More Details About Cross Strokes (Douglas Webster)

Professional choreographer Douglas Webster continues his lesson on cross strokes. In the earlier part of the lesson, Doug focused on leg and hip position. In this video, he focuses more on the actual push and movements to create power. As Doug notes, “The push is the key to pretty much everything in skating.” He offers an analogy to a screwdriver as a way to understand where the power comes from. He then starts with 2 foot slaloms to feel the edges and edge pressure and timing. Notice that Doug wants the hips and shoulders to stay square to the lobes.

To build the cross strokes (or cross rolls as Doug calls them throughout), he starts with small ones with no extension. With this “small” cross stroke, Doug has the skater start tow to heel, before moving the knee through and the free foot close before the step and push. When Doug says to isolate the shoulders, he means to lock them to the hips so the shoulders should turn with the hips on each lobe.

For the full cross stroke, Doug says, “I set my bend and my extension and then at the half I gather and push.” He continues, “As you pass the free leg through to push, you’re not going to swing it wide. You’re going to bring it through with your knee first.” He uses this repetition: “Bend and extend, gather, push.” To develop mastery of these skills, Doug has the skater do a repeating series of 2 large and slow cross strokes, followed by 4 small and fast cross strokes. These kinds of exercises should be part of everyone’s on-ice warm-up.


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