Figure Skating Tips: Spread Eagles and Ina Bauers (Page Lipe)

International figure skating coach Page Lipe shares some great tips for developing and improving spread eagles and Ina Bauers.  These elements can be very challenging to learn and require good drills and lots of persistence and patience.

For the spread eagle, Page shows a drill where the skater leans with their back against the boards (where there is no glass), sticks the heels in the ice, then flops the feet open.  By pressing the hips up to the ceiling and squeezing the butt and having the coach assist the turnout of the feet, rapid progress can be made.  Page then shows another drill near the boards.  She swings the free leg (back leg) forward and then as it comes back, she digs the heel into the ice and rotates the blade to backward (with the heel in the ice).  After getting to the fully open position, she pushes along the boards to develop an awareness of the movement and the ability to control it.  At first she allows bent knees and she has them go along the boards and then push into the rink.

For Ina Bauers, Page uses the hockey line and the boards.  She jams the toe pick into the boards with the blade facing the wall on the line and then opens the hips and tries to put the other foot down parallel, all while hanging onto the boards with both hands.  After learning the position at the wall, she takes it out to moving on the hockey circle, and after they gain control of that, moving down a line.  The shoulders can be used to steer it straight, or even onto the forward outside edge.  One valuable tip: try to roll the back skate towards the outside edge to get proper alignment of the hips (it’s still an inside edge, but avoid dropping the ankle).

She says, “A typical problem is kids don’t have enough turnout and they get discouraged.”  But she thinks “most people can learn to do a Bauer.”  It just takes these kinds of exercises and lots of repetition.


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