Natural Acceleration (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

2018 World Ice Dance Silver Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue work on acceleration with a class of skaters at a seminar. Zach initially shows an exercise intended to allow skaters to feel acceleration and deceleration while on a flat and simply using body movement. This drill does not actually cause a speed increase after the skater returns to a still position. If the flat is truly frictionless on the ice, the body movement simply accelerates (or decelerates) the body briefly, followed by a deceleration (or acceleration) as the skater resumes stillness.

However, on an edge where the edge can press against the ice, these kinds of movements can cause an actual speed increase. The next exercise Zach demonstrates is an excellent drill. Although Zach says the unbalanced edge pressure that causes the acceleration is not a “power pull” and instead prefers the term “natural acceleration,” most participants in the skating world know it as a “pull” or “edge pull” of some kind. The drill sequence is as follows: Push onto an outside edge, pull on same outside edge, change edge to inside edge, then push from inside edge onto outside edge on other skate and repeat the process. The “double bend” is crucial in order to get the acceleration that Zach is explaining. The initial bend of the double bend is for the edge change, and the second bend sets up the “edge pull.”

Madison notes that skaters who might be bored in this kind of group environment when it is not their turn to skate can learn a lot by observing the other skaters for common errors or even for correct execution. Most humans learn primarily through sight, so this is incredibly helpful advice.


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password

FavoriteLoadingAdd to "My Favorites" (Beta testing)
Member Login

Forgot Password

Most Favorited Posts