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Thread: Beginning spins - help!

  1. #1
    Rinkside
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    Beginning spins - help!

    I am a beginning adult skater and I am majorly struggling with spins. I am working with a coach (although due to scheduling issues, my lessons have been kind of inconsistent for the past several weeks). Anyway, spins are by far my weakest area and generally I just hate them! I am at sort of a high beginner level I guess, like basic 5 or 6? I can do forward and backward crossovers, 3 turns both directions, waltz jump. I can do the skills in adult pre-bronze moves in the field. And overall I like that better than spins/jumps, so that's mostly what I've been focusing on with my coach in my lessons. But I would like to be a well-balanced skater and be able to advance in my spins as well.

    Anyway, I can do a basic 2 foot spin for like 2 or 3 revolutions, but my issue is falling. I have had a couple of falls spinning - by far my worst falls. And I often stop myself because I feel like I am going to fall or I'm losing my balance and I'm about to fall. I feel so unsteady and it's scary for me to practice. My coach has given me some suggestions and I am sure I will work on it more with her, but I was curious if anyone has any other tips or tricks to try?! Maybe just practice 1 or 2 revolutions and get more comfortable? I feel like I have not made any progress because of my fear of falling/loss of balance issue.

  2. #2
    On the Ice
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    Can we rule out any medical balance or inner ear issues?

    If so, I would say that it takes time to get used to seeing the rink background blurry while you're in a spin. Once you get used to that you'll be more comfortable spinning. Try to not look down while you're spinning as that will really throw you off balance.
    Keep you head level - you may notice the barrier top as a big line while you're spinning. Good spinning takes proper technique and lots of practice.

  3. #3
    On the Ice
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    I'd recommend core exercises to help keep yourself up during a spin. My spins vastly improved with regular yoga practice and core work.

    But mostly it takes practice. I hated spinning when I started. I had to make myself learn. I'm actually starting to enjoy it now that I'm fairly competent for my level at them.

    However, ALL of my skating injuries have come from spinning. All of them. In a jump, I tend to slide so I haven't been hurt so far. With a spin you just go straight down, and it is scary. While you're still very wobbly, there's no shame in wearing a helmet! It might give you a confidence boost. I also recommend knee pads

  4. #4
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    I see a lot of people falling on spins, myself included, and personally, those are the worst falls. There is no shame in wearing knee and hip pads, though they will not save all of your falls, and you will eventually want to get rid of the at least the knee ones.
    With time you will be able to tell when the entry is just bad or when the spin starts to fail and stop or at least slow down before a fall, but until then... I don't know if there is anything you can do except for practice.

  5. #5
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    Don‘t let fear stop you. Never.
    I‘m still not that advanced but at least I can do a more or less scratch spin and sit spin. In the beginning I fell a lot (dark blue bruises included) and as time moves on you‘re getting better and you won‘t fall that often anymore.
    Try slow and then when you‘re improving try to get faster

  6. #6
    On the Ice
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    I started private lessons in my early 60's. I didn't have problems with 2-ft spins (no dizziness or balance problems). But 1-ft spins were more problematic. I had a bad fall during a lesson. Nothing broken, but my coach got skittish. I had some protective gear already: wristguards, elbow pads, and knee pads. I then added helmet, butt pad, and hip pads. When you fall entering, during, or exiting a spin, your body is all twisted up, and it's difficult to control the fall. All the protective gear helped ease my mind and my coach's.

  7. #7
    Tripping on the Podium
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    This is totally normal. It takes a long time to get used to spinning, and the more you do it the less dizzy you'll get. I landed all my singles up to lutz before I could do a decent scratch spin.

  8. #8
    Rinkside
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    Thank you everyone. I feel better knowing it seems to be a pretty common thing and it's not just me. I think I just have to be more intentional about practicing and getting more comfortable, even if it's my very slow 2 revolution spin to start with. Probably should think about ordering some protective gear too, maybe that would make me feel more secure. The fear of falling holds me back a lot (not just in spins) - I know I stop myself a lot!

