This morning, I was complimented on my layback spin. I don't think too much of my layback, since my back is not all that flexible. In fact, I have recently been looking at old videos, and find that my layback isn't much of lay-ing back, but more of lifting the free leg up! Well, the "lifting the free leg up" part must have improved over the last 2 years... I have also felt much more comfortable in this spin lately.
So what makes my layback?
Free leg position
I keep my knee turned out just a little, and circle the leg around so that my boot would be right under my head. Almost like wrapping my free leg around a tree trunk. My previous coach hated that I keep my knee out - she said to press the knee down, turn the toe out, and keep the boot under my ponytail - a combination of instructions which I always thought was impossible (and even if possible, would be ugly). The positive thing was that she did make me think of pulling the boot around and back under my ponytail, which makes for a nice rounded free leg position.
The most important is to think of pressing the hips forward, before arching the back backwards. I have seen girls starting on the layback by pushing the tummy out. Looks cute, but well, not all that aesthetic!
Speed in the spin
I have noticed that lately I've been able to maintain speed in the layback. As I pull the boot in under the ponytail, and even think of pressing the knee down a little, yes, I can go fast. No wonder my previous coach said to do that... perhaps it isn't all that impossible after all!