Beginner Backspin (Kim Ryan)

Figure skating spin specialist Kim Ryan gives a young skater a lesson on the beginner backspin. The real value in this video is not only the process that Kim uses, but the coaching along the way. This skater is struggling with generating enough rotational energy from the entry edge, so Kim immediately uses the back pivot entrance.

Also, because skaters have a tendency to want to pull in tight for the backspin immediately, Kim has the skater keep the free leg straight and in front in the spin. The position of the arms and free leg slow the rotation and force the skater to develop proper balance on the blade.

After some level of success is achieved with the straight leg, Kim allows the skater pull in. But she wants the skater to pull in with a straight leg, simply bringing the feet together, rather than lifting the knee. This approach reduces problems associated with the hips during this part of the learning process.

Notice the improvement from the beginning of the lesson.

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9 Responses to “Beginner Backspin (Kim Ryan)”
  1. October 17, 2018 at 9:48 am

    GinaBianco Great organization, as usual! Wonderful reminders!

  2. October 17, 2018 at 10:30 am

    KerriRoberts Wow... what a fantastic lesson there!! Amazing improvement from start to finish!

  3. October 17, 2018 at 11:00 am

    KimRyan Thank you Gina! I think this spin can be challenging to teach.

  4. October 17, 2018 at 1:03 pm

    EllenBennett This is a challenging spin to teach. I loved the step-by-step progression Kim used with her student. Very helpful!

  5. November 19, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Nancy LOVE this method. Thank you, Kim!!

  6. July 10, 2019 at 6:36 am

    RobinLucas really great step by step method. I will definitely use it with my students

  7. November 20, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Melissa This is absolutely incredible… especially the progress from start to finish. What would you tell a skater who consistently goes to the toe pick on back spins, please?

  8. February 18, 2023 at 8:01 am

    monikajanek What is the free hip to do? Is it elevated/up or neutral? This is a great video!

  9. February 24, 2023 at 10:07 am

    Trevor monicajanek - The free hip should be either up slightly or neutral on a backspin. Some skaters feel it better simply by pulling the skating hip underneath more, or feeling stacked over the skating side. Melissa - The common error of going to the toepick when attempting the backspin can be addressed with back pivots that switch from the toe in the ice to small back circles with the pivot foot. Sometimes focusing more on the outside edge also helps skaters ease off the toe pick.

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