Backward Cross Strokes (Amy Brolsma)
Amy Brolsma explains and demonstrates how she teaches backward cross strokes.  (This video is a follow-up to Amy’s video on forward cross strokes.)  Cross strokes appear repeatedly in the US Figure Skating Moves in the Field tests and are an excellent tool for choreographers to use with a skater to generate speed and power while changing lobes or circles.

In this video, Amy starts with a simple exercise to develop the basic movement for back cross strokes.  This backward walking in T-position is extremely effective as it’s simple and conveys the stillness needed in the body and legs.  Amy notes that it can take a long time for this exercise to become comfortable for the skater, but after they get it, she moves on to very gentle pushes.  Notice the precision of the push and the replacement of the foot for the next push.  Amy wants the feet to actually touch!

Over time, the skater can develop more power by further bending the knees to lengthen the “power stroke” of the push.  Amy demonstrates the stillness of the thighs to highlight the proper way of generating the push.  Again, she notes that the free foot does not swing around to prepare for the next push.  Amy also discusses push direction and the diagonal nature of the pattern it creates.


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