Back Mobility Progression to Learn Bridge Walkover (Matthew Blair Davis)

Figure skating strength and conditioning expert Matthew Blair Davis shares an at-home off-ice mobility and flexibility workout that everyone can do in their homes during the coronavirus lockdown. He is joined in the video by his daughter who demonstrates the exercises. This video is focused on developing the back mobility necessary to easily perform a bridge walkover that was recommended in this video. Skaters should do many repetitions of each of these exercises.

In the first exercise, the skater lies down on the stomach and rests on the elbows (under the shoulders), ideally keeping the hips touching the floor and tilting the head all the way back. Next, repeat the same exercise but bend the knees as much as possible. The next exercise in the progression has the skater remain face down but propped up with the hands and straight arms under the shoulders, first with straight legs and then with bent legs. The idea with these exercises is to make it so “every muscle in the front of the body is lengthened.”

The next exercise has the skater standing about an arm’s length away from the wall with the back to the wall. The skater then does a backbend and places both hands on the wall and holds for 10 seconds. To advance the skill further, the skater does the same exercise again, but walks the hands down the wall about half way before walking the hands back up and off the wall to a standing position.

After that skaters should practice the back bridge position, by lying down on their backs and pressing up into a bridge from the feet and hands. Hold this position for 20 seconds. Those skaters taking it to the final step of a full bridge walkover should balance on one leg with the other leg stretched out straight and downward in front with both arms straight overhead, bending back to place the hands on the floor (creating the bridge) and pushing off with the foot to walk over the top before putting the feet down and standing back up.


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