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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old October 29th, 2006, 11:25 PM   #1
BHerrick
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Default Back Position

I've been figuring out the proper form for inline speedskating by watching video, reading books and info on forums. The one area that seems to have variation is back position. The 3 main versions I've found are described as:

1-arch your back like a cat not like a swan
2- a pro ideally should keep his/her back as straight as possible
3-or straight, but slightly rounded.

Are these differences dependant on the person or just different opinions. While experimenting I've found for me, #1 definantly doesn't work. It puts too much stress on my back and locks it up. #2 works w/o any major back difficulty though I notice it makes it slightly harder to keep the weight back on my heels. Also works the hamstrings more when keeping the upper body low. #3 seems to be a compromise between 1&2 and to work the best for me.
So is #3 the correct position. If so, how much should the back be rounded? And where should it be rounded? Evenly across the whole back or more in a particular area of the back? I understand some pain is to be expected while getting used to proper form. Just want to be sure I'm not doing anything that would cause any problems in the future.
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Old October 30th, 2006, 12:51 PM   #2
Jon B.
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What? No answers?!
I can only tell you where I'm at, not what's correct. Most skaters describe form better than they acheive it. I'm with you on #3. I don't have a lot of "belly sag" so my lumbar/sacral spine isn't already "swayed" which causes the majority of pain and complications. I think the main objective is to prevent reverse compaction of the spine and that is best acheived with a slightly outrounding of the spine. "As a man thinks, so is he". Just "think" about tucking your abs in tight and slightly arching your back while keeping your backside down as low as you can and you will probably be in the best form you can currently, effectively, skate in. As your thigh and erector spinae muscles strengthen they will continue to advance to your "mental" picture. I personaly think most skaters could benefit from "Good Morning" exercises, but if done improperly they can really lead to trouble. Never reverse compact the spine, and keep the weight manageable. JB
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:24 AM   #3
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to further what JonB is saying, do nymber 1, settle for number two or three. just don;t lean forward over your toes or arch your back backwards. I think the thing is to try to skate with your back arched like a cat, with your hips pulled in under you, and your shouldbers up, not hanging down. You want to skate like you are sitting back in a chair. Bend at the knees, not at the waist. You will find that you can't skate all the time with your butt pulled in and your back nicely arched, so skaters will settle for a straight back.

A chapter could be written on this subject as it is a common hurdle for most all skaters.

JonB is right on when he brings on stretching. Much back pain is caused by problems in your quads or glutes, and if they are too weak or too tight to do the work, they transfer the work to the back. This happens all the time.

Work on core strengthening training, good form, and good skating posture. It helps a lot to skate with more experienced skaters, becuase very subtle things you are doing may cause this problem, and they can point it out to you.

BUt almost everyone goes through it, and lives to tell about it.
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Old October 31st, 2006, 01:24 PM   #4
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Thank You John B and o/i, that gives me a much clearer picture of what I need to be doing.
Quote:
by online inline
JonB is right on when he brings on stretching. Much back pain is caused by problems in your quads or glutes, and if they are too weak or too tight to do the work, they transfer the work to the back. This happens all the time
Yep, thats a main problem. I'm extremely flexible so I sometimes slack on stretching and pay the price. Even though I know better.One can be flexible and still tight.

[QUOTE]by John B
I personaly think most skaters could benefit from "Good Morning" exercises, but if done improperly they can really lead to trouble. Never reverse compact the spine, and keep the weight manageable. JB[/QUOTE
Good exercise. I'll have to work that in.And more core.
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Old November 2nd, 2006, 10:57 PM   #5
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Another thought on the back topic:
I have the suspicion that many back problems arise from a too static posture while skating. If you avoid the natural rotation around the spinal column (many do this even when walking) then this stiffens your muscles on the long run. Proposal: Swing your arms from time to time to avoid this and allude this movement in the shoulders when skating.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 03:47 AM   #6
The Major
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You make a hump of your back like a cat, not an arch. The wrong terminology can be confusing. Arching is when you bring your shoulders back.

The idea position is a rounded back but anatomical differences prevent some of us from acheiving or skating comfortably in that position. The most important thing is to get your weight on your heels. Try to keep your back as neuteral as possible but rounding if you can.
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Old November 20th, 2006, 08:31 PM   #7
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I'm sure you can have different postures at different times. For example, when you are sprinting/catching the pack, your back should be more upright, and when you tucked in the pack and taking a breather, you can arch your back etc. I also believe that you may want to change the posture during the different phases of the race so that you won't be too fatigued.
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