Important Sit Spin Basics – Part 1 (Charyl Brusch)

Spin specialist Charyl Brusch shares important details and tips for the sit spin. This is a great summary of common teaching errors, and how Charyl thinks about this spin. The sit spin is still often taught to skaters with the analogy of sitting in a chair. As Charyl notes, that is not how a sit spin position is achieved. A good sit spin has the body well forward and the back arched (strong back) with the ankle bent strongly so the knee is well in front of the toes and the hips are well back behind the skate. One tip Charyl offers is to push the hips back so the “hip bones are facing down and not under.” She also avoids stretching the hands out in front and instead has the skater push the hands down very close to the knees.

To get lower, Charyl suggests getting into the correct position and trying to drop an additional inch for 12 straight skating sessions. Getting a sit spin lower is mostly a matter of continuous and incremental improvement. She also wants the free foot low and as close to the ice as possible in the final sit spin position. The free leg comes around high (nearly hip height) and drops to the final low position after it has come around.

Charyl offers another tip to initially help center a sit spin. She does something she calls a “spin-sit” where the focus is initially on a centered upright spin or intermediate position, which drops to a sit spin position while maintaining the center. As skaters learn to center, they don’t really need to start with the upright or intermediate position and can start low and stay low for maximum rotational energy.

Charyl draws a number of stick figure sit spin positions on the ice to clarify her comments. She shows the “triangle position” she is aiming for. This leads to a further discussion of making the back (especially the lower back) as flat as possible. She also talks about body alignment on a sit spin and how to use dips and shoot-the-ducks for sit spin development. Notice that these exercises are effective if skated backwards, since the blade is going backward in the spin itself.


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