Off-ice Figure Skating Training To Lower Sit Spins (Kristina Anderson)
Figure skating strength and conditioning coach Kristina Anderson talks about the strength, flexibility, and control issues associated with making a sit spin lower.  The primary tool used to lower a sit spin is the squat and Kristina describes and demonstrates how to teach a beginner squat.  She says, “The squat is a really basic exercise within strength an conditioning.  It’s great because it’s a multi-joint, multi-muscle exercise that’s going to help us directly related to the sit spin.”
In this beginner technique, Kristina has a bench or chair as both a safety mechanism (because some young athletes will lack the strength at first just to control their own body weight) and as a way to get the skater to press their hips back behind them.  In the squat, Kristina wants the skater’s weight on the heels, even though the skater’s weight will be on the ball of the foot on the ice.  She talks in detail about the hips, back, and shoulders in terms of proper technique.  She also shows that the knees should not press forward past the toes in a proper squat.
Kristina also talks about the tendency for the knee to drop inward when bending down.  This is a common issue in squats, particularly for female athletes.  Kristina says, “Oftentimes what happens, and especially with females and how our bodies are set up with the Q angle of the hips, is that they’ll drop their knees together when they go down for their squat.”  She notes this inward knee movement is very common in sit spins.  She discusses a valuable trick to minimize this and eventually eliminate it.  She also explains that good squat technique involves pushing down through the outside of the feet.
Please keep in mind that the squat as described by Kristina is a valuable tool for developing the strength and range of motion needed for a sit spin, but the actual technique of doing a squat is somewhat different than the technique needed by a skater doing a sit spin on the ice.  Years of research have shown that this squat technique is one of the most efficient and safest ways to develop the strength needed for all athletes that bend their knees.  Thus, the squat is an excellent off-ice tool for developing a lower sit spin.

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