Beginning Layback (Kim Ryan)

Spin specialist Kim Ryan works with a skater on the basics of the layback spin. She says, “The number one most important thing about a layback spin is you have to find your balance, and you have to find the center of that spin.” She begins by working on a simple upright spin entry and exit. The diagram she draws on the ice is very helpful to understand what she wants the setup and entry to look like.

Next, Kim works on the skater’s layback position. Some important tips here: First go into attitude position (hips lead!) with free hip higher than skating hip. When arching the back, focus on pulling the skating shoulder down to the free foot. Kim describes this as feeling twisted.

For the exit, Kim wants the skater to reach up to the ceiling with the hands as this automatically raises the body and puts the body into alignment. She calls this “pop to the ceiling.”

Notice the focus, even at this early stage of development, on creating a complete spin with a beginning (precise entry and initial upright spin), a middle (with the layback) and an end (complete controlled exit).


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