Adult Figure Skating – Adult Leg Syndrome (Nick Perna)

World coach and adult figure skating advocate Nick Perna addresses a common jump problem for adults that figure skate.  He calls it “adult leg syndrome” and it’s characterized by landing with the free foot to the side or behind the skating leg at the moment of landing impact.  Nick notes that the free leg and foot should be in front at impact, on all the major jumps including the waltz jump.

Nick believes this common quirk of adult skaters is primarily caused by their discomfort with crossing their feet or keeping their free leg in front.  As he explains, adults are often uncomfortable crossing their feet in basic one-foot drills moving forward or backward, and even on two feet.  Nick runs through a whole series of drills he uses to help adult skaters develop the stability and confidence to master this skill.  Nick has them do these drills on both feet, both forward and backward.

Nick also discusses the h-position and d-position.  Without mastery of these drills, adults and children often lack the confidence to maintain their balance and weight over one skate with the feet crossed.  Nick continues with a description of the forward inside three turn to crossed feet and then a step down.  Again he notes this drill is quite difficult for many adult skaters and he shows a common error.  He notes that the next phase of this is doing a forward inside three turn and holding the exit edge with the free foot in front (the snap drill!).

After mastering all of these drills, Nick wants the skater to master the backspin with the feet crossed.  Notice he does not focus on the which edge the skater is on in the backspin, but rather focuses on alignment and balance and free foot position.  Nick also likes repeating three turn drills on a straight line or a slight curve.  This kind of drill helps adult skaters get used to moving across the ice with the free foot in front while turning.

To see Part 2 of this video, please click here (If you are a visitor enjoying this video as part of the Annual Top Rated Videos series, please consider a paid subscription for access to Part 2.)


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