We’ve all been told to “skate a little lower”. Usually I think I’m low but then I see a photo or video of myself and can’t believe how I’m only bent at the waist and it looks like my legs are practically straight!
Of course, 90 degrees is the textbook knee bend angle if you truly want to skate like you’re on fire, but that’s difficult to maintain for a whole marathon.
When I ape skate, I make a game of slapping the ground with flat palms on my arm backswing. I’m teaching my body what it’s like to stay in a deep crouch, which is so important in order to produce high velocity skate travel. The more I ape skate, the more I can lower my overall knee bend angle.
Practice the extreme! You’ll need to squat so low that your ribcage literally digs in to your thigh meat. That takes a lot of pressure off your leg muscles, kind of like pushing with your forearms on the armrest of a chair.
Ape skating will make you aerodynamic and give you a longer push, allowing your body to speak the language of speedskating with greater fluency than ever before!