Figure Skating Spiral – Off-Ice Training for Strength and Flexibility (Kristina Anderson)

Figure skating strength and conditioning coach Kristina Anderson explains how to properly train the spiral position off the ice.  This is an outstanding video, both for the detail of the instruction and for the quality of the demonstrated positions.

For low level skaters struggling with the spiral position or the position of a camel spin, off-ice training is generally the most effective method to improve the strength and flexibility necessary to hold the correct positions.  Off-ice training is also the most effective way to develop an awareness of the correct body position, which should transfer to the ice quite easily.  The main reasons that off-ice training of spiral positions is superior to on-ice training are the lack of rotational forces that can interfere with balance, the added stability of a solid foundation, the availability of support structures for balance, and the fact that no ice-time need be wasted to master the skill.

Kristina starts by showing a process for stretching the position as well as strengthening it.  The method uses an assistant to support the free leg to help with the stretch.  The concept of PNF stretching is very effective and Kristina explains it in the video.  This concept is not new and was also discussed in less detail by Sheila Thelen in an earlier video on spiral position.

What makes a good basic spiral position?  Kristina discusses this in detail at the end of the video.  She explains the shoulder position, as well as hip position with respect to the foot or skate.  She shows a process the skater can use to engage the correct muscles BEFORE dropping the body down into the spiral, thereby ensuring that the position is supported by the correct muscles and the skater learns to maintain back arch throughout the spiral.

This is one of the best presentations on figure skating spirals available anywhere!


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