Exercises to Build Skating Skills – Part 2 (Denise Myers)

World and Olympic coach Denise Myers continues her multi-part series sharing a variety of exercises and drills intended to improve overall skating skills. These exercises would be excellent as part of an on-ice warm-up or at the end of a session or training day. The ultimate goal is to build skills that translate into improved transitions in programs, as well as build skills and physical strength to improve jumping and spinning. Denise says, “From little on I start these kids with these exercises.” See Part 1 here.

In this video Denise begins with an exercise that is intended to improve the take-off edge of a double or triple salchow. The exercise consists of a backward crossover to stretch on the back outside edge. The skater then changes to the back inside edge and performs two “pumps” or controlled pushes from the inside edge. This exercise is repeated down the ice on alternating lobes so the skater practices both sides and not just “the good side.” Denise notes that the primary goal of this exercise is to create salchow edge pressure without being “scratchy.” She also calls the skater over to improve the movement, making “your skating side work” rather than relying on the swinging movements of the free leg. Denise also uses the skills learned here for program transitions (exit from a jump using creativity) and step sequences.

The next exercises is a series of backward crossovers in a circle, interspersed with a shift-shift (2 consecutive two foot shifts or weight transfers), followed by a back outside unsupported spiral (sometimes referred to as a “fan spiral”) and then a landing position with a “hop click.” Denise explains this exercise can identify and help fix head anchoring issues in jumps. She wants the skater to drop the arms down to the sides on the shift-shift and really exaggerate the shift.


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