July 13, 2013 by alinedecat
Crossovers may probably seem really mastered for most of us, since it’s one of the first skills skaters learn, but you know how I think skills can always be improved? Here are some questions skaters should ask themselves to make the best out of their turns. These ar not yes-or-no questions, it’s more of a pathway to keep on progressing.
1. Can you perform crossovers with both hands on the inside hip (and not leaving it)?
If not, this means you’re not really mastering your balance to take the crossed step, you’re probably crossing your leg first and letting your body deal with the imbalance, and the result of that is that your outside shoulder makes a backwards uncontrolled move every time you put your outside foot on the floor. When performing regular crossovers, your outside shoulder goes forward with the inside foot, and it is the elbow that is pulled backwards alternatively, which may indeed pull the shoulder back a little, but it is not the shoulder that initiates the move backwards.
2. Can you touch your ankle when crossing or uncrossing without bending forward, to the side or breaking off crossovers?
If not, you’re either too high, too slow, too narrow or too stiffy. But you won’t probably be able to tell which one exactly because everything goes together: the further you push, the wider you will be, the wider you will be, the lower you will go, which will genuinely and obviously make you faster, making it easier to make strong, powerfull and huge pushes. So you should work on whole of these, but the easiest way to achieve it is to focus on each element one by one.
3. Can you skate without uncrossing?
“Huh, wait – What??” Yep this is an easy test to know if you’re pushing with both feet an not just the outside one. Once your legs are crossed and you’re about to uncross, instead of putting your inside foot next to your outside foot, cross it back behind your outside foot. This way, your legs will never actually uncross, and you will have to use only the inside foot to push. This can also be an agility drill.
4. When performing backwards crossovers, how do you lift your inside foot to uncross: rear wheels before front wheels or inside wheels before outside wheels?
The good option is the second option. It means you were able to transfer your weight from one foot to the other completely and with the right timing. When performing backwards crossovers, your inside leg makes little straight lines, while the outside makes “S”-shaped lines (or mirrored “S” according to weither you’re skating clockwise or counterclockwise). As you may know, the more weight you put on one foot, the less easily it will turn. In backwards crossovers, the inside leg carries you almost all the time, while the outside leg makes the pushes, so if you lift the rear wheels of your inside leg first when uncrossing, this means your line was not straight and thus your weight is not completely on your inside foot.
If you have read my post about edges, well, here is a good example of it and another way to explain; your inside foot always needs to be on an outside edge, which makes the fact that you lift the inside wheels first logical. If you lift the rear wheels before the front wheels, that means your foot made an “S” and thus went from an outside edge to an inside edge. Weight-edge-way to raise your foot… Do you get it?
Any questions? Don’t hesitate!