Upright Spin Variation – The Y-Spin (Charyl Brusch)

Figure skating spin specialist Charyl Brusch explains how she teaches the upright spin variation called the Y-spin (sometimes also called the “heel stretch spin”). This video contains tons of important observations and insights to help anyone working on this upright backspin variation.

The first tip Charyl offers is the idea of keeping the hips square, rather than letting the free hip open. One tip for keeping the hips square is to keep the free foot at an angle slightly in front of the skater, rather than directly to the side. She explains this as “kind of a v-position” which allows for a “nicer turnout of the foot.” She shows the desired foot grab, and explains the need to keep the body lined up over the skating side. The skating side arm is used as a counterbalance to help maintain this proper alignment. She says, “I do a lot of lining up… thinking of the middle of the head lining up over the middle of the skate.” The spin spot on the blade should not change during the transition into the desired position.

Charyl talks about having her skaters do a lot of off-ice stretching to develop this kind of skill. A great tip is to work on flexibility AFTER skill training (any skating), as the body is warmed up and any instability caused by the stretching will not cause problems during skill training. Improving flexibility takes time and patience and Charyl says, “It’s gradual. I try not to do it too quickly, especially with little kids.”

She then discusses common errors including pulling the free hip back (resulting in huge circles on the ice), a skating knee with too much knee bend (non-basic position rather than upright), and direction of the skating foot with respect to the body (square is best, open is the common error).

NOTE: The video and audio quality at the beginning of this video is poor and is part of the original recording. It is not a problem with your viewing device!


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