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The half-ass layback position

Discussion in 'The Trash Can' started by haribobo, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. BmcC102

    BmcC102 Active Member

    Love Sasha's layback the best. Yu-Na's back bend is nice, but the leg position is very weak and the positions look very stiff. Mao's is nice; I particularly liked her 2008 version.
  2. Slowdive

    Slowdive New Member

    If I remember correctly Yukina Ota has a great layback position before being injured.
  3. ainouta

    ainouta Well-Known Member

    Both Yukina (http://youtu.be/L0LvJxsA88A?t=2m10s) and Nana Takeda (http://youtu.be/THVWVnj4wPs?t=4m16s) had excellent back bend, but dropped legs - so they had great "lay-back" in their laybacks but not a classic position.

    Really wish Yukina hadn't gotten injured and Nana had gotten the harder triples consistent...they were both favorites of mine.
  4. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Yukina's back is out of this world-ly flexible, which also makes her for a wonderful ina bauer. Shame about her injury and jumping issues. She was so beautiful to watch and oh so promising back in 2003-4 ish. She is probably the most musical Japanese lady skater.

    I am surprised Takeda couldn't get the harder triples. She had great technique and quality on her easier triples.

    Both girls moved wonderfully across the ice and were a vision. Much prefer them than Ando or even Nakano. Darn the jumps.
  5. 5Ali3

    5Ali3 Active Member

    In general, it's the turnout of the hip that allows the back to bend; to the extent that flexibility is required for an excellent layback, it's flexibility in the hips, not the back.

    A classical layback position requires a very unusual hip motion - I can't think of another element in skating that uses it. As the position sets, the pelvis needs to tilt in a motion very similar to a pelvic tilt in Pilates. If you're standing upright, your navel should tilt towards your spine and your butt towards your heels. The motion must be limited to the pelvis: nothing else should move. If you try this, you might feel some tension in your quads and knees: if you bend your knees - once again, without moving anything else - that tension should dissipate. And that's why a layback is easier when the skating knee is bent in a way that is different from other spins. Skaters who do a layback in which the pelvic is straight-up-and-down, such as Kwan, are not executing this motion, which is the foundation of the back bend and must be executed before the skater starts to lean back.

    When a skater executes this pelvic tilt motion correctly, it allows for the hip to be turned out in attitude position; if the pelvic tilt motion doesn't happen, it's nearly impossible to turn the free leg into attitude and the hips will be square - or the hips are square and it's nearly impossible to turn out the free leg (chicken, egg, mmmm breakfast sandwich!). If you've never skated or danced and want to test this, try the following exercise that I just made up while using my window as a mirror, gyrating wildly, with one hand on my butt and the other somewhat south of my navel (can't wait to see my neighbor tomorrow :slinkaway ):
    - stand on two feet, square towards a countertop or stable surface, with your feet under hips; holding onto the counter, lean backwards and see how far you can go
    - now step your right leg back about one step, like you were taking a medium-sized stride backward; your pelvis should no longer be square, but open towards your right side. Now try leaning back again: you should be able to get significantly farther back.
    - possible constraining variables: the length of your arms; your cats laughing at you; your dogs trying to lick your nose when you lean back

    All the blood rushed from my head. Where was I? Oh yes: pelvic tilt facilitates attitude position facilitates backbend and balance to hold backbend. Kwan never achieved the initial pelvic tilt and thus it was impossible for her to achieve an attitude position with her free leg or bend back very much. There are two main constraints to this process: strength and understanding, with a lack of understanding seeming to be the more common condition: the strength is very easy to train once one understands the motion.

    - Cohen: look at pelvic tilt, how far forward her hips are compared to her skating foot; notice the turnout at the hips: she's not square, but the free (right) side is significantly behind the skating (left) side
    - Kate Liberman: This photo turned up in my google images search; she displays the pelvic tilt and attitude turn out; even though the angle of her free leg will make it appear from the front that her free leg is more straight-behind than traditional attitude, the attitude turnout can clearly be seen in her free hip
    - adult skater: another google image find; I really like this picture, because it demonstrates great pelvic tilt (look at how she's pushing her hips forward from her body) with a nice attitude free leg and backward extension to demonstrate a lovely layback position that is not easy to obtain, but more obtainable Cohen's or Czisny's for most high-level skaters
    - Kwan: square hips, some attitude turnout from the knee resulting in a nice line of the free leg, but see how flat the front of her pelvis is? There's no tilt and no attitude turnout within the hips. Here, she has the correct motion of the hips - note how she's pushing them forward - but no attitude turnout in the free hip and she's still fairly square. However, given the position of her hips, she's demonstrating quite decent flexibility in her mid- to upper-back, which leads me to believe that she had the requisite back flexibility to do a layback, but lacked either the hip flexibility or the technique to execute the pelvic tilt motion.

    (Again, for FWIW, skaters whose femurs are loosely anchored in their hip sockets tend to have easy hip rotation, making it very difficult to stand up on wonky jumps, but survive their careers without major hip injuries (Cohen, Czisny), while those whose femurs are more tightly anchored tend to have more square stances, making it more difficult to fall than to stand up on wonky jumps, and end up tearing the labrum in the hip of their landing leg from fighting the rotational force put on their hips (Kwan, Lipinski).)

