Author Topic: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks  (Read 390 times)

joshuagordon1996

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I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« on: February 23, 2019, 03:43:41 PM »
I've been skating for about ten months now and i would consider myself a good skater, the only problem is is that i know my form isn't that great, it feels like i'm pushing off with my toe picks. When i'm skating i see others around me who look very comfortable pushing off, they make it look very easy, but when i try to push off with my blade and not my toe picks it feels unnatural and i can't sustain it.
I thought i was going to solve the problem today by shifting my weight onto the heel of the skates, but still i couldn't get rid of that feeling that i was pushing with my toe picks.
I need help!

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2019, 06:39:57 PM »
Possibly something of an extreme or unhellpful but all that springs to mind is to get some hockey or inline skates - if you push with the toe on those it will disappear from under you and you will fall over.  Skating on inlines taught me to feel what part of the skate my weight is on.
Failing that, be patient and stick at it.  You'll get there.

joshuagordon1996

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2019, 08:16:39 PM »
Thank you for the reply! Practicing on inline skates sounds like a really good idea and this is something i might actually try to do, if i don't see any improvement in my figure skating form.

ceiliaanne

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2019, 04:57:32 AM »
At some point, this will make you trip.  Then you will stop  ;D


However, a good place to stop would be to have some lessons.  There's nothing quite like a coach barking at you to stop toe pushing to make you stop to pushing.
'There's no one in the world harder to please than a skate coach' - Peppermint Patty

spinZZ

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2019, 08:27:38 PM »
I've been skating for about ten months now and i would consider myself a good skater, the only problem is is that i know my form isn't that great, it feels like i'm pushing off with my toe picks. When i'm skating i see others around me who look very comfortable pushing off, they make it look very easy, but when i try to push off with my blade and not my toe picks it feels unnatural and i can't sustain it.
I thought i was going to solve the problem today by shifting my weight onto the heel of the skates, but still i couldn't get rid of that feeling that i was pushing with my toe picks.
I need help!
You need to go back to basics.  Drill on T-pushes.  First with two-foot glides.  E.g., at a stationary position, have your left foot in front, on a flat (both edges on the ice); have your right foot in the back, crossed at 90 degrees (inverted T), on your inside edge.  Push straight back with your right foot; then bring your right foot alongside your left, on a flat (both edges on the ice).  Glide on both feet until you stop.  Then repeat, but with the right foot in front and the left foot crossed behind.  Keep repeating, with alternating foot positions.

Once you are comfortable with that, advance to one-foot glides.   E.g., at a stationary position, have your left foot in front, on a flat (both edges on the ice); have your right foot in the back, crossed at 90 degrees (inverted T), on your inside edge.  Push straight back with your right foot; then bring your right foot alongside your left, but don't place the edges on the ice.  Glide on your left foot until you stop.  Then repeat, but with the right foot in front and the left foot crossed behind.  Keep repeating, with alternating foot positions.

After that, go on to regular stroking with alternate pushes with the pushing blade turned at ~45 degrees from the forward direction.  Push near the middle of the blade; not the picks.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2019, 08:30:49 PM by spinZZ »

joshuagordon1996

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #5 on: March 02, 2019, 09:28:25 AM »
At some point, this will make you trip.  Then you will stop  ;D


However, a good place to stop would be to have some lessons.  There's nothing quite like a coach barking at you to stop toe pushing to make you stop to pushing.

Yeah i've had a few trips because of this - never again!! I'm considering taking a few 1-on-1 lessons just to work on this. I took part in group lessons for my first six months, going through level 1 to level 4, and we weren't ever instructed on how to skate without pushing with your toe pick, which is annoying. Perhaps i needed a more stricter coach!

joshuagordon1996

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #6 on: March 02, 2019, 09:34:48 AM »
You need to go back to basics.  Drill on T-pushes.  First with two-foot glides.  E.g., at a stationary position, have your left foot in front, on a flat (both edges on the ice); have your right foot in the back, crossed at 90 degrees (inverted T), on your inside edge.  Push straight back with your right foot; then bring your right foot alongside your left, on a flat (both edges on the ice).  Glide on both feet until you stop.  Then repeat, but with the right foot in front and the left foot crossed behind.  Keep repeating, with alternating foot positions.

Once you are comfortable with that, advance to one-foot glides.   E.g., at a stationary position, have your left foot in front, on a flat (both edges on the ice); have your right foot in the back, crossed at 90 degrees (inverted T), on your inside edge.  Push straight back with your right foot; then bring your right foot alongside your left, but don't place the edges on the ice.  Glide on your left foot until you stop.  Then repeat, but with the right foot in front and the left foot crossed behind.  Keep repeating, with alternating foot positions.

After that, go on to regular stroking with alternate pushes with the pushing blade turned at ~45 degrees from the forward direction.  Push near the middle of the blade; not the picks.

Thanks for this, when i next go skating i'll spend a lot of time on t-pushes. That's really interesting about the regular stroking requiring a pushing blade at about 45 degrees. I've been trying to do regular stroking with my pushing blade at 90 degrees, trying not to use my toe picks, and it's felt so wrong and unnatural, as if i'm really forcing the movement (which can hardly be called movement anyway!).
So regular stroking with a 90 degree angle is completely wrong?

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2019, 10:11:53 AM »
This looks like about 45 degrees:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6hPVckcdx0


Watch it all the way through - there is even on off-ice exercise to do at the end.


I cannot recommend this channel highly enough - there is a huge range of videos on many different skating elements, filmed and explained very clearly.  I could watch ice dancers do basics all day.

joshuagordon1996

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #8 on: March 02, 2019, 09:51:09 PM »

I cannot recommend this channel highly enough - there is a huge range of videos on many different skating elements, filmed and explained very clearly.  I could watch ice dancers do basics all day.

Thank you so much for this video, it was fantastic. They described the importance of pressing into your skating foot's knee and ankle before stroking onto your free foot, i'm sure that i haven't been doing anything like this and it makes a lot of sense. I'll be skating tomorrow and will try and implement this into my skating - excited!

transmissionoftheflame

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2019, 10:15:50 PM »
This is a good one.  Really basic but you try doing it as well as she does - foot placement, knee bend, posture, edge pressure.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kXFAjcVYOME


joshuagordon1996

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Re: I can't break the habit of pushing off with my toe picks
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2019, 10:32:17 PM »
This is a good one.  Really basic but you try doing it as well as she does - foot placement, knee bend, posture, edge pressure.

That was also helpful - though will definitely require multiple viewings in the future. Just for clarity, if i'm skating in an anti-clockwise direction, which foot is the pushing foot and which is the free foot? Is the free foot the foot that's in the air and the one you bring back down? Or is it the other way around?