20 Minute Warm-Up Edge Class – Part 1 (Kate Charbonneau)

Figure skating coach Kate Charbonneau begins a multi-part series where she shows a complete 20 minute warm-up edge class. Kate has her skaters start slow and then she picks up the pace, both with the skating and the music for the class.

All videos in the series:
Part 1 – intro, initial exercises emphasizing slow stretching movements and strong edges and full extension
Part 2 – increasing heart rate, edge control and body lean, add movements for quickness
Part 3 – improve stopping skills, knee action, balance
Part 4 – focus on flow and power and extension (jump landing positions)
Part 5 – spirals and Ina Bauers
Part 6 – transitions and turns
Part 7 – wrap up and summary

The class begins with a series of forward swizzles and down-up stretches. Kate wants a strong stretch of the arms to the sides and a long hold where the feet are at maximum width. (Most skaters will skip this hold entirely.)  She also wants a strong knee and ankle bend before the swizzle push. She also wants skaters to try to “curl the back and the head, and let the neck relax.” The first exercise “needs to flow… that’s the most important part.” Kate does this drill both forward and backward.

Next, the skaters perform forward (and then backward) hockey lunges on a very deep knee, initially with the arms together an in front, and then with an upper body lean while reaching for the ice with one hand (inside arm). A key to doing this drill well is to reach to the side to create the lean, rather than bending forward at the waist to reach for the ice.

The next exercise is a forward outside chasse followed by a choctaw-like step (forward outside swing and step to backward inside by placing the foot down behind rather than in front. The focus of this exercise is to match the timing of the music, and be able to extend the free leg and “be very sharp in pointing the toe and stretching.”  Eventually after mastering the steps, the goal is to play with and interpret the music. For younger skaters that might struggle with this step, Kate simplifies it to a chasse, swing roll, change of edge, and mohawk while maintaining the overall timing.


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