Figure Skating – Balancing Exercises (Page Lipe)

Page Lipe shares three valuable exercises to increase body awareness.  These drills are very effective in bringing out issues with alignment and core stability.  Not surprisingly, these drills are harder than they look.

The purpose of the first drill is to help skaters find their axis and it applies to all jumps.  In this drill, Page has the skater stand on their landing toe pick and spin on the toe pick as many times as they can.  The tip Page gives about using the hips and not the shoulders is very helpful to successfully do this drill.  As part of this drill, Page wants the skater to look in the glass and keep their head still as long as possible as the body starts to rotate.  This is an important concept for jumping and echoes what other top coaches at have also explained regarding the head during jump entrances.

The purpose of the second drill is to help a skater get used to new skates or blades.  (All skaters should be able to do this exercise in their existing equipment.)  Page offers some tips to help skaters do the drill properly and she demonstrates several examples of what to do as well as what not to do.  Page notes that the skill of keeping the hips behind the blade (toe pick) is necessary for axel and waltz jump.  This is one of those comments made in passing that is very profound.

Page uses the third drill as a way to help skaters settle down and feel proper alignment.  This is essentially a static balancing exercise in the proper rotational position for multi-rotation jumps.  This position is widely known as the d-position.  Page explains the position in some detail, including shoulder position, head position, hip position, and ankle and leg position. She uses the phrase “stack everything up” to explain the necessary alignment.  She wants the skater in the middle of the blade and she also wants the shoulders pulled down.  She also wants the skater to “squeeze their ankles” which means the legs are engaged and not just loosely hanging in place.  Page likes to use this drill to calm skaters down during competition warm-ups and practices.

Great stuff overlooked by nearly all skaters and coaches!


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