So You Want To Learn How To: CUT YOUR FEET

Some of the most basic roller derby skills are also some of the ones that we struggle with the most. (In all honesty, I still have a hard time consistently executing a plow stop at full speed and not landing on my ass.)

The fastest way to master a new skill is to do it. Over and over and over again.

But not all of us have the luxury of being able to spend large amounts of time JUST practicing one skill. I mean, we have lives, right? And spending an entire practice on transitions isn’t going to help your teamwork.

The good news is there are some things that you can do OFF SKATES to help prepare your body for executing skills ON SKATES. Whether it’s strengthening specific muscles or getting your body used to a strange new position, putting in some time off skates can make a big difference when it comes to your basic skills.

Today we’re focusing on CUTTING YOUR FEET.

I can break cutting your feet (weaving, hockey stops, c-cuts, etc.) down into 2 words for you: WEIGHT TRANSFER. When you are cutting your feet, your success or failure comes down to how you transfer your weight across the edges of your skates; pushing into the outside edges makes you go one way while pushing into the inside edges makes you go the other.The trick to cutting your feet is becoming familiar with your skates and your edges, so you’re got to practice, practice, practice.

Before you dig into your practice, here are 5 tips to help you through:

    • This is an that you’re really testing your edges. Once you fail (i.e. fall) it helps you get a feel for where the “failure” on your edges will occur. This means you can continue to work up to your edges and push them over time. When it comes to cutting your feet, control typically comes later.
    • You need momentum to complete your cut, so you’re going to have to pick up the speed a bit. It helps to get little wins at high speed and then slow it down as you gain control. Remember, control comes later.
    • Don’t assume that this skill will come to you just because you spend a lot of time on your skates or you practice until you’re puking and dripping sweat. You have to get your brain involved and actually FOCUS on practicing this skill in all it’s variations and iterations. That’s where control comes from.
    • This is your data collection device. Brendon Burchard once said, “You can’t improve what you can’t see. When you’re in the frame, you can’t see the picture.” So get outside of yourself once in while to really SEE your improvement.

Here are 4 simple (not easy!), on-skates drills to help you build familiarity with your skates while focusing on your weight transfer and edgework.


Place 2 objects about 10 feet apart. The aim is to cut as sharply as possible around each object, which means staying *very* close to it.

Start by simply going in circles around the objects cutting closely to each one. Stick with your “smart” let first so you can start to feel the weight transfer. Then switch to going only on your “stoopid” leg.

Progress to a figure 8, cutting in both directions on each circuit. To progress further and train quick recovery, move the objects closer together.

5-10 minutes per side (START ON THE LOW END)



Place 4 objects 5-6 feet apart (mine are much closer). Starting at one end, weave through each object, then CUT around the last one. Repeat in the opposite direction.

As you get better, move the objects closer together!

5-10 minutes per side (START ON THE LOW END)


All about testing your edges. It looks simple and is anything but.

Stand on one foot and shift your weight around on your hip to start to feel your edges. You’ll probably roll a little bit (and that’s good news!) so don’t stand too close to anything.

If the single leg stand is too challenging — meaning you can’t focus on your edgework — put your other toe stop down for balance. Make sure that your weight is still centered over the working leg, though.

2-3 minutes per side


Single leg weaves! Exactly as they sound, you can set up cones if you think it will help.

Focus on weaving by shifting your weight in that hip rather than swinging your non-skating leg around. If this is difficult, spread out the cones and pick up the pace. Speed is your friend until you can gain some legit control.

2-3 minutes per side

Want more?

Iron Octopus Fitness has a program specifically designed for new skaters. If you’re a new skater (or new to cross training) and you’re interested in a program that can help build your stability and mobility for our crazy sport, CHECK IT OUT HERE!


About IronOctopusFitness

Online athletic training and nutrition coach, full-time mom, okay skater, and connoisseur of all things tea, chocolate, and roller derby. I'll help you unleash your inner athlete by building a strong, capable body that can withstand whatever life throws at you.

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