I remember sitting down at my desk trying to memorize as many algorithms as I could or making my reaction time as fast as possible. The process was mostly fun, but I definitely hit some walls in the process.

The truth is, we are all trying to get better through rigorous training and memorizing as much as we can. Even though those are crucial to getting faster, sometimes it can wear us out when we’re knee deep in all of the practicing. We want to take a break, but we feel like we won’t make any progress if we slow down.

Or say that you are on a trip and you don’t have access to your materials that you can practice on. Having a speed cube is easy, but we’re not always in a position to pull out those algorithms or finger tricks to reference.

I’m here to tell you that there is a way that you can practice without intentionally focusing on an algorithm or when you just have your speed cube. You can find something to improve that doesn’t involve knowledge. Knowing is important, but there is another piece missing. You have to work on your skills.

Skills is just one of those things that you have to keep working at to improve it. That’s where you can get better just by practicing, and what I want to show you how to improve.

How To Get Better At Speed Cubing Naturally

Going Slow

It is safe to assume that going faster means faster solves, but speed cubing is a different story.

There is a way that you can practice without intentionally focusing on an algorithm.

When you speed cube, you are constantly looking for the next piece to solve. This is great if you know exactly the next step is, but that’s not always the case right off the bat. We typically have to look for a split second before we move onto the next case.

It becomes an issue when you start to go faster than your brain can keep up. Solving algorithms require just a simple muscle memory execution and then we’re on to the next case, but when we don’t pay attention to what’s next, then we have to stop and look. This stop, start, stop, start style can keep a lot of cubers from reaching their full potential.

What To Do

Instead of going super fast, try slowing down your solves and paying attention to looking ahead. When you allow yourself more time to look forward for your next piece, you unintentionally begin to see faster results. You will be surprised at how easy it becomes.

If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll notice that I talk about going slow a lot, and that is because it works wonders. There are plenty of videos out there that do “slow solves” where they look slow, but end up with a 10-15 second time. That is all thanks to going slow and looking ahead.

Be Intuitive

Intuitive means to understand things without outside knowledge, and it applies perfectly with speed solving.

When we practice algorithms over and over again, we know what algorithm we’re doing and we see the finished product, but we don’t know how it got there or even why we are moving the particular sides that are used in the algorithm.

Now I don’t know everything that goes on when I perform an algorithm, but I do try to have a sense of what is happening as I solve. Why? Because I find that I do better and algorithms stick more when I know how the algorithm is changing the cube.

This becomes exponentially better when you can apply it to the cross and to the F2L. Those are not so much algorithms as they are the same concept that is used time and time again. You can really begin to see the cube in a different light when you solve intuitively.

What To Do

Practice solving the cube with the intention of seeing how the rotations work with the algorithm. If you can allow some space in between your moves, you’ll see the corners and the edges travel to where they need to go with your muscle memory doing what it knows best.

Also, really work on solving the cross and F2L without using algorithms that you already know. Try finding something different that you wouldn’t have done before. Don’t assume that you understand all of the possible outcomes during this step, because there is always something that we didn’t think of before.

Practice solving the cube with the intention of seeing how the rotations work with the algorithm.

I like to challenge myself by not rotating the cube in any way. If I have the red side facing me and the white on top, then it is staying that way until I get to the OLL and PLL, and then sometimes I’ll try to go the whole solve without rotating the cube. It doesn’t ever become a fast solve, but I really begin to see other ways I can pair edges up with their corners.

Give it a shot when you have some time and you might see something you never saw before.

Try Different Rotations

If you’re anything like me, then you may have the tendency to get stuck in your old ways. I have a specific way of solving something and then I never deviate from that style (I guess you could say I’m persistent?) Either way, whatever method we use may not be the best for us, but it’s hard to get away from the old methods.

What To Do

Think about how you rotate the bottom side, or how you perform a U2. Do you rotate it with just your index or middle finger or do you use both? Pay attention to how you solve and try out another way to rotate the cube. If it doesn’t feel normal after several (hundred) solves, then go back to your old method or try something else. You’ll never know if you can do a better job if you don’t try another style.

I definitely increased my times when I saw how other cubers handled their cubes during their solves. I figured if it worked for them, then the same could possibly apply to me. Not all of them worked, but I did find some that were perfect for me too. And I’m still searching for other potentially better ways to solve than what I know now.

Similarly, you could ask yourself how smooth your current algorithms are. If they are nice and clean, then there is no need to worry, but if they could use some polishing, watch how others perform those algorithms. You can never over-refine your work.

There are plenty of ways to improve your times naturally. All you need to do is focus on different ways to solve than what you do already. It may sound simple, but it can make a world of a difference.

What have you done to help naturally speed up your solves? Did this post help you? Let us know in the comments!