World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
What about knee bend?
Hi, Bill: My son stands too upright when he skates. How can I teach him to bend his knees? The Sawyer family.
Hi, Sawyer family: You're right to be concerned about knee bend. It's crucial for developing speed on skates. But it's only part of the puzzle.
The other part — in fact, the more important part — is lowering the butt.
The proper skating position is halfway between sitting in a chair and squatting. To get there, you have to bend your knees and lower your butt.
Bending your knees is easier than squatting. So many skaters do only that. They bend their knees without lowering their butts. But this shifts their weight forward over their toes and dimishes their power.
It's better to focus on lowering the butt. When the butt is where it should be, the knees and hips naturally move into the correct position with knees over toes and hips over ankles.
One thing that will help your son learn the proper skating position is to practice low walks. (How to do low walks)
If that doesn't work, try some stretching exercises. Tight hamstring and thigh muscles could be limiting your son's range of motion.
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