World renowned speed coach Bill Begg shares his vast knowledge of skating every week in his "Ask Bill Begg!" column on the Inline Planet.
Timing of the Underpush
Could you please describe the correct return of the raised leg during the underpush of the double push? I am wondering how important it is to snap the raised foot behind the pushing foot. I also wonder if the snap should occur simultaneously with the start of the underpush or just after it? - Thank you, David Rindlau
Hi, David: For every action, there is a counter reaction. The return of the raised foot balances the underpush of the double push. I call this movement the "D" return swing and put emphasis on pointing the toe inward. Because the two motions balance each other, they should be done in unison.
One thing you notice with top skaters is that, when viewed from directly in front, their recovery leg and skate are usually hidden behind the support leg at one point during each cycle.
Transferring the Weight
Hi, Bill: Could you suggest a drill for making sure you are transferring the weight from one foot to the other correctly? - Natasha
Hi, Natasha: Here's what you should keep in mind: As you skate, your nose should be aligned with the knee and toes of your support leg. Then, as you set down your skate after your push, you transfer your weight to the other leg with a slight hip adjustment.
One drill that might help a bit is skating around a line of cones with alternating right and left crossovers. When you do this, remember to turn your outside shoulder forward and your inside shoulder slightly back and dipped down.
Doing alternate crossovers like this gives you confidence with your weight transfer. (Remember: your shoulders are your body's steering wheel.)