Backward Inside Three Turns, Especially for Adults – Part 2 (Karen Olson)

Moves in the field and skating skills expert Karen Olson continues her explanation of some 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. In Part 1, Karen talked about the turn mechanics and some tips for developing the necessary fundamental skills.

In this video, Karen primarily addresses the challenges of “forcing the turn” or being “too tense.” These issues are particularly relevant for adult skaters, who tend to become tight as a result of fear or trying to compensate for poor technique/setup. Karen describes the turn as a “reaction to the action you do before the turn” and a simple “release of the edge.” The idea here is that with the proper alignment and entry edge and the proper timing for the up-down movement of the knees and ankles, the turn should “just happen.” She offers some tips for how to make this happen, including a discussion of the twisting movements between the hips and shoulders and the proper knee action. As in Part 1, Karen recommends practicing the turn on two feet.

On the topic of having too much tension throughout the body, Karen explains that some tension and muscle engagement is necessary, particularly in the core muscles of the abdomen, lower back, and hips. She recommends having only enough tension to maintain “shape and form” and she explains that skaters who raise their shoulders or clench their jaws or hold their breath are too tight. She suggests exhaling prior to the turn to relax the body and release some of the unnecessary tension.

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