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  1. #1
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    Question Two foot turns, t-stops, stepping back to forward, teapots and lunges

    Everything in my skating seems to be going relatively well except for these four things we have to do.

    Two foot turns (forward to backward): In short, I turn but I stop. Some people just seem to get this and flick themselves around like... well, something flicking themself forward to backward!

    I just cannot keep going after the turn. I try standing still to do it and I turn about 150 degrees. As soon as I try it moving, I either just skate a tiny circle, or turn but immediately stop.

    A little kid (one of the flicky-around-like-it's-easy ones) told me I need to turn my body first, then my feet, but this still doesn't work. I've watched others do it slowly, which is hard as most people do three turns rather than two-foot equivalents anyway, and seen that they sometimes slip the outside foot slightly in front before turning. But when I do that, it worsens the circle thing. Should any particular foot be ahead during the two foot turn? Would more attention to the edge change (LFO&RFI-RBO&LBI) help?

    Stepping backward to forward: I think what I really need for this is some practice time without too many people, so I can skate backward with more confidence. I might be doing this okay when I try it actually; it's just that I rarely get to try and improve.

    T-stops: I used to be able to do these in one direction on my old skates, but now I can't. I hope I'll be able to do them better now my blades are sharpened on the new skates. Are you supposed to rotate your upper body sideways (like in a T position), or just put the skate behind?

    Lunges: How do you get low enough on these? I can just get my boot to drag if I try hard, but I can't get the blade to lift off (so both boot and blade are dragging at the same time). I can do the position quite well off ice, though.

    Teapots: Another one I can do pretty well off ice. Actually, I can do the position well, and I can do it badly (off ice), but I can't go from doing it badly to doing it well. I'm good at dip-falls so maybe I'll approach it like a little kid and just see how far I can go before I splat. Do you think I should do down into a dip, then stick one leg out, or do a one foot glide then a sort of one foot squat into the position?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny_Hop View Post
    Two foot turns (forward to backward): In short, I turn but I stop. Some people just seem to get this and flick themselves around like... well, something flicking themself forward to backward!

    ... Should any particular foot be ahead during the two foot turn? Would more attention to the edge change (LFO&RFI-RBO&LBI) help?
    I'm not sure how you were taught these, but it sounds like it might help to think of it as a three turn on two feet, which is what I was taught when I was starting out and which will help for when you're ready to start trying threes on one foot.

    So yes, do pay attention to the edges, and try to draw the shape of a 3 with each blade. You may find that you put a bit more weight on the outside edge foot both forward and backward, which is not a problem.

    Your knees should make a down-up-down motion with the turn happening in the "up" part, which should be as quick as possible. The other thing that happens during that moment is that you reverse the twist in your upper body.

    It might help to try them at the boards.
    Stand with your left hip next to the boards and your right hip toward the center of the ice, with your blades parallel to the boards facing up ice. Twist your upper body to the left to face the boards so you can put both hands on the boards, and bend your knees.
    Leaving your hands on the boards and your upper body twisted in that direction, rise up in your knees just long enough to swivel your lower body around below your waist so that your blades are now facing 180 degrees from where they were, and everything above the waist is still in the same place. As soon as your lower body is reversed, bend your knees again -- the "up" part and the reversal of twist should take only a split second.

    That's the twisting action needed for a three turn, on one foot or on both.

    Now try the same thing with a little bit of glide going in and coming out. If the ice isn't too scratched up next to the boards, you should be able to see that your blades draw something that looks like a 3 -- since there are two of them right next to each other, the 3s will overlap.

    You should also try it in the other direction, starting with RFO&LFI and turning to RBI&LBO. You might find that easier if your body prefers to rotate clockwise.

    Teapots: Another one I can do pretty well off ice. Actually, I can do the position well, and I can do it badly (off ice), but I can't go from doing it badly to doing it well. I'm good at dip-falls so maybe I'll approach it like a little kid and just see how far I can go before I splat. Do you think I should do down into a dip, then stick one leg out, or do a one foot glide then a sort of one foot squat into the position?
    I could never do these properly, and now that my knee is shot I never will.

