Improve Sit Spin Strength – Part 4: Adults vs. Kids (Matthew Blair Davis)

Figure skating strength and conditioning expert Matthew Blair Davis continues his discussion on techniques for improving a skater’s strength for the sit spin.  In Part 1, he shared a progression of exercises that develop the necessary basic strength, balance, and awareness.  In Part 2, he continued with more insights and more difficult drills.  In Part 3, Matthew continued the progression of exercises, this time without the box.  In this video, he talks at length about the differences between adult skaters and kids, in terms of developing strength for the sit spin.

Adult skaters often have very different strength issues than child skaters.  Most adults, particularly those who have jobs where they sit a lot, have weakened glute muscles (and particularly outer glute muscles).  This is often surprising to many adults (and their coaches as well), partly because they may have other muscle groups that are very strong.  Matthew explains a few other exercises that he has adult skaters do to identify specific weaknesses.  But the overall progression of exercises in Part 1 – 3 of the series still apply.  They just take longer to master. He also discusses the idea of “compensations” which are more common in adult skaters who have compensated for certain weak muscles in their bodies over long periods of time through the use of specific movement patterns.  Obviously these have to be corrected to perform a correct sit spin.

In terms of child skaters, Matthew says they rarely have any severe compensations and they usually simply lack strength.  This is why child skaters often respond more quickly to the progression of exercises in this video series, as well as mastering the sit spin on the ice.


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