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Sk8Strong Monthly Newsletters > The Importance of Proper Skater Evaluation
The Importance of Proper Skater Evaluation

Dec 26, 2010

In the sport of figure skating, it is necessary for a skater to possess the flexibility and strength to maintain proper alignment and technique in jumps, spins, and other skating moves. Yet, each skater is different, with different limitations in flexibilty, balance, and strength. As a coach or parent, you want your skater to be the best they can be, reaching their maximum potential. It is very important for every skater to receive the benefits of a proper evaluation to determine what they need to work on, to, which will directly affect their skating ability. Below is an excerpt from Sk8Strong's "The Skater Evaluation" manual, which will show you exactly which moves flexibility and strength will affect on the ice. "The Skater Evaluation" DVD and manual package includes assessment tests for every muscle or joint noted below and more, and also provides the tools to correct each deficit you find.

How to Improve Your Jumps, Spins, and Other Skating Moves

Psoas flexibility is necessary for:

•Proper free leg hip extension for lutz, flip, salchow, toe, and axel.
•Proper free leg position in layback and camel spins
•Extension of free leg in landings and stroking
•Achieving a biellman position or haircutter spin
•A proper spiral

Hamstring flexibility is necessary for:

•Proper free leg position in a camel spin and spiral
•The “Y” spin and biellman spin
•General skating mobility

Hip external rotation mobility is necessary for:

•A pancake spin
•Reaching the free leg back at a proper angle for jump takeoffs
•An appealing free leg in a layback spin
•Spread eagles and ina bauers

Shoulder external rotation mobility is necessary to:

•Reduce stress on the shoulder during ANY blade grabbing move

Shoulder flexion mobility is necessary for:

•Freedom of movement of the arms for good choreography and creating an appealing line with arm movement

Quadriceps flexibility is necessary to:

•Prevent knee problems
•Complete a haircutter or biellman spin

Gluteus medius strength is necessary for:

•Control lower extremity alignment for proper technique of EVERY jump landing and takeoff
•Maintain proper alignment during stroking, footwork, and turns.
•Stabilizing the hip and controlling balance in spins

Psoas strength is necessary for:

•Creating power in the hip for jump height
•Lifting the free leg in an axel and salchow
•Maintaining hip stability in spins
•Any kick or thrust of the free leg (flying camel, etc..)

Lower trapezius strength is necessary for:

•Maintaining proper posture
•Ability to hold the arms at shoulder level for stroking and crossovers

Core strength is necessary for:

•Checking out of a jump properly
•Maintaining proper body alignment for jump takeoffs
•Centering spins
•Body control in every aspect of skating