Drills for Generating Power (Madison Hubbell)

World and Olympic ice dance medalist Madison Hubbell gives a skater a lesson at a seminar/camp. This lesson focuses on skating skills, and in particular, how to generate power on the ice. Madison begins with a simple two-foot weight transfer exercise where the feet are separated (wide stance). In this exercise, the skater should “always  make sure there’s some weight on both feet.” Starting from a standstill and trying to skate fast helps create incentive to push hard and generate power. Common errors with this exercise are not shifting the body weight far enough from side to side (leaving the weight well between the skates) and allowing the hips to turn which creates a curves instead of straight line power. Madison explains the necessary knee bend and she demonstrates the rhythm and side to side glide of the hips. This exercise is done both forward and backward.

The next exercise is the classic alternating crossover step to inside edge drill, collecting the feet prior to pushing onto the inside edge. When done correctly, the step to the inside edge needs to be slightly “unbalanced” to generate a powerful edge, where the skater’s weight remains inside the circle or lobe. In other words, the skater should not step directly over the top of the inside edge.

Because the strong inside edge is uncomfortable for many skaters, Madison shares a simpler exercise of simply pushing strongly onto alternating inside edges. To create a strong edge, she wants the skater to lean into the circle with the shoulders and leave the free leg “hanging” slightly inside the circle as well. This ensures the skater’s center of gravity will remain inside each lobe, forcing the skater to have dynamic power. A common error is placing the free leg directly behind the skating foot (on the circle), making the edge hard to control and often resulting in a mini-spin. Excessive shoulder twist creates reaction forces prior to and during each push, so Madison recommends a more neutral arm and shoulder position where the skater can see both hands at all times.


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