Figure skating requires a delicate balance of strength and flexibility. To complete your high level jumps and spins, a tight “air position” is necessary. This translates to tight hips and glutes. In contrast, for beautiful and effortless spirals, split jumps and spins, such as the Biellmann, flexibility is necessary, specifically flexibility in your iliopsoas muscle. The psoas is the major muscle that connects your spine to your legs. It plays an important role in backbends and splits, which is important for most skating spirals and spins.
For backbends, a released psoas will allow the front of the thighs to lengthen and move forward. This translates to your layback spin. The standing (spinning leg) must be strong, which will allow you to hold the position for at least 10 or more rotations. Psoas flexibility of the standing (spinning leg) is also required to allow for the back to arch up and over. The layback is an advanced spin; however, it is also the prerequisite for the Biellmann Spin, which requires even greater strength and flexibility of the psoas. For moves, such as your split jump, both strength and active flexibility of the psoas is necessary to achieve that 180 degree split in the air.
Stretch Off the Ice!
Stretching and strengthening your psoas should be a part of your off-ice skating practice. To achieve enough flexibility for these moves, many skaters only train their splits and push deeply into them without proper technique. This can lead to injury of the hamstrings or hip flexors, which skaters need to avoid to maintain progress. While it may be enticing to only focus on flexibility to achieve these moves, a combination of off-ice strength and flexibility will be most valuable.
The goal of EasyFlexibility’s Hip Flexors Strength and Flexibility program will lead you through a program to strengthen and stretch this important muscle group. The Zaichik Stretching techniques will make you flexible fast, and are pain free as well! This instructional video will allow you to find your weak spots in which you can then branch out to other videos, such as the Biellmann's Spin, to further your skills. Remember, the only way to achieve these moves effortlessly is to use a technique that combines flexibility and strength!
Discover more about our Hip Flexors and Biellmann's Spin programs by clicking on the photos below!
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- Tags: biellmann spin, figure skating, hip flexors, layback spin, psoas, skating spins, Training Flexibility