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This week's column:

Six Simple Steps to Straight Line Speed

No. 1: Seated Position

July 7, 2011





Yann Guyader in the sprint

Yann Guyader goes low in the sprint.

Ask the Coach!

I know you've heard this before. But the importance of the seated position can't be overstated.

To go fast, you must maintain a low skating position. And that means skating with your knees bent and pushed forward and with your butt lowered as though you were about to sit in a chair.

In this position, your knees are over your toes and your hips are over your ankles (approximately).

In addition, your back forms an angle of about 90 degrees with your legs. Or to put it another way, your torso is roughly parallel to the ground.

The optimal angle of back and legs is 90 to 105 degrees. But some skaters, like Yann Guyader and Peter Michael, go even deeper (see photo above).

Skaters tend to overestimate how deeply they are sitting. To check yourself, use an orthopedic goniometer or have a friend videotape you.

Remember: the seated position is vital. To generate speed, your hamstring, gluteal and thigh muscles must be positioned like a compressed spring. And that’s what the seated position does for you.

That’s why low skaters with their butts down and knees pushed forward go faster.

Cheers, Bill

No. 2:Push to the Side

Ask Bill Begg!

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World renowned coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating in his weekly advice column, "Ask Bill Begg!" ... Every Wednesday on the Inline Planet.