Ah crossovers, you tricksy bastards. Essential for speed and yet often baffling to skating newbies. Convincing your legs that they do, in fact, want to let you lift up one foot and cross it over the other one (on skates! while moving!) isn’t the easiest thing in the world, for most of us. While I’ve ‘mastered’ (please note quotation marks) the technique well enough to pass the minimum skills requirement, I know that my form needs much, MUCH work. So much. Luckily, there is a wealth of advice out there in the form of video tutorials, blog posts and forum threads. Here are my 5 favourites.
1. Definitely the funniest roller derby tutorial video I’ve come across – absolutely worth a watch. Key takeaways:
- Get power from the left leg
- It should feel like you’re climbing a mountain – sideways
- Keep LOW and lean into the centre
2. A nice tutorial that goes into the theory of skating the diamond with bonus cute drawings. Found this really helpful for understanding why you should try to skate the track a certain way for maximum speed and efficiency. Key takeways:
- Skating the diamond makes the best use of radial force
- The lower you get, the more you can extend that pushing (left) leg out behind you – creating more frictional force
3. I like this video because it explains cross overs in a way I haven’t seen elsewhere. Plus, some good moves to practice off-skates for improving cross overs. Key takeaways:
- Make sure you’re actually sitting down into your butt to get low – not bending from the waist
- Your toe should be the last thing that comes off the ground, giving you a final push
4. Looking for an off-skates workout to help with cross overs? Well then, skater Treble Maker #99 (of the brilliant blog by the same name) has put together this handy video just for you. GET YOUR LUNGE ON.
“If you having trouble feeling what your muscles need to do during a crossover. I would suggest using the stairs. Take any common staircase and stand sideways on it. Using the crossover motion ascend the steps keeping you shoulders square to the railing. (Or perpendicular to the steps.) Do it slowly at first just to get the technique. Keep your head up and shoulders back while doing this to make sure you’re using your leg muscles to balance, instead of your back.”
(In case it isn’t obvious, this exercise should be done WITHOUT skates on!)
Come across any super useful resources for nailing cross overs? Where? Tell me!