Learn To Figure Skate With Professional
Coach And Ice Skating Instructor Claire LaDue
St. Clair Shores Figure Skating Club of Michigan
A layback spin is a beautiful figure
Most ice skaters can master this spin with practice.
First practice doing attitudes.
Make sure the free leg makes a right angle from the hip.
2. Next, master the
Again, make sure the free leg makes a correct right angle from the
3. Practice the
attitude position at the rail.
First, stand at the rail with hips touching the boards.
The knee of the free leg should be
directly behind the free hip, not out to the side. Think of that leg
forming an "L" and that it's not dangling down low by the skating leg.
aware of the hips.
Don't start a layback by just putting the head back first. That
Put a hand about four inches in front
of the stomach. Then move the hips forward so the stomach is touching
the hand. This shows skaters how to push the hips forward to start a
5. Now do an attitude spin with
the arms in front in a round "O."
Spinning with the arms in the round
"O" will help skaters keep a visual perspective while they learn to
spin with their hips forward.
6.Go back to the rail and push the
hips towards the rail again.
Start at the bottom of the back and
move the hips forward first. Now arch the back from the bottom of the
back to the top. Remember, the last thing that goes back is the head.
7. Now face away from the boards
(put the toe picks in the ice to prevent falling) and lean back so
that the shoulder blades are touching the railing.
Put the arms above the chest in a
round "O." (Don't put the arms over the head on this exercise.) The
belly button should point straight up to the ceiling. Keep the
shoulders even, so that one side doesn't drop.
To perform this exercise, a skater
may need someone to hold up the back.
(Small children may not be able to do
this since they can't reach the rail in this position. An adult can be
a "substitute rail" by holding an arm up for a skater to lean back
8.Make sure that an "imaginary
zipper" stays in a straight line with the chin or the nose.
When one side is dropped, the spin will drop onto an inside edge
which makes it impossible to spin. So, it's important that the
shoulders are even and the hips are square.
9. Next do some one foot spin
Enter the spin from a traditional spin entry. Then, spin on one
foot with the free foot extended forward at a forty-five degree angle.
10. Now, move the free leg into
the attitude position.
An excellent way to practice this transition is to go back to the
rail. With one hand on the rail, face sideways with the free leg
extended forward at a forty-five degree angle. Now, turn the body
completely towards the rail, but leave the free leg where it is. As
the body turns, let the free leg's knee bend slightly.
If the free hip does not drop, the
body and leg should be in a beautiful attitude position. This exercise
Next do some attitude spins.
11. Now, try the actual layback spin.
The skater may want to first do the spin without the head going
back. Practicing attitude spins with just the hips going forward will
help prepare the skater.
After doing the attitude spin with
the hips pushing forward, doing the spin with the head laying back is
the next step.
Remember to relax. Don't clench up or
bite the lips. Don't stiffen the face or back. Point the chin to the
ceiling, not towards the chest.
12.Remember to not drop the free
leg and to keep the shoulders even.
Dropping the free leg is a common error in the layback spin.
13. Arm positions are optional.
The most popular arm position for the layback spin is the round
"O" position; however, it is okay to do this spin without using arms
at all, or it is okay to vary arm positions. One nice option is to put
one arm up and one arm out to the side.
14. Spin on the front part of the
If a skater gets too far back on the heel of the skate, he or she
may fall backwards. Finding the "sweet spot" that makes the blade spin
will make the spin easy for the figure skater.
15. Practice the layback spin
The layback spin will become easy after much practice.
- Watch other figure skaters do
- Master the attitude spin first.
- Don't clench up.
- Remember to not drop the head back
first; instead, push the hips forward first.
- Spin on the front part of the
What You Need:
This content is used with permission and written by
Jo Ann Schneider Farris,
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