    But starting fron a dip and then sticking one leg out should be much easier.

  3. #3
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    T-stops: I always just put one foot behind, without doing anything with my body. (Bearing in mind, I have FREAKISH turnout and can do an awful lot without rotating my upper body so YMMV.)

    Silly question, but what is a teapot? A shoot-the-duck?

    And I've never been able to do lunges. My knees don't work like that. But then I have bad knees.

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    Quote Originally Posted by danceronice View Post
    Silly question, but what is a teapot? A shoot-the-duck?

    And I've never been able to do lunges. My knees don't work like that. But then I have bad knees.
    Teapot = shoot-the-duck, yes. If I did either of those, teapot or lunge, I'd never get back up again

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    gkelly has some excellent advice.
    One thing that helped me was to remember that the two-foot turns are done on a curve. If you try to do them on a straight line, they won't work. If you have hockey circles on your ice, try doing the turns on the circle - it might help you to try on a shallower curve than the hockey circle, but try to keep the general shape of the circle even if you aren't following the lines precisely.

    You can also think of doing the turn as winding up tension and then releasing it (this is true of one-foot 3 turns as well). When you set up the turn with the twist of the body that gkelly describes, you're winding up. When you do the turn and release and re-set your upper body position, you release the tension and use that energy to continue moving. Thinking of this might help you not to stop after you do the turn.

    Lunges I can't help with because I suck at them too. Teapots/shoot the duck, it's really a matter of experimenting and seeing what works for you. However, I wouldn't spend a lot of time working on the position off-ice, because doing it standing still and doing it while moving and balancing are quite different. I wouldn't be too worried if you can do the position better off-ice than on-ice.

  6. #6
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny_Hop View Post
    Teapots: Another one I can do pretty well off ice. Actually, I can do the position well, and I can do it badly (off ice), but I can't go from doing it badly to doing it well. I'm good at dip-falls so maybe I'll approach it like a little kid and just see how far I can go before I splat. Do you think I should do down into a dip, then stick one leg out, or do a one foot glide then a sort of one foot squat into the position?
    I was impressed that you do this better off-ice. My one-leg-squat on the floor became consistent way after getting shoot-the-duck on ice. Guess it's the matter of momentum? Once tried to find out what's the minimum speed needed for shoot-the-duck to work, and it's definitely not zero
    Ok I digress... Both approaches you described should work. I prefer to stick free leg out and support it with my free arm, then slowly squat all the way down and lean upper body forward against my skating knee. Expect to fall a LOT and one day it will click. The move does use a lot of knee strength to get up and down though so don't overdo it

  7. #7
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    For lunges, it helped me to bend the dragging knee some, rather than trying to keep it straight. The only way I can get anything that resembles a shoot-the-duck/teapot is to dip and then put a leg out in front. Of course, I can only hold it for a second before falling. I couldn't even do a shoot-the-duck as a kid...those things are tricky!

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    For lunges, you have to bend your free leg ankle upwards just before your boot hits the ice instead of trying to do it at the same time (or after). That puts your leg into the correct position.

  9. #9
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    Thanks everyone!

    Skating tomorrow -- hopefully -- I twisted my ankle tripping on a drain which had a massive gap between the grates!

    I watched a Youtube video of the two-foot turns, which seemed to demonstrate the untwisting motion you described. I think I'm doing the arms wrong... Anyway, hopefully I'll be able to skate for a few hours tomorrow. Yay!

    I'm curious about teapots/shoot the duck. I'm definitely going to try the dip-stick-leg-out method.

    Thanks again!