    I think I might leave through the back door tomorrow morning in hopes of avoiding my neighbor... :rofl:
  6. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    Favorite post in a long time! Loved it
  7. kwanatic

    kwanatic Well-Known Member

    Awesome. :D
  8. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

    sasha cohen, sarah hughes, peggy fleming

    I think yuna's is actually hideous because the arm positions (for me) are very tacky and of course her leg. sasha and sarah's (especially 2002 oly lp) arm positions in the spiral were so graceful!

    btw caroline also has a lovely classic layback spin..but for some reason the leg doesn't float as elegantly as in sasha's layback. I don't know how to describe it but when you see sasha changing between spins, in her classical layback her leg floats so gently as it's spinning
  9. giselle23

    giselle23 Well-Known Member

    Finally! For me, Janet Lynn's layback was the best. Not only was her position perfect, she was so expressive in her movements.
  10. iarispiralllyof

    iarispiralllyof Active Member

  11. Twilight1

    Twilight1 Well-Known Member

    Lucinda Ruh

    I think she was the best...IMHO for laybacks. At the 1:55 min mark was her layback.

    Josee Chounaird didn't have the best layback...nor did Nancy Kerrigan.
  12. BmcC102

    BmcC102 Active Member


    Fast, centered, MUSICAL, many revolutions, no obnoxious catch foots needed, PERFECT postion and I love how Sasha times the spin to the musical phrasing SO well. She changes her positions (hands, leg, etc.) right on beat one of the measure being performed, which is where the emphasis should be in triple-meter music, IMO.

    The combination spin Julia did at 99 Worlds in the LP (which is not on youtube) is equally ugly and traveled horribly too.

    Worst positions for a spin, period, for an elite skater at an ISU Grand Prix event:
    LOL at Peggy and Dick's comments! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
  13. Coco

    Coco Well-Known Member

    I think Julia had a really bad back, iirc. She should have gone for a sideways leaning spin, but maybe she couldn't do that.
  14. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    No discussion of bad laybacks is complete w/o Yoshie Onda. Her layback is 1:32 into the program. I wish I could find a YT video of the comp where Dick Button said "Well, that's an ugly spin" and Peggy agreed. I think it might have been the 2003 GPF.
  15. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    That is not a bad layback. Only when you are terribly fixated on the leg position like Dick Button is.
  16. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    The arch in her back isn't bad, but I find the leg and arm positions ugly.
  17. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    The arch is the most important thing in a layback. If you find the leg and arm position ugly, then this is an aesthetical thing and personal preference but that doesn't make it a bad layback.
  18. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    We'll have to agree to disagree, then. I look at the whole picture. To my eye, 2/3rds of that position are ugly, so it's a bad layback.
  19. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    Sorry to say but you don't. You only look at the arm and leg position, find them ugly and then you decide that it must be a bad layback.

    Arch in the back, centering, speed, entry into and exit out of the layback are, at least technically, at least as or even more important than the aesthetical poisition of arm and leg.

  20. Nomad

    Nomad Celebrity cheese-monger

    Entschuldigung, but you seem to have missed the part of my post where I gave her credit for the arch. Whatever. You seem to like it, I don't, end of, who cares?
  21. all_empty

    all_empty Well-Known Member

  22. David21

    David21 Well-Known Member


    I didn't miss that part but it seems that you didn't get my point. And I do care about things like that.
  23. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    La mariƩe est trop belle. :shuffle:

    ITA. Ota remains my absolute favorite Japanese skater, short career non-withstanding.
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2012
  24. sarakimm

    sarakimm Member

    This clip illustrates the point of another thread regarding camera work. Here we have one of the most beautiful spins in skating and what do we see -- a fleeting glimpse of her beautiful back and leg positions, and then a close up where we see virtually nothing of the spin. :mad::wall:
  25. Scintillation

    Scintillation New Member

    I have to thank this thread for a) reminding me just how damn good Angela Nikidinov was overall and b) causing me to go on yet another youtube Sylvie Guillem marathon. I worship that woman. She is AMAZING. :swoon:
    I think of all the layback videos I watched, my personal favorite has to be Naomi Nari Nam's. She had everything-speed, high leg position, and a beautiful back. Dorothy Hamill is a close second for me--hers is the most ethereal to watch. Sasha's was great but I always was disappointed when she didn't hold the first beautiful classic position, and went in to another position that wasn't nearly as aesthetically pleasing.
    Ozzisk8tr and (deleted member) like this.
  26. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    I love it when she would arch her back like that. She also had a similar but prettier position circa 2009, but decided to scrap it for one that is easier for her to obtain level 4. Boo.
  27. Marco

    Marco Well-Known Member

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2012
  28. Macassar88

    Macassar88 Well-Known Member

  29. monty

    monty Active Member

    I always get a little teary-eyed when I watch baby NCubed skate. What could have been. We were all cheated but most especially Nam. Big sigh and back to cleaning the attic.