Backward Crossovers With Power (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

2018 World Ice Dance Silver Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue teach a class of skaters backward crossovers, and particularly, how to do them with power. The video builds on a repeating series of back inside edges in the previous video. This presentation is based on the classic method that ice dance and pair teams are usually taught to create long powerful backward crossovers.

Notice how Madison begins by demonstrating the most common back crossover teaching method, where the skater places the inside skate down on a flat or outside edge directly under the skater. Instead, Madison wants the skaters to reach strongly into the circle with the inside skate and initially rest it on the ice on an inside edge. This puts the skater on 2 inside edges with almost all of their weight on the inside edge of the “outside” skate. Then there is a weight shift as explained in the previous video, prior to the classic undercut of the inside skate.

Madison demonstrates the more common crossover so you can compare it to the “longer” crossover resulting from the big reach into the circle. There’s a big difference in terms of overall movement as well as the “smoothness” of the pushes. Zach notes that the short and choppy crossovers typically have more shoulder movement as well, which is undesirable in terms of power generation (and aesthetics?).

Next Zach introduces an exercise where the skaters glide backward on a circle with proper alignment, with their full weight on the inside edge of the outside skate with the inside skate off the ice and touching the skating foot.  They then bend (keeping proper alignment) and straighten and bend again while initiating the strong reach into the circle with the inside foot before pushing strongly onto that foot. The skaters then bend (keeping proper alignment) and straighten and bend again before pushing through the entire undercut of the crossover. This repeated bending helps skaters focus on the bend while also getting the alignment right. Zach says, “Bend, bend push, pause, bend, bend-push.”

Madison explains the need to keep the shoulders turned into the circle, with the shoulders in line with the tangent to the circle. Because the class continues to have problems with the shoulders in these exercises, Zach has them skate with their hands touching over their heads. Great demonstrations in this video!


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