Saturday, April 13, 2013

Power with a Capital P and an Edge Exercise

 Madam Mim is still in the stage of making assessments of my skills (those that I still have) while I'm trying to come to grips that I now have knee bend.

Yes, the injections and physical therapy have restored knee bend that I haven't had since I was 14. But I still have habits that rely on muscle memory from when I didn't have knee bend.  So mixed bag here.

Madam Mim has me do one of her 'little exercises'. "Let's look at your power. Take one stroke onto an edge and see how far you get around the hockey circle."

So, it's a simple little exercise. The hockey circle provides a measure of the distance I can skate, so I can   see how I'm improving.

Old knees, I can get 3/4 of the way around on a good day, with a run up to the stroke

New Knees: All the way around both edges (thought LFI  is the weakest) without a run up to the stroke.

"Cellllllebrate good knees, come on!" source
Song: Celebrate (Kool and the Gang)

Then Madam Mim teaches me a strokeless inside edge exercise.  The exercise looks like a traditional edge serpentine, but only one quarter to one half the size.
Face perpendicular to the direction of travel. Stroke onto an inside edge and hold the free foot knee (oops!) toe to heel. This is supposed to be the only stroke you'll need.

As you get to the top of the arc bring the free foot forward and simultaneously bend and rise on the knee. This 'pumps' power  into the glide. Effectively, it's a 'strokeless' stroke. Timing has to be perfect, I can only do it half the time, but working on it.

When you get to the line, step onto the free foot, and put the former skating foot to to heel. If you did the 'strokeless' stroke properly, you won't need to take a stroke to maintain forward motion.

Fans of compulsory figures with recognize this as the leg swing in the 3 circle serpentines.

I can see how this could lead to power pulls, but still intimidated by them.


  1. Key to this exercise is to press into the ice at the top of the arc with your inside edge--this is the "pull" in a power pull.

  2. The backwards ones are fun, too! I'm still working on getting my Power Pulls up to snuff for the Silver test. It's so good to hear that your knee is improving and you can get back to skating!