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  1. #1
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    Question Beginner skater, problems with getting a good knee bend?

    Hello, this is my first post here so I want to say hi real quick. I'm Mady.

    Anyway though, on to my question. I've been in a Learn to State class for about 4 weeks and just passed Basic 1! with my crazy schedule this month, I haven't had anytime to practice outside of my hour and half lesson. Now though, I'm going to be skating a lot more (probably 4 hours a week). My instructor told me I have a problem with my knee bending though, and that even doing basic moves I don't bend my knees enough.

    I was just wondering if this could have to do with the fact that since I use rental skates with little support, I lace them up very tightly almost the whole way up. I haven't been able to skate since my lesson to test this theory. I know you are supposed to leave two fingers width at the top, but doing that, I feel like I'm wobbling and have little support at all.

    I just purchased my first pair of skates though! They're simply Jackson Mystiques since I just turned sixteen and fairly normal sized and only on basic skills. I didn't want something to stiff and am definitely prepared to upgrade later on (possibly Basic 6-7). Do you think my new skates will allow me to not tighten my skates as much up the ankle and allow me to bend my knees, or is this just a bad habit that I have? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Toes snug, ankle bend tight, top of boot almost comfy. I hope you got your new skates sized correctly. I think at least half the people in LTS classes here wear skates that are too big for them so they can't learn to skate very well.

  3. #3

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    Your new skates should provide you with enough support that you can lace them properly, using the method that treesprite mentioned.

    Often, during your first few wearings, you don't lace the top hook. This allows you to have knee bend while the skates are stiff, before you break them in.
    Use Yah Blinkah!

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    with regards to the knee bend..i would say do lunges off ice..maybe two sets of 10/each side two or three times a week. hope it helps!

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    Hello, Mady,
    congratulations on passing Basic 1!
    in our beginners classes, we advise the skaters to lace up their skates quite tightly, but with said two-finger comfort space at the top. I second treesprite, your skates should fit precisely. Does it hurt to bend your knee? If so, it might be due to your feet and ankles getting used to the hard leather.
    One of our preferred exercises in the classes is to simply stand on both feet (on ice, in skates, either gliding slowly or standing still) with the upper body in an upright position, then bending knees until you can't spot your feet anymore when looking down. This should give you a feel for kneebend as well as prove that your boots aren't laced up too tightly.
    Have fun skating!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyjosie View Post
    One of our preferred exercises in the classes is to simply stand on both feet (on ice, in skates, either gliding slowly or standing still) with the upper body in an upright position, then bending knees until you can't spot your feet anymore when looking down. This should give you a feel for kneebend as well as prove that your boots aren't laced up too tightly.
    I use the same exercise, especially with beginning skaters - it sounds silly, but it really gives you a feel for the knee and ankle bend that you need in skating. Give it a try the next time you're on the ice and see if it helps.

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    The ability to have a good, bent skating knee is the result of several factors. First, the skates: yes, rental skates are pretty dreadful for serious skating. They rarely provide a good fit and the blades are awful. You have taken a huge leap forward in your skating simply by purchasing your own skates. The skate shop should have advised you on how to lace them properly, but if not, ask your instructor to make sure. Second, your leg strength and balance is a factor in being able to confidently bend your knee. This will come over time. You can also practice at home with your skates and guards on. Stand at a counter and bend as hard as you can while maintaining proper posture. This will get your feet and ankle used to the new boot.

  8. #8
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    Two fingers at the top sounds like a ton to me. I'd go kersplat. Then again, my (albeit old) boot are custom, so perhaps that makes a difference?

  9. #9

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    Think about ankle flexion rather than knee bend. You can try and bend your knees without bending at the ankles but you will only go so far. Bend at the ankles and you will get greater knee bend.

    Also don't do up the top hook of your skating boots. Just because the boot might have a number of hooks, for beginners you don't need it. You will get enough support from the lower hooks. This will allow greater ankle flexion as well.
    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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