Increasing Layback Speed and Side Layback Tips (Bobbe Shire)

Figure skating spin specialist Bobbe Shire continues her discussion of the layback spin. During the first part of this video, Bobbe talks at length about how to make a layback spin faster or spin longer. She talks about arm and body and leg positions and their relationship to George.

As a reminder, George is the name that Bobbe has given to the inertial forces that a skater feels while spinning. When a skater pulls in against these forces and speeds up, Bobbe explains this as “squeezing George.”

Bobbe says, “In a layback, George is everywhere.” By bending the free leg more the spin will speed up. There’s a huge number of ways to increase George using the arms, but Bobbe warns, “The bad news is you’ve got to be strong because when you start getting George with your arms, the two things he’s going to pick on is your head and your free leg.” She offers a tip to help overcome this. She also notes that slow arm movements are better for building speed and they look pretty as well. Bobbe tells her skaters, “The beauty is in the movement of the arms, not the final destination.”

For the side layback, Bobbe recommends keeping pressure on the outside of the free leg. She continues, “Always pull up before you go either back or sideways, tighten your butt muscles, push you hips out, and if you put your head to the side as if you’re going to sleep, you’re going to go much farther (spin longer).”

For a side layback, Bobbe lets her skaters choose their own arm positions. However, she does like having the skating arm up and bent with the fingers touching the skating side shoulder when a skater is first learning the side layback.


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