Partner Exercise for Gaining Speed and Momentum (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

2018 World Ice Dance Silver Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue teach a fun exercise for generating momentum with a partner. This exercise is a simplification of the always-fun “slingshot” pass-by and it teaches important partnering skills in a very fun way. To do this exercise well, skaters have to master partner connection (feeling a partner through the hand-to-hand connection), awareness of their partner’s relative position, personal core stability and alignment, and edge pressure.

Although Madison explains this as “moving without pushing,” there is a “push” happening by the skater who is traveling backward and pulling on the forward-moving skater. The only way that speed can be increased in this exercise is if the backward gliding skater actually creates edge pressure and a backward push. But the fun thing about the drill is that this happens automatically.

In fact, all the skills that this exercise teaches happen automatically while the skaters are simply having fun. There are some tips that make the exercise easier, and Madison and Zach explain those things like direction of movement and pull, arm extension limits, and core stability.


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