Wouter Hebbrecht's Drill

短距離タイムトライアルのスペシャリストとして有名な選手の一人、Wouter Hebbrecht がブログでテクニック理論を掲載しています。冒頭にドリル1って書いてあるので、まだこの続きがありそうです。一部の現役選手を除けば、読者にとってはどーでも良い事ばかりを書き連ねているブログが多いので、こうしたトップ選手からの「練習」指南書は多いに参考になると思います。

1st place Wouter Hebbrecht 300m TT at Euro's 08


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BV7X5za2kyg

Let's get going!

by Wouter Hebbrecht (Oct. 13, 2008)
Hi everyone,

Sorry I haven't been writing and you guys keep on checking this blog with nothing new to read, I hate doing the same thing so I know how you feel...I wasn't up to anything different than hopefully every single one of you out there: starting the 2009 season. I went to train on the track in Colorado that is always a nice one cause of the altitude plus it's a banked track so it works your skills in the corners. Other than that I have been hitting the gym hard and want to try some new stuff to get stronger (more to read about that later on). Left and right I have been reading about how important the technique of every skater is and how that determines your speed! Nowhere could I find any exercises that I can copy from the Internet so I want to change that! Starting next week I will give you readers a set of drill that should improve your technique a lot and that will help you in your skating! And you know what the best part is? Its all going to be for FREE! Why??? Well cause I want to help most of you guys out there to get our sport more successful and with people able to keep up at high speeds (even with bad technique) its getting all a little too dangerous!

I will cover some drills off skates and on skates so you will have the possibility to keep on training if you live in those countries where the winter really starts to kick in! Keep in mind that every drill is one I personally do so you can add your own personal touch to it! I have been using them myself for a few years now and also Sara is proven to be successful with these drills. If you need further instructions or someone to check you out doing the drills you can always hire me :-) remember i have a bunch more than the ones I will put online!
So keep checking this blog for updates within a week or so!
Skating With Wouter Hebbrecht: Let's get going!

Lock them in low!

by Wouter Hebbrecht (Oct. 22, 2008)
Well here we go with technique drill number one! It seems like a very simple one at first but once we start analyzing it, it doesn't seem so simple anymore. Oh and doing it all the time is another story!

I am talking about the knee bend you should be skating with. Everyone should have heard about this drill more than once in their skating career, if not every session! All the drills have this basic position in common. This is the start for every drill and the end of it. This is what you will be using when you actually skate, slow or fast!

WHAT TO DO?
First, you will try to get into a 90° angle in your knee bend! Stay there for a while and feel the burn that is created! That is the basic idea of this drill; keep the knee bend and feel the burn. As you see in picture 1 there is a line you create in this position: the SKT line (shoulder-knee-toe). A way to check that can be seen in picture 2: try to lower your arms to your feet and check if you shoulders-knees and toes are in one line! Please see that I am grabbing the front of my skates and not really my toes so that explains a slightly different line than picture 1.

Once you are comfortable with this position we can start skating! Keep in mind that you will have to stay in this position for every drill you will do during any practice. It sounds easy but I can tell you if you do it the right way it will hurt and give you one of the hardest workouts you will ever experience. I often skate in pace lines and will be in one of the last spots during this line so that means I will be skating anywhere from 50 to 150 laps. The goal is to stay in this basic position during all these laps!!! I can guarantee you it will hurt! Don't worry about your speed while doing this drill! I have been passed numerous times by skaters that I should drop any given day but they were simply not putting any effort into it and were skating with their "butts in the air." It can get frustrating to see other people cheat in this drill but remember what you are working on and don't forget that your efforts will be rewarded later on! You can start with pushing one leg to one side (see picture 3) and bring it back keeping your skates on the ground at all times! Later on when you feel stronger in this position you can skate with picking up your skates. Stay in the same basic position without rocking your shoulders up and down or moving your head up and down. Make sure you shift your weight when you change sides (more about this in detail in the next post). Remember to check yourself every now and than cause when you think you are low enough you will probably be higher than you think you are! A camera is the best way to check yourself!

