Figure Skating Moves – Backward Cross Strokes (Karen Olson)

Moves in the Field expert Karen Olson discusses backward cross strokes as required on the USFS Juvenile Moves in the Field test.  Karen starts the skater at a standstill and slowly builds the feeling of the turned out hips and feet and the idea of keeping the feet close together.  Notice she spends an entire lesson it just this foundational skill development.  As the skater progresses, she adds some discussion of the shoulders and more knee bend and holding the edge.

Karen addresses one of her pet peeves with backward cross strokes.  The idea of swinging the free leg to help build rhythm (and some initial speed due to the leg swing) is really counterproductive to developing true edge power.  She also shows a similar drill to one she uses for forward cross strokes.  Karen discusses the backward lean needed to balance the push and the edge.  And she also talks about the path of the free leg.  It does NOT go around.  Karen recommends a drill with a pause before the push much like Amy Brolsma.  Karen does admit that you can get some power and flow from swinging the free leg in backward cross strokes, but it limits the ability of the skater to truly press from the ice and allowing them to continue to use this technique will hamper their future development (and moves test successes).


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