  9. #9
    Medalist Sam L's Avatar
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    You haven't said when you're falling, are you falling as you're about to enter the spin, whilst spinning or exiting a spin? That matters as if during a spin it's a concern, it's not like you're doing a Biellmann. Entering a spin is common and you will have to get used to it as it's all about edges and technique and timing in finding the spin rocker. Once you're spinning and you've found the rocker, you shouldn't have any trouble staying on it forever. I'm not a fantastic spinner myself mostly because I (used to) find it so hard to find the spin rocker but when I find it, I can stay on it for 5-6 revolutions or more.

    I mean how do you fall when you're in a two foot spin? I can't even imagine it.

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium DanseMacabre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    I mean how do you fall when you're in a two foot spin? I can't even imagine it.
    You lose your balance, obviously. It's easy for beginner skaters to rock too far back on the blade or too far forward onto their toe picks when trying to balance their weight on the blade precisely because they don't know where the spin rocker is or how to hit it in the spin.

    OP (and everyone else), there is no shame in falling in a two foot spin. It happens. You learn by doing and some of that doing will wind up with you on the ice, but so long as you keep getting up and trying again, you'll improve. Don't get discouraged!

  11. #11
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    Seconding core exercises. I don't know if that's what it is for you, but I have a lot of trouble spinning, and I'm pretty sure it's my weak core. It's definitely not fear of falling, and I don't think it's loss of balance, I just... tilt out of the spin for some reason I can't quite explain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam L View Post
    I mean how do you fall when you're in a two foot spin? I can't even imagine it.
    I was awful at spinning as a kid, and when I started skating again last year, I was so happy that I could finally spin that I did about 10 in a row trying to get more revolutions and made myself so dizzy that I toppled over sideways, so there's that, too.

    Also, falls on spins are not always that bad. That one was just a big bruise.

  12. #12
    Rinkside
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanseMacabre View Post
    You lose your balance, obviously. It's easy for beginner skaters to rock too far back on the blade or too far forward onto their toe picks when trying to balance their weight on the blade precisely because they don't know where the spin rocker is or how to hit it in the spin.

    OP (and everyone else), there is no shame in falling in a two foot spin. It happens. You learn by doing and some of that doing will wind up with you on the ice, but so long as you keep getting up and trying again, you'll improve. Don't get discouraged!
    Bingo. You nailed it. I have trouble finding and staying on the spin rocker and getting that sweet spot. I know some of my falls were due to losing my balance a little and wobbling backward on the blade. I haven't had an issue with toe picks.

    So, does this usually improve with practice? I also don't have amazing skates (Jackson Artiste), but I don't feel like that should really be a huge factor since I'm a beginner.

  13. #13
    Rinkside
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    I wouldn't say I'm great at spinning by any means, but I noticed that once my core strength improved (been doing regular pilates) staying upright while spinning and better maintaining balance became noticeably easier for me. Prior to working on my core I really struggled to hold the correct position. If it's the dizziness aspect, an off ice spinner might help. I haven't used one but noticed that the more I worked on spins on the ice, the less dizzy I became when executing them. So I guess it's just a matter of getting used to it. However, my coach did correct my technique considerably. There is a lot more technique than appears to the naked eye. So all that combined really helped. Wishing you all the best with your spins

  14. #14
    Rinkside IsKAtEFaSt's Avatar
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    Not a great spinner myself but I recommend working on your outside edge, and try to do a shrinking outside edge for entry into your 1 ft spin. When you're spinning you can keep your body strong and your chin up, because this helps with keeping your body upright and prevents bad falls.

  15. #15
    Tripping on the Podium vlaurend's Avatar
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    It's hard to say what you're doing wrong without seeing video of your spins, but here are some things I wish someone had told me when I was just starting to learn a basic one-foot spin:
    (1) Keep your arms very level at all times and only move them smoothly and gradually. Never jerk your arm or free leg or try to power the spin entry.
    (2) Press the ball of your blade (the round part under the ball of your foot) into the ice as hard as you can as you enter the spin and during the spin.
    (3) Always keep your chest over your spinning knee and your knee over the toe of your spinning foot. If chest isn't a little forward, you risk getting too far back on your blade and falling.

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