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This week's column:

Six Simple Steps to Straight Line Speed

No. 3: Weight Transfer

July 13, 2011





Yann Guyader in the sprint

Rob Bell on a deep outside edge during the 2008 Silver Strand.

photo: Glenn Koshi

Ask the Coach!

As you skate, keep your weight over your support leg (the one that isn't pushing). This looks a little different for men and women.

Women should at least keep their nose above their toes of their support leg, which, if possible, should be on an outside edge.

For men, this can be a little more exaggerated with nose over toes at minimum. Double-pushers and those doing deep outside edges will have their opposite shoulder above their underpush at minimum. In some cases, extreme double-pushers will have their outside skate edge pushed out past the opposite shoulder.

This transfer of body weight should be clearly apparent, looking on from the front.

Yann Guyader in the sprint

Tamara Llorens of Argentina on an outside edge.

photo: Rollerblade

It's important for coaches to remember that women and men are built differently. Women have a wider pelvis to accommodate child bearing. As a result, the angle of their hip to knee is wider. This Q angle is roughly 17 degrees for women and 14 degrees for men. As a result of the larger Q angle, women have a harder time achieving deep outside edges and double-pushing to the same extent as their male counterparts.

(The Wheeless' Textbook of Orthopaedics defines Q angle as “the angle formed by a line drawn from the ASIS to central patella and a second line drawn from central patella to tibial tubercle.” A 1983 study — Agliettis et. al. Clin. Ortho — found that normal females have a Q angle of 17 degrees, plus or minus 3, while normal males have a Q angle of 14 degrees, plus or minus three.)

Cheers, Bill

No. 4: Arm Swing

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