Back Spin Figure Skating Tips – Part 2 (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch continues her explanation of how she introduces the back spin (Backspin Part 1). This video is packed with valuable information.

In this video, Charyl introduces the forward inside edge entrance to the backspin.  As she notes at the beginning, the major change in position compared to the front spin is she does not push the hands down as the spin speeds up, but rather keeps the hands high and pulls the elbows down and in (simulates jump air position).  The elbows drop as the leg drops.  She wants the arms in over the skating foot and the skater remains twisted to the skating side.  Charyl wants the skating knee slightly bent just as in her front scratch spin presentation.

The first thing that Charyl does when introducing the backspin from a forward inside edge is to hang on to the skater and focus initially on body position and alignment.  She has the skater hold the forward inside edge without spinning.  Notice in the video how she helps the skater get into the correct position and then initiates the spin for them.  A cool trick is to have the skater think about keeping their belly button over their skating knee, the whole time.  Charyl says, “When they turn (3-turn) I want to keep their belly button over their right knee.  So as they turn, they’re still over their skating hip.  A lot of people will… open up to the outside. Boom!  You’re traveling, you have a hard time getting on an outside edge.” She wants the belly button twisted to the skating side.

Charyl makes the point that sometimes she starts the forward inside edge entry for backspin on two feet.  She demonstrates what this looks like. This is a great tip for skaters that do not have a strong inside edge.  She has them enter on two feet and go into a back pivot which she discussed in the previous video.

Charyl wants the skater to stay down during and after the three turn to prevent popping up and rocking to the back of the blade (which will cause another three turn and the skater will no longer be on a back outside edge).  She wants the skater to hit their toe pick strongly, and to help ensure this happens, she asks the skaters to lift their skating heel during the three turn.

She also wants the opposite hand to remain in front throughout the entry and initial part of the spin.  Only the skating side arm should move during and after the three turn.  This is probably the most common “error” in backspin as so many skaters “swim” with the free side arm.  As Charyl notes, this doesn’t really add any energy to the spin (since the energy comes from the forward inside edge) and causes alignment and balance problems. She says, “I don’t feel like they’re going to get any more speed by flinging their left side back.  I feel if anything that’s going to get them a little more out of control.”  She continues, “I feel like you’re getting the speed from the inside edge and the turn.  That’s where you’re creating the momentum.  You’re not creating the momentum from your upper body.  You’re creating the momentum from the edge into the spin.”

Charyl has the demonstrators show what happens when they swing the arms (swim). As she notes, it makes the spin more risky and has the potential to lack control.  At the end of the video, she draws some diagrams to illustrate the entrance pattern and spin location.

Great video!


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