WHY DO I NEED THIS KNEE BEND? DOESN'T IT JUST MAKE YOU HURT?
True, it is very unlikely that you will sprint with a 90° angle in your knees BUT practicing this position will how ever make you skate lower than normal. The ultimate goal is to be as low as possible sprinting and being comfortable with it. Therefore you will need to exaggerate in this drill by getting down lower than normal!

A good knee bend has multiple advantages:
  • while you bend you knee in one leg the other leg can stretch more and of course your push out of that leg will be way more efficient. If you can stretch your leg further you can extend your push and that means your wheels can stay on the ground for a much bigger push adding speed to your skating!
  • lowers your center of gravity for better stability.
  • more load out of every push for increased power in every push (you are using your body weight and gravity to load the muscle before contraction).
  • aerodynamics; the lower your body the less wind you will catch reducing the amount of energy you will use in your forwards motion of skating.
Couple of other things too keep in mind while bending your knees:
  • The back should be straight and the head should be still. The skaters inner balance is in the head. In other words, if skaters are bouncing their head around, they’re not gaining momentum, they’re throwing off their balance. The same thing can be said for the back.
  • Keep you shoulders aligned for the very same reason; leaning over to one side will have consequences in your whole body position. Try to simulate a horizontal line in front of you and make your shoulders never go up or under that line!

Side view of Wouter Hebbrecht TT Start


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bd9GsdLNrMo

EM 2008 Gera - 300m Sprint Final


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3y6J4vFqpMQ

Swing them right...

by Wouter Hebbrecht (Oct. 28, 2008)
Hi everyone,
Well I hope you could all "enjoy" the burning sensation in your legs by now! I wanted to add another step that is considered basic but many people make mistakes in this basic movement. I am going to teach you how to swing your arms and keeping your shoulders in the correct position doing so.
The Arm swing:
Remember when you use your arm swing you want to add more forward motion to your push. I did say forward so it sounds very logic that we should try and swing our arms forward. While swinging your arms your shoulders will be mobilized. Try to remember while you skate to keep your shoulders in a horizontal line at all times. That means your shoulders should not come up or under that line at any time (see horizontal line in picture 1) or to the front or back of that line (see picture 2, do not move your shoulders back or forward in the shaded area).

While swinging your arms to the front a good way to verify if you are doing it correctly is to touch your nose with the tip of your fingers. This way you make sure your arms do not cross the center line of your body (see picture 3). Many other skaters do cross there arms but I personally believe this makes your shoulders come out of their horizontal line-up and that makes your spine rotate, followed by your hip....(more on that later).
Also while touching your nose you will make sure not to extend your arms while swinging to the front. Extending to the front would mean you will move your shoulders forward. Notice in the picture below how I bend my elbow while swinging forward.

While swinging your arms back you should fully extend them. That way your are creating a tension in the muscles and tendons. This tension wants to release and by just letting your arm fall down forward the tension will release. You can look at it as a sort of wind up system. It will swing your arm forward automatically and that means you are saving energy not using your muscles to create this motion. Again this is a personal experience and a lot of other top skaters do not extend their arms cause they feel it will move their shoulders. A lot of practice will help your shoulders from moving while fully extending.
The final goal is to line up your balance leg and arm that wings backwards in 1 line as seen on the picture below. For now just try to get your arm swing right so we can get to that final position with arms and legs aligned later. Remember to break down and analyze everything in steps in order to fix the total package.


What about my hands?
I try to relax my hands as much as possible. Making fists is only going to create muscle contraction that shouldn't be there and that will of course make you loose energy in the end. If you watch runners like Bolt (see older posts) you will notice that they are swinging their arms in a very relaxed way. That is what we are after.

