Crossovers and Pushes (Madison Hubbell)

World and Olympic ice dance medalist Madison Hubbell works with a young skater on basic pushes and crossovers. The pattern this skater uses is the first pattern of the Preliminary US Figure Skating Moves in the Field Test, but the information Madison shares is focused entirely on the skills and not the pattern. Madison explains and demonstrates that we become more stable in skating by lowering our center-of-balance (center-of-gravity). She says, “The more I can bend, the more stable I am.” To push for maximum power, Madison wants this skater to push all the way through her toes. Notice when asking the skater to bend more, Madison looks at the skater’s ankles. Ankle bend, and pressure into the tongue of the boot is critical to powerful and stable skating.

Madison then uses the concept of an accordion to discuss how the joints bend from the foot upward. To bend and keep the head over the feet, the ankle bends forward, the knee bends backward, and the hips bend forward. Just explaining this can help many skaters. It is common for beginner skaters to bend primarily at the waist, neglecting the ankles and knees. Madison says, “Until you feel comfortable to bend more with your knee, you have to bend a little less with your hips.”

On the skater’s back crossovers, Madison mentions the skater’s weaving “figure eight” and demonstrates it perfectly. Instead, she wants the skater’s inside foot to step on the circle, bring the outside foot TO the inside one and THEN push for the undercut. A very common error is “pulling the heels together.” Madison then talks about arm placement for beginner crossovers. It is often counter-productive to have beginner skaters try to twist fully into the circle and create a strong line of the arms and shoulders tangent to the circle. At this level it is often more helpful to keep the arms in a slight V-position in front of the body. The arms should have some tension, but the turn into the circle should be comfortable.


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