Warming Up with Cross Strokes (Douglas Webster)

Professional choreographer Douglas Webster continues his class on warming up properly after stepping onto the ice.  In the previous video, Doug focused on exercises intended to warm up the knees and ankles.  In this video, he focuses on the cross stroke as a warm-up exercise.  (Although many ice dancers may argue that cross strokes and cross rolls are different, most freestyle coaches use the terms interchangeably.  As Doug is teaching a class of high level free skaters, he is simply referring to cross strokes when he says cross rolls.)

To maximize the power from each push and to more efficiently warm up the muscles associated with bending the knees and ankles, Doug recommends staying down throughout the entire cross stroke rather than lilting up out of the knee on the push.  In terms of a warm-up, Doug notes that the sustained knee bend is also valuable in terms of jump take-offs and landings.

Next, Doug focuses on keeping the hips square to the direction of travel.  By placing both hands on the hips, skaters can feel their hips and have a better sense of alignment and direction.  Similarly, Doug focuses on head position and direction as a way to align the body properly during these cross strokes.  To help with these concepts he has the class skate on large circles with simply pumps, focusing only on the hips and shoulders and head.


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