Push Pull Partner Exercise (Madison Hubbell and Zachary Donohue)

Two-time World Ice Dance Medalists Madison Hubbell and Zach Donohue share a fun and helpful partner exercise intended to build partner connection and control while also demonstrating how speed and power can be achieved with and without push with a partner. The initial drill is very simple. Two skaters simply grab right hands (thumbs up, not handshake style) and stand on two feet while pushing and pulling each other in and out. This drill gets the skaters used to the necessary connection and timing that will be needed for the next part of the drill. One helpful tip is to avoid completely straightening the connection arm in the “away position” so it maintains some connection and springiness.

After developing some connection with the simple standstill drill, skaters can try the traveling version of this drill where they take turns pushing onto a shallow right forward outside three turn to pass their partner. This drill is intended to go in a straight line down the ice, meaning the three turn must be very shallow or even straight and the direction of the step must be through the pulling partner’s right shoulder. The pulling partner opens that shoulder to allow the other skater to pass, avoiding a collision.

For the advanced version of this exercise, skaters can get some initial speed with pushes into the three turn, but then simply use their partnering to build speed (or more accurately, exchange speed). Madison and Zach do a nice demonstration of this advanced version.


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