Basic Skating Position – The Tuck

June 16, 2012 • Posted by Tom in Blog  

The Basic Position – Summer focus – The Arch By Sue Ellis – Read the full article here.

Many of you are just getting back on the ice after your summer vacation and you want to make sure you start the season off right by establishing a good basic position. Your basic position, as you know, is a huge factor not only in how much speed you can generate, but efficiency of skating as well, so you want to get it right! A lot of clubs and skaters make the mistake of grinding out tons of laps in the beginning of the season to build endurance. But if you grind out those laps and aren’t able to hold your position through the laps you will just end up creating bad habits for a poor position. Make sure that whatever number of laps you do grind out they are all done with perfect position. When you can no longer hold the perfect position, just stop for a second, give your muscles a break and then go again.

There are 3 keys to a good basic position:

1) Upper body – The chest should be kept fairly close to the thighs with the sternum (breast bone) facing the ice, the lower part of the belly close to the upper part of the thigh but with a space in between so the belly is not resting completely on the thigh, the shoulders and upper back relaxed and rounded, and the lower back rounded to be able to keep your hips under you.

2) Butt tucked – With the lower back rounded your hips will stay under you and your butt stays tucked in under you.

3) Ankle bend – To allow your ankles to bend you will need to keep your chest down and your butt tucked under you.

In establishing the upper body position and butt tuck, think of the upper body and hips as an arch.

Speed skating is a game of inches, and I don’t mean just winning or losing by an inch at the finish line. I mean that if any one of the 3 keys is off by even an inch, you will be losing power, pressure in to the ice, and stability. I used to let skaters get away with a ‘pretty good’ position. But then I realized I was letting them get away with ‘almost good enough’. And ‘almost good enough’ gets you the 50.01 instead of the 49.90 that you really wanted. ‘Almost good enough’ gets you the 3rd position in the semi instead of the 2nd place it took to qualify for the final. And ‘almost good enough’ gets you the silver instead of the gold. My philosophy is that if you ain’t got your basic position, you ain’t got nothin’!

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