Case Study: Turtle Spin – Follow Up (Kim Ryan)

This short video by figure skating spin specialist Kim Ryan is a follow-up to the lesson she gave a skater on a sit spin that transitions from a regular forward sit spin (sit front) to what the skater calls a turtle spin (also called a clam), which is a forward sit spin in a sit back position with the free leg tucked behind and the body compressed forward over the spin.  In this short follow up, Kim has the skater attempt to hit the position while simply gliding forward down the ice.

She says this kind of “simple” drill “builds up your flexibility and your core strength.”  Plus, most skaters assume that hitting a position while gliding is actually easier than doing the position in a spin (it’s not, or at least is may not be).  By practicing the position in a glide, holding the position in the spin should be easy.  Kim recommends adding this gliding drill to the beginning of every skating session as part of the warm-up.  The skater doesn’t have to hold the position forever, just enough to balance it and get still.  Kim reminds the skater that the proper balance point should be on the ball of the foot and “equal pressure big toe, baby toe.”


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