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This week's column:

How To Learn Double Push

July 4, 2012




QHi, Bill: I saw a discussion in a forum recently in which elite skaters were talking about the double push. Specifically, they were discussing the correct timing of the setdown. They said that in double push, the setdown should be earlier than in “classic” push. Is that true. I have been practicing double push in slow motion, and it feels like it is working. But I am not sure about the technical points. - Mike B. from Philadelphia.

Ask the Coach!

Hi, Mike: I advise skaters not to get hung up on double push. I’ve noticed lately that top skaters are relying less on full versions of the double push, and instead are using modified or partial versions.

These new versions are less pronounced than the famous “Chad Hedrick” double push. But they are, nonetheless, efficient and powerful.

Instead of focusing on double push, concentrate on developing the basics of skate technique. I have outlined these basics in my Six Steps to Straight Line Speed.

Some of the most important things to learn are to skate on your outside edges, transfer your body weight, and swing your arms.

When you perfect the basics, you will find yourself doing double push without even trying or realizing you are doing it.

To keep yourself headed in the right direction, watch videos of some of the all-time great double pushers, like Hedrick, Joey Mantia and Pascal Briand.

The setdown for double push used to be earlier than the setdown for what U.S. skaters call "classic push." (Skaters elsewhere don't use the term "classic push.") But with all the variations in double push these days, there is really no agreed upon timing for the setdown.

Watch out for self-described “experts” who tell you to set down your skate outside the line of the body and drag it back under. This provides no benefit whatsoever.

And forget about practicing the double push in slow motion. You need speed to make it pop.

Cheers, Bill

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