

Back to (Spin) Basics

As I prepare to revamp my 2015-2016 competition strategy, Coach B has me working on some spin basics. Like all aspects of this wonderful sport, a skater’s basic skating skills must be strong. Without a solid core foundation, it’s virtually impossible to build additional skills later.

My basic spins are OK, but they can obviously be improved. Of the three basic spin positions (upright, sit and camel), my sit spin is the strongest. That’s why all the spins in my freestyle program are based around the sit spin.

Coach B gave me a series of warm-up spin exercises to work on in order to strengthen all my basic positions:

Upright spin exercises

  • Forward upright (scratch) spin – back upright (back spin) – forward upright spin
  • Back upright spin – forward upright spin – back upright spin

Sit spin exercises

  • Forward sit spin – back sit spin – forward sit spin
  • Back sit spin – forward sit pin – back sit spin

Camel spin exercises

  • Forward camel spin – back camel spin – forward camel spin
  • Back camel spin – forward camel spin – back camel spin
  • Forward camel – jump into back camel spin

Believe me when I say that these spins are easier said than done. The most difficult part is the transition from the back spin positions to the forward ones. Coach B wants me to do a 3-turn as the transition point before I proceed to the forward spin. I’m having trouble doing this since I keep rocking on the wrong part of my blade.

Here is a fairly decent (for me) attempt at the back sit – forward sit – back sit exercise. Obviously, the transition to the forward sit needs some work, but you get the idea.

Skaters – have you tried these spin combos yet? I know that the forward upright – back upright – forward upright is a pretty common one. In fact, I think it was a requirement to pass one of the ISI Learn-to-Skate freestyle levels. If you haven’t, I’d encourage you to try them and let me know your thoughts.


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