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Spread Eagles

Spread Eagles….oh how we either love them or hate them….it's probably based on whether or not they come easily to us (perhaps?).

I think that almost anyone and I only say almost because there is an exception to every rule. But I will say this again almost everyone can do some facsimile of a spread eagle. Now this is not to say that everyone’s spread eagle will be a mind chilling, line loving unification of a skating sculpture through space but pretty much we can help each other to get some variation on a theme (of spread eagle).

On my studio2ice website I have some of my “go to” spread eagle off ice exercises that I use with skates yet today while in my rink lobby I began to teach a young girl that I met on public skate the beginnings of a spread eagle off the ice. That’s when this blog came to mind; she was so thrilled to even begin to work on this beloved element why not spend more time teaching it?

In all of its elusiveness a spread eagle is really, in its very essence a move of speed and flexibility that happens to be a transitional movement. Honestly, I find skaters who have studied ballet at a younger age more adaptable and capable of doing a spread (outside) eagle. For purpose of conversation in this blog I am referring to outside spread eagles only.

The larger the circle the more dramatic the spread eagle. But let’s not forget the torso……its relationship to the opening of the shoulder blades have a distinct visual relationship to the actual spread eagle. And remember that the angle of the shoulder will impact the strength of the edge.

So, check out some of my exercises on and try tracing a circle …….forward outside edge….remember my podcast and blog (shoulders, over the hips over the knees) open up the free side while continuing the tracing ….place the free foot to complete the spread eagle position and watch your shoulder and back placement with your hips……. Now you have the beginning of a spread eagle.

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