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    One trick on arm position is to stand facing a partner. Reach out and shake hands. Don't let go. Bend your knees and rock slightly forward on your blades, then turn your body away from your clasped hands. The hand that was in front of you should now be behind you. That's the arm position for the three-turn

    To turn the other way (since you should be able to do turns in both directions), switch hands.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

  11. #11
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    Stepping backward to forward: I'm not strong at skating backwards, but I can now manage this again (very frustrating because I didn't even have to think about it when I skated as a teenager). What helps me is to make sure I turn my shoulders and particularly my hips to the outside of the circle. And look in the direction you're travelling. This means the foot you want to step on to it actually in the correct position, and makes stepping forward easier. So if, for example, you're travelling backwards on your right leg (on an outside edge), start looking over your left shoulder in the direction you're going, this should start you also turning your body in that direction, and make stepping forward onto the left foot easier.
    The ancient Egyptians worshipped cats as gods, and the cats have never forgotten.

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    On the two-foot turns: make sure you lift your heels ever so slightly during the turn. If you try to scrape around flat-footed, you'll lose all speed. Down in the knees, up for the turn, then down again to help glide backwards.

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    Updates!! Thanks again for the help.

    Two foot turns: I've been lifting my heels (thanks vesperholly), which seems to be having some effect on the momentum following the turn.

    Actually, I've been trying three turns and find them slightly easier than the two foot ones, with momentum left over afterwards. The problem with those is that I'm not very good on back one foot glides, so the turn starts on one foot and ends on two. Two foot turns aren't actually something we're ever tested on; I think the coach is making us do them in preparation for the next level's three turns.

    T-stops: So-so. I'm getting a somewhat reliable stop on one side and a terrible Y-shaped mess on the other. As we're never tested on ability to do this both ways, I'm kind of apathetic about learning it well.

    Stepping backward to forward: This is going much better. Before I turned about 90 degrees and begun and ended on both feet. The aim is to eventually step from one foot (backward) to the other (forward) with a short glide before and after on one foot.

    I've got the after glide but not the before glide, which is because it's backward and I'm still not steady on back one foot glides. Unlike most things, this actually goes pretty much equally well in both directions.

    Teapots: I've given up the one foot squat method for the more popular dip-stick-out-a-leg-splat. It's hard to bend my ankles with the new skates. All the splatting is probably making me more confident.

    Lunges: I haven't been doing too many lunges recently. My dragging foot seems to go more sideways than around the back, which a coach says is also a problem with my stroking free foot.

    Crossoves: Forward crossovers have been annoying me for months, both in getting them, maintaining the ability to do them from session to session, and doing the ones where the foot is on the ice before the cross (I think they're called progressives) which we have to do to pass.

    Counter clockwise crossovers have been pleasingly consistent; I can just step on the ice and do them. I'm also getting more confident doing them with some speed around the rink, which makes the crossed-under foot slip rapidly toward the outside of the circle.

    Clockwise are still a mess. The only progress is that I can consistently step the left foot over the right when stationary, and sometimes as very low speeds (which is how it was when I started counter clockwise). If I try to go faster, not only does it feel terrifying -- which is definitely a factor -- but my right foot is literally in the way of where the left needs to cross, to the point where sometimes the left blade ends up on top of the right boot. Another weird thing, which did not happen with counter clockwise, is that sometimes the right foot actually twists away from the left (toe moves toward the inside of the circle) when I try to do them clockwise. I don't actually twist it; the blade just rotates on the ice as my weight shifts sideways.

    Again, thanks for all the help. Is there anything specific about the crossovers that might be causing the foot-twisting-away thing?

    Thanks!

  14. #14

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    2 foot turns:
    I teach these first as a standstill exercise. I have students pretend they are holding a flag pole on either side of the body w arms outstretched. They can't let go of the flag pole and the flag pole can't move. Then we bounce in the knees. I have them bend, turn to the front of the rink then back toward me. This is a 1/4 turn. We do this in both directions then 1/2 turn. Bend front of the rink to back of the rink. It works pretty well. many will allow the feet to separate so they are rotating rather than twisting. Then I draw a box on the ice and tell them their feet must stay in the box. Pretend you have a rubber band around your ankles.

