More Butterfly Details (Amy Brolsma)

Coach Amy Brolsma continues her discussion of the butterfly. In the first part of this discussion, Amy shared a detailed step by step approach to learning/teaching the butterfly. In this video, she offers more insights, covering a wide range of relevant details. She starts by recommending a camel, back camel, back sit spin combination spin to improve the balance and quickness for getting into the back sit spin from the butterfly air position. She also recommends focusing on making the “monkey drop” stronger to build more energy for the upward release, as well as more shoulder twist and release for rotational power. She also explains how to improve the “barrel spin” to develop stronger edges and edge pressure.

Amy notes that a good butterfly requires engagement of nearly every muscle in the body. It takes strength and quickness and courage. For skaters with weak glute muscles, Amy recommends performing a simple off-ice “superman” exercise. She also takes a moment to acknowledge that typically she introduces the butterfly only after skaters have at least some familiarity with the flying camel, the death drop, and the flying sit spin. But she notes that skaters at even very low levels can and should be exposed to the butterfly kicks at the wall to build body awareness, as well as core and glute strength.

One of the most common butterfly errors is not performing the butterfly kicks directly behind the skater’s head. Amy notes that many skaters try to bring the leg around more like a flying camel, and she recommends that those skaters simply return to the wall to practice proper scissor kicks.


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