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Beginner skater, problems with getting a good knee bend?

Discussion in 'Moves In The Field' started by mady16, Mar 24, 2014.

  1. mady16

    mady16 New Member

    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. treesprite

    treesprite Active Member

    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. GarrAarghHrumph

    GarrAarghHrumph I can kill you with my brain

    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.
  4. ronniev

    ronniev New Member

    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!
  5. Shyjosie

    Shyjosie Well-Known Member

    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!
  6. Jenya

    Jenya Let me show you Tel Aviv

    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. :)
  7. J-Ro

    J-Ro Active Member

    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. skatepixie

    skatepixie Well-Known Member

    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. Aussie Willy

    Aussie Willy Hates both vegemite and peanut butter

    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.
  10. Skatingisfun1

    Skatingisfun1 New Member

    The bend in the knee does also come from the ankles. I am more of a "hook all the hooks" type person, because the hooks stabilize your legs, ankle and foot. If you are unstable, you will not be able to control the blade. Then, you might tense up. People who are tense, often show it in their knees by stiffening them. (I am one of them. Weak in the knees come testing time...). If lacing all the way up allow you better control, then that might be better. If you can, while they are not broken in, leave a hook undone, then that might be the trick. You are going to have to find what works for you.

    What doesn't work is bending over at the waist. Alot of beginners will bend at the waist, thinking that is the knee. You want to make sure you are looking out in front of you, bend ankle and knee.

    If you have time, Yoga poses Warriors are great for building the muscles and getting the balance of a bent knee and ankle.

    Other than that, just being aware of bending the knee . . and you will increasingly bend it. Finally, you will have great knee bend. Body awareness. That's how figure skating works.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2014