Exercise to Build Power (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

Two-time World Ice Dance Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue work with a class of skaters on a single exercise for learning to generate power. In this video, Madison and Zach explore this exercise in detail, and explain the concepts in a variety of ways. One of the biggest challenges that all coaches face is the need to have many different ways to say something. Some explanations work with some skaters, and other skaters need different or additional explanations.

The exercise in this video is a “simple” edge pull on a relatively large lobe, either on an inside or outside edge. Most skaters can more easily perform the exercise correctly on an inside edge, but skaters who have good control of their basic outside edges should be able to generate power from the outside edge as well. One explanation that Madison gives is to think of an axel take-off, where the power of the pressure on the ice is maintained over a longer period so the skater doesn’t actually jump into the air. Next, Zach offers an explanation of how the hips actually create the power and acceleration, not the knee action alone. This again, is similar to jumping.

One counter-intuitive point that Zach makes is, “The quicker you come up, the less acceleration you are going to have.” The point is that to generate push power in skating you need to maintain pressure into the ice for longer periods of time. Although the camera isn’t pointing at Zach later in the video, he explains how to use a double bend on the lobe and another bend before the push onto the new skate to help maintain and build the necessary pressure.  He says, “You should feel like you’re bending 3 times for each lobe.”

Zach notes that many skaters have overdeveloped hip flexors, and they need to develop their glutes and hamstrings to learn to control and generate more power in their skating. He notes that a little turn-out will help allow the hips to come fully forward.

[Editor’s note: The audio from Madison’s microphone had some clicks and pops, but the info she shared was important enough that we did not remove these sections of video. Also, there were times where Zach was saying something important, but the camera was not pointed at him. Again, we left that in the final video, even though it is not optimal for understanding or learning. We just felt it was better than deleting those sections entirely.]


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