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02-05-2009, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by 87vert View Post
What are some things I can use to improve my backward skating speed? I have practicing backskating but I still feel Im pretty slow. Should I just keep at it or trying something else?

1. Can you cross over skating backwards?
2. Can you pivot from forwards to backwards comfortably?
3. Do you bend forward when you skate backward or are your shoulders back and your head up?

Well, learning how to skate backwards should be taught in a progression....should be!

So lets talk about the progression side of it.

Step One

First:Stand on the goal line or Blue line where your body is facing perpendicular to the line. Which mean your body will be facing down in. What I want you to do is start at one side with your body next to the boards and you are going to walk down the line putting one skate up and over the other skate. Kind of like a crab walking side ways.

Now, I know this sound easy, but it not. Your balance needs to be kind of perfect to make this happen. When you pick that foot up and try to step over the leading foot, you body is not going to want to move that foot over the other.

The way you make this work is to allow that lead skate to roll over on it side. This rolling over on it's side will allow you to land the skate that is coming up and over to set down on the ice.

Now, I have heard that they do things differently in Europe. My European coach friend says that crossing over takes too much time. So he says he teaches his kids to just bring one skate closer to the other and make sure that the players is on his toes during the crossover.

However, I feel this is for an advanced player. Once you have the crossover under your belt, then we can talk about doing it on your toes. This concludes the first step in the progression.

Step Two.

First: Lets talk about posture. Just like the rest of the poster's said, you need to bend your knees almost to the point where you are sitting on a chair, with you shoulders and head up. We have a saying here at the rink..."you look at your toes, you end up on your nose!"

Second: Start at a circle. Place one skate on the circle line. We will call this the inside skate because this is the skate that is closest to the center of the circle.

Now, with one skate on the circle, the other skate needs to be place so that the toes is touching the inside skate with the heel out.

Third: The next thing you are going to do is balance your full weight on the inside skate and with the outside skate you are going to push with the ball of your foot in an outward motion, you are going to make a "C" motion with that out side skate.

This sound easy, but it is not. The main thing you want to concentrate on is proper edge work.

Now, first, the "ball of the foot" is where the toes meet the foot. This is area on which you want to add weight to the foot during this "C" motion.

Now, this "C" motion, you will get to the point in the apogee where you will not have any more driving force to propel you backwards.

At this point, you need to turn the direction of the skate back to the inside skate and start the process all over again. It should look like a onesided flat football.

Make sure you have this edge work down in both directions before you move on.

Step Four

Now we want you to place that out side foot on the circle. This mean that the inside skate will be closer to the center of the circle. With that inside skate, you are going to pick it up and place the skate about 12 inches away from your outside skate that is now on the circle.

Then you are going to use that inner groin muscle to pull your body towards that inside skate. When you move that inside skate out, away from the outside skate by 12 inches, you are going to place your toe on the ice and then use that groin muscle to move your body towards the inside skate and that toes. Make sure you dig into the ice with that toes.

Now, if you have too, just move that skate out to 8 inches if you feel too much strain on your groin. Then once you are using the muscle and it is getting easier, then move out to 12 inches.

Now, remember the first section where you were walking down the line side ways like a crab? This is the next phase or step in the progression.

As the outer skate makes the "C" cut and you are balancing the weight on the inner skate, you are going to make this first complete cross over the inside skate.

This is the first transition point from from "C" to moving the inside skate out to 12 inches. Once you make that cross over, move the inside skate out by several inches and pull in.

As you pull in, the majority of the weight will be on this leg. At the point where you are brining this inner leg back, bring the outside skate, up and over the inside skate and start the "C" cut. How you have completed one cycle.

Now, as you go faster backwards, centrifugal force will make you want to go away from the circle. This is just part of the laws of physics.

To compensate for this, all you have to do is lean into the circle. The more you lean, the tighter the circle.

Good luck, hope this helps.
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