Skate Maps


Web inlineplanet.com

Skate Skills:

Ask Bill Begg!
Skating's top speed coach answers your questions

By Bill Begg
Monday, May 21, 2007

Get down to move up

Hi, Bill! ... What is the most important thing to keep in mind as you progress from intermediate to expert speed skating? - Bjørn

Hi, Bjørn. ... The most important factor to overcome is bad position. The intermediate skater has to learn to sit lower (in the power position), like a compressed spring.

Within reason, the knee must be over the front of the toe, and hips over your ankles, with a bend at the waist.

The six basic movements

Hi, Bill. ... I was reading elsewhere about the six basic movements necessary to develop good skating skills and technique. Could you explain them? Thanks, Andrew.

Hi, Andrew. ... It's true. For straight-line speed sprinting, there are basically only six things to get right and then everything starts to fall into line.

1.) Body Position
Knee over the toe and hip over the ankle, plus the forward bend at the waist.

2.) Transfer of Body Weight
Nose, knee and toe of support leg should be aligned while rolling with slight twist at hips.

3.) Push
Push to the side with all wheels on the surface, until the leg is fully extended.

4.) Arm Swing
When it comes to sprinting, your arms are as important as your legs; just shuffle them and your feet do the same.

Two studies I was involved with concluded that on an open road, high speeds were associated with a full push to the side with all wheels in contact with the surface and a high back arm swing.

The arm moves back at approximately a 45-degree angle; it swings forward with the hand basically brushing the body and the elbow bending to bring the hand up close to the opposite shoulder, but not outside the line of the body or above nose level, as bobbing against the force of gravity could cost a couple of heart beats and put you into oxygen debt if you are near your threshold.

5.) Recovery Loop
It's known as the letter "D." You push out and loop your foot around behind. At one point looking front on, you will not see a skater's back skate as it's hidden behind the support leg. While looping behind, you must point the toe inwards towards the heel of the support leg, which also helps you close your hip.

6. Drive Through
At sprint speed, when your push leg is looping around the back leg on your recovery stroke, it will be up high parallel to the ground. It is then pulled forward by the hip muscles and remains parallel to the ground until it is forward of the support knee. Then it's driven through.

Learning the double push

Hello, Bill. ... I'm 55 years old and have been inline skating (using speed skates) for several years. Can you tell me the best way to learn the double push? I'm a pretty good skater but just haven't taken that "next step." George Kinnard on Cleveland's North Coast

Hi, George. ... Master the six facets outlined above. Once you have that, the double push will follow. It's all about good edges and transfer of body weight. Most people make it complicated. But it's just a case of getting the basics correct first.

When I used to run club rink training sessions, the first-time learners and the world champions all trained together and did the same basic drills. Never lose sight of the basics.



Ask Bill a question!
Find out more about Bill Begg and his Ask the Coach column.

Skate Tip of the Week Archive.
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing.
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating


Beginners Guide


Reviews & Previews


Skate Tips




Skate Coach




Event Photos


News Departments


- Events


- Racing


- Industry


- Skaters in the News


- Products


- Skate Previews


- Product Reviews


- Travel


- Places




- Speed


- Freestyle


- Downhill


- Artistic


- Aggressive


- Ice Skating


Inline History






Skate Activism and Law


Skate Routes


Group Skates


Forum Index


- Inline Skating


- Skate Coach Cafe


- Announcements


- Send the Best