Exercise for Power and Stability (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

Two-time World Ice Dance Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue share a valuable exercise for improving power and stability. This exercise is simple and well-known, but Zach and Madison offer insights on how to do it well. The idea is simple: Stand on the red line at the end of the rink and with one push try to glide the entire length of the rink on one foot. Success with this exercise comes from bending to create a long and powerful push, balancing on the right spot on the blade (middle back), and remaining absolutely still to avoid changing the blade contact with the ice (small movements cause more friction). Zach demonstrates and easily reaches the end of the rink. Only a very small percentage of skaters in the class make it the entire length of the rink.

Zach notes that getting the right type of push is critical. The idea is to maximize the total force and time of the push, which is accomplished by bending strongly prior to the push, leaning forward, and pressing strongly but under full control. Skaters experimenting with this drill will quickly discover that short and quick pushes simply do not generate the necessary momentum. Zach says, “Take as long of a push and as long of a rise (as you can) and when you’re in that rise, you lift your head and go up as much as you can. Take all the weight off of your blade.” This doesn’t really take the weight off the blade, but it does ensure a stable position for the remainder of the glide. A couple more hints to make the glide more efficient: engage the core and squeeze the butt.


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