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MASTER YOUR ICE SKATING TECHNIQUE (4): FORWARD SWIZZLE
Swizzle is a basic step that all skaters learn in the beginning of their education. Start by placing your blades in a "V" formation with the heels touching. Using the inside edges of blades, push both feet outwards, then inwards so that your toes are touching.
This is the forward swizzle also known as scissors. As you do this, make sure to bend your knees. This is a great exercise to get knees flexible and stronger for other ice skating techniques.
If you are still not clear as what goes on in the swizzle, here is a more elaborate step-by-step process.
1. First stand with the knees straight. Adjust your heels together with your toes out so that the feet form a "V."
2. Bend the knees forward and push knees out over the toes using only the calf muscles. The blades should be on inside edges. Once the knees push forward with blades on the inside edges at the same time, the skater will find himself gliding forward a bit. The weight on the skater's feet should move from the back of the skate to the middle of the blade.
3. After gliding a bit, straighten the knees and make the toes touch. This makes the body weight move to the front of the skate at this point. The momentum during swizzles comes from bending and straightening the knees. The skater must use the inside edges not the flat part of the blades. New figure skaters usually have difficulty bringing toes back together during this exercise. It is important that the skater uses the knees to move the toes together. If the toes don't touch immediately, there is no need to be discouraged. The toes will touch eventually as practise will strengthen the calves.
4. Bring the feet into a parallel position and glide for a short distance. Then, bend the knees and do another swizzle. Do several swizzles in a row without stopping.
Like other techniques, there is also a backward swizzle. The swizzle is a bit difficult to master. One thing to note is that while using the swizzle, you are supposed to be two inches closer to ice than normal. Practicing swizzles repeatedly will help a skater become stronger at using the knees and edges. Just make sure the feet are too far apart or you would end up doing splits on the ice.
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