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I have problems with doing mohawks. All I can do is a bit more than 90 degrees angle between my feet. When I am about to put the right foot it is a bit better -- maybe 125 degrees.

Of course with such angles, when I am skating I cannot put down the foot, because it works as a brake, and I spin in place. So I am looking for a drill that help my feet to increase the angle between them, so I could plant a foot close to 180 degrees (as required in mohawk).

What drill can help me?

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Stretches rather than drills have helped me. This is the one my coaches recommended. Stand against a wall facing it and open into a plie. Have your knees bent a little more than you would for skating. Then press into the wall a little to deepen the stretch. This can be done on or off skates. A half-wall is less disconcerting (since your face is right against the wall) if you can find one. Hold as you would for other stretches: 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat a few times several times a week. This is a good one to do as part of a warm-up and cool-down.

If your goal is just to transition, don't stress about holding the plie. Not everyone is that flexible. You don't actually have to have both skates on the surface at the same time unless you are trying to hold the plie.

  • Thank you. I would like to be perfect as humanly possible, so I intend to do all necessary drills and all :-). And I would like to hold mohawk a while just to be relaxed while doing it, jumping from one leg to another seems like a bit of missing technique. And it is more risky, since while jumping you cannot take it back or fully control it. – greenoldman Jan 7 '15 at 18:28
  • I totally get that. I can only hold a plie for two - three seconds when I transition right and only for a split second transitioning left. Both are an improvement over none which is where I used to be. But stretching never feels like "work" and is way less fun than skating! – Val Jan 7 '15 at 19:00
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Short answer: You don't need stretching to learn skating.

You don't need 180 degrees for a mohawk! That will not be a good mohawk and defies the reason for learning to do one. Figure skating doesn't work in straight lines, and that is the very thing beginning skaters have trouble learning and understanding.

First off all, mohawks are easiest when done on a circle. One of those big red hockey circles is perfect. Now make your foot turn into the circle just before changing feet. The trick is this: Your body moves evenly around the circle (it could go in a straight line for all it matters), but the feet make their own curves. Into the circle, out of it, in, out. Imagine a car that turns into a parking lot forwards and drives out backwards the other way. You should also watch your arms and shoulders - they shouldn't change orientation during the transition. It's also important to learn not to jump, to smoothly put down one leg and then lift the other.

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I read the question as referring to the hockey mohawk turn, where you do have both skates on the ice at once. That link contains a video, and the basic drill of picking up one foot at a time while stationary in the mohawk position, which actually is a great warmup.

See also this answer about increasing your flexibility for a wide plie in ballet.

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