    The first moving exercise I have them do is 1 forward swizzle, feet come together, bend the knees twist backwards. One back swizzle, feet together, bend twist. This must be done slowly. Students forget to bend and do a "fish hook" which is a curve rather than a twist. Back to bend and twist.

    Second I draw 3s on the ice and have them do it on a curve.

    This sequence works pretty well.

    Lunge
    I have the kids hold the barrier facing it then bend and drop the inside of the boot to the ice. Then bounce up and down so the boot rubs the ice. yes, you have to tilt the ankle upward slightly. I adjust their feet and legs if necessary.

    For those who drag the pick, I have them do an upright arabesque and drop to a lunge. This is a great combo exercise for those who can do both spiral and lunge. It gives them a chance to build on their skills and control position and forward glide. I also teach a swing forward of the free leg to open the hip while standing upright then back and descend to the lunge position.

    HTH.

    Kay
    www.skatejournal.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny_Hop View Post
    Another weird thing, which did not happen with counter clockwise, is that sometimes the right foot actually twists away from the left (toe moves toward the inside of the circle) when I try to do them clockwise. I don't actually twist it; the blade just rotates on the ice as my weight shifts sideways.

    Again, thanks for all the help. Is there anything specific about the crossovers that might be causing the foot-twisting-away thing?

    Thanks!
    You need to learn to use your foot and ankle and make it turn facing towards the inside of your circle. It might help instead of bringing your foot over the top of the other one, bring it alongside the skating foot and then move the crossing foot around the top of the toe of the skating foot. As it moves along side the skating foot, make sure it is parallel to the skating foot. It is a bit of a dance technique, but will help you get neater feet.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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    I have no solid advice as I am a beginner myself but one thing that really helped me as a tip when skating backwards was to REALLY want to skate backwards and think of the place where I want to skate to.

    That sounds like something that is taken for granted but after I payed attention to it I noticed that I skated backwards but my whole body was trying not to. After I tried to convince my mind that I really wanted to move in that direction and backwards(!) I suddenly could do all the backward glides after moves.

    Don't know if that helps.

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    I have no solid advice as I am a beginner myself but one thing that really helped me as a tip when skating backwards was to REALLY want to skate backwards and think of the place where I want to skate to.
    I get this! On my two foot turns, as they've been slowly improving, it helps a little for me to think of moving after the turn; what I would look and feel like doing it right, and how this would look as a tracing*.

    For backward skating and crossovers, though, it sometimes helped me to think less! The day when I started to do crossovers moving (CCW), I was doing my typical thing, gliding until I stopped then crossing, and talking to some friends. Suddenly I realised I was doing it right! Well, not right, but I was moving at the same time as crossing.

    Also for backward skating (the thing between backward swizzles and proper backward stroking), it never worked as I thought about it -- moved super slowly -- but when I was talking to the instructor, I noticed I was moving backward with some speed, albeit with my feet about a foot and a half apart.

    I guess I sometimes overthink things, and either not thinking, or thinking about what I want to do instead of the how (as Hedwig was saying), seems to help.

    *At least one of my feet makes a tracing that looks like a three turn now when I do two foot turns. Is that good?

    Thanks again for all the help! Skating tomorrow, so no doubt I will have another load of questions soon!


  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunny_Hop View Post
    *At least one of my feet makes a tracing that looks like a three turn now when I do two foot turns. Is that good?
    Yes, that's good. If it looks like a candy cane, you're doing it wrong.

  19. #19

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    Lunges.
    One side, a happy lunge in a straight line
    Other side, a frown, curved lunge. The blade wants to catch the ice. I get it about 25 percent of the time.

  20. #20
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    I love lunges now, although I too can only do them on one side. I have also decided to really work on teapots, because I saw someone learning a sit spin, only getting about half the way down into the spin before splatting. So I figure if I learn a teapot, I might be able to get further down when I learn sit spins, and fall from a lower height = less ouch.

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