WHAT TO DO?
This exercise will teach you to relax your arms while swinging forward. Find a gym or bathroom that is big enough and has a mirror where you can watch yourself. Grab 2 weights that are about 1 kg or 2 pounds and start your arm swing. Adding a light weight to your arm swing will make you feel the tension you are building in your muscles while extending backwards plus while you swing your arm forwards you should try not to use any muscles...the weight will swing forwards by itself holding on to it of course! Remember to try and swing your arms slightly across your face while doing so.
One of the bigger mistakes people make is bouncing while swinging their arms. Try to watch yourself in the mirror or on camera doing your drills and pay attention not to bounce up and down.

CONCLUSION:
Remember to keep in mind that while doing your arm swing you should still be in a correct skating position! I will add new steps but that doesn't mean you can dump and forget about the stuff you learned last time. While doing your exercises of last time you will now also pay closer attention to your arm swing.

Another drill:
Sit in a correct skating position (see previous post) and stay there for 1 minute at the time. You will also swing your arms during this minute.
Next post:
I will talk about the body position in corners and the arm swing in corners.

Turn round and round....

by Wouter Hebbrecht (Nov. 11, 2008)
Hi everyone! Finally I could fix some of the problems I had with the connections here...anyways as promised I am going to talk about corners . Who better to feature in this article than "cornering queen of the World" Sara Sayasane!

Corners, how important they actually are. . . Not only do corners make you change directions, but you can also gain speed turning a corner on a track or road course. The centrifugal forces that you produce can whip you out the corner gaining speed on your skates.

There are so many technical aspects to crossing over. To start it is VERY important that you keep your core body weight low (you carry a lot of that weight in between your stomach and butt/hips). Basically meaning you HAVE to bend your knees. If your hips sit high, you will have a harder time in the corners. Your HIPS are the key to corners! Pay attention to what your hips are doing. You must enter the corners using your hips (see picture 1). As you can see you will need to bring your body over your supporting leg to make your hip lean in. The key to this position is keeping you body low, knees bend at a 90 degree angle and shifting your body weight over the supporting leg. A common mistake made while shifting the body weight is the shoulders shifting the other way. Keep in mind that the shoulders should stay straight aligned (no twisting).

Start with practicing the following drill and try to feel your hip leaning in (can be done on skates of shoes):

1.) start from a basic skating position.
2.) take a right stroke out and lean your hip over to the left side (see pic 1 and 2). Make sure you are keeping your skates pointed to the front. All your weight should now be on your left leg. A pro at this can easily lift of his right skate without falling over.
3.) start falling to the left while crossing over. Pay attention to your hips when you cross over. The biggest mistake made in this step is that the hip will come out of the lean so make sure you keep leaning in with your hips(see pic 3). Bring all of your body weight over to your right leg while crossing. Again your skates should be pointed forwards and you should land on a bent knee.
4.) recover your left leg and repeat steps 2-4 numerous times.

Let's move onto actually crossing over. After watching a lot of people cross, the biggest problem that most people have, either their body weight is sitting too high or they don't cross their foot all the way over. The first problem is fixed by making sure you are actually bending your knees and sitting low. The second problem has a little more technical difficulties for many people.


While crossing you should make sure to finish your step . As you can see in pictures below there is a significant difference between a finished (pic 4) and unfinished (pic 5) cross resulting in a better push in the first case and an incomplete cross in the second example.

A nice drill to make sure you are completing you cross is the tucking drill...no not trucking drill....
You can tuck and hold your cross as seen in picture 4. An expert can lift his leg up while tucking. Make sure while you tuck to keep the hip leaning in and the shoulders straight.

SOME OTHER IMPORTANT STUFF:
  • You should stay in skating position at all times.
  • Pay attention to your arms, they should NOT be crossing your body)
  • Keep your feet parallel and pointed forward.
  • Don’t take steps that will take you out of your power box.
Now try this in an actual corner or even on a small circle. Pay attention to all the details, getting down the basic cross over is very important.

Well all thats left is to thank Sara for helping me write and demonstrate this post about corners. Check out some more pics to admire Sara's crosses:

Skating With Wouter Hebbrecht: Lock them in low! , Swing them right... and Turn round and round....

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