A fan of skulling
By Dan Burger
Don't push past the point of no return.
A push has an optimal range. Exceed this range, and you actually slow yourself down.
To understand how this works, consider the classic push to the outside:
As you start the push, the toe of your skate is pointed slightly outward. When you extend your leg, you rotate ("carve") your heel to the outside. This straightens your skate so that your toes are pointed forward.
However, if you push too far — and many skaters do — you begin to apply pressure against your direction of travel, which means you're putting on the brakes!
One way to correct this problem is to practice sculling, skating without lifting your wheels off the ground. Sculling helps you develop a sense of what is happening with your push. It teaches you to recognize what part of your push is productive and what part is wasted.
Practice sculling one foot at a time before graduating to both feet. You can even work on your double push.
Keep at it, and you'll find yourself rolling faster with less effort.
Dan Burger, a former inline racer, has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology and Biomechanics and is a Certified Acupressure Massage Therapist.
August 3, 2007
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Burnson