Backward Inside Three Turns, Especially for Adults – Part 1 (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field and skating skills expert Karen Olson explains important details about learning the backward inside three turn, with special emphasis on the challenges faced by adult skaters with this skill. As Karen notes, this is a challenging skill because it requires good blade usage and initially uncomfortable (and vulnerable) positions.

Karen recommends starting with mastering the entry edge, the back inside edge. This is hard, especially for adult skaters because the skater must lean backwards “against nothing” into the circle while keeping the free hip up and the skating hip strongly in line with the foot and head. Initially learning this position on two feet is recommended for those that really struggle with it. Karen explains that the entire skating side needs to be “leading into the turn.”

Next Karen describes the required blade usage, which again, is uncomfortable to most adult skaters (typically feeling that far back on the blade while skating backward). She suggests taking the skater to the wall so they can get used to “leaning” on the plexiglass to help create the feeling of proper alignment and blade usage throughout the turn. She then shows common errors related to improper lean and alignment on the entrance and during the turn.

Karen allows her skaters to work the turn on two feet. This builds confidence in terms of mastering the positions and alignment, and it offers the security and balance needed by many after the turn. She describes it as putting the “free foot” on the ice in front of the skating foot on the entrance (trailing because skating backwards) and putting the free foot down again on the exit with the free foot again in front.

Body alignment is critical to good skating turns, and Karen explains the necessary alignment in detail. She also explains that skaters who are fearful and let their hips settle back out of proper alignment tend to do the turn by “going around” rather than properly going “up and over the turn.” She says, “You don’t go around a turn.” She explains that keeping the free hip forward and the skating hip tucked in (not popped out) requires good core muscle strength, which many adult skaters also struggle with. She explains in detail the firmness of her core and her leg muscles prior to, during, and after the turn.

See Part 2 here!


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