Learning a Layover Camel Spin (Kim Ryan)

Spin specialist Kim Ryan teaches a skater how to do a layover camel spin. Going into this lesson, the skater had never attempted a layover, so we get to see how Kim introduces it and builds it up. We also get to see what can go wrong and how she addresses it.

Kim starts by teaching the skater a 3 step progression for learning the position change. Notice in the initial standard back camel position how Kim opens both the skaters shoulders with her “cupcake on the palms” concept. This opens the chest and shoulders and allows the skater to move more freely to the next position. The second position is a back camel having the upper body sideways to the ice (rather than facing it). This stacks the hips and shoulders and it’s important for a skater to develop some level of comfort with this before trying the full layover position.

For the full layover, Kim has the skater pull the skating arm across underneath, keeping the palm open and facing the ceiling. The free arm or arm on top also remains open with the palm facing upward. Kim offers a fantastic tip for the head to help with the core change without breaking the body’s alignment. She says, “You have to feel like you’re looking underneath a table.”

To develop the flexibility necessary for the layover, Kim offers a great “stretching” drill that a skater can do in bed every night. This stretching drill is particularly effective if done regularly and for extended periods (2 minutes or more).

There’s some great information in this video as well regarding the entry to the back camel. Notice how Kim dislikes what she calls “train tracking” which is entering the spin by wiggling on two feet. And notice the strong but “hinged” body position Kim wants just before the step onto the entrance edge. This video is a great introduction to the layover camel and it also highlights the details of having a good foundation in the back camel spin.


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