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How to execute a crossover in ice skating?

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How to execute a crossover in ice skating?

crossover ice skating
File photo credit: Darren Ho (for SportSG)

MASTER YOUR ICE SKATING TECHNIQUE (3): CROSSOVER

Now that you know the various disciplines in ice skating, how to do a spiral  and how to stop, you can learn how to perform some basic techniques such as the crossover. 

Crossover is basically the technique ice skaters use to move around corners. The skater is trained to cross the outside skate over the skate that is on the inside of the curve. This is used by figure skaters to gain momentum while skating in a curve of circular fashion. It can be performed forwards or backwards.

Forward Crossovers

The skater kicks off the counter clockwise manoeuvre by moving forward with the outside edge of the left foot.  Next the inner edge of the right foot is places on the ice in front of the left foot. The right foot becomes new skating foot as the left foot pushes off with the outside edge; the weight is transferred from the left to the right as this happens. The left foot is then placed next to the right foot and the right foot pushes off with the inside edge. This is relatively fast process and once you master it, it will get easier. While all this is happen, the upper face towards the inside of the circle and both arms are extended; this is to help the skater maintain balance. 

Backward Crossover

The backward crossover is fairly similar to the forward crossover; however it is backwards as the name suggests. Here, the skater begins by gliding backwards on two feet. The upper body faces towards the inside of the circle; to make sure the skater does not bump into anything, the head is looking over the right shoulder towards the direction of the skater is moving. With the left foot on the ice, the skater their weight onto the outside edge of the right foot. Once stabilized, they move the left foot over the right. 

Then, the skater shifts the weight onto the inside edge of the left foot and uses the right foot to step into the circle. This is repeated by placing the left foot across. Throughout this process the left foot does not leave the ice and momentum is derived from the scissors action.

For crossovers on a clockwise curve, the steps are the same but left and right are reversed. In competitive skating, crossovers are considered to be too easy. If a skater were to use too many crossovers, they would receive comments that their routine was not choreographically interesting and not challenging enough. 

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