Axel Insights and Drills – Part 5 (Jeremy Allen)

International coach and jump specialist Jeremy Allen continues a multi-part series on the axel, with an emphasis on the importance of edge pressure and how to generate it. In Part 1 he discussed the take-off and the need for edge pressure, and he showed a number of exercises to help a skater generate this edge pressure. In Part 2 he offered additional exercises that build on the previous exercises. In Part 3, he talked about the hip/shoulder relationship and how to use the body and axis arm to generate more rotational energy. In Part 4, Jeremy discussed random but important axel concepts and drills, and in this video he talks about “cheated” take-offs and off-ice jump training.

When addressing the idea of a cheated take-off, Jeremy notes that skaters are basically allowed 180 degrees of rotation prior to lifting into the air. [Editor’s note: This means on the “backward” take-off jumps salchow, toe loop, loop, flip, and lutz the skater can take off facing forward. This also means the “forward” take-off jump axel can take off backward, although most skaters take-off sideways or somewhat sideways.] He does not say this is ideal in all cases and he explains this with options for the axel. Many if not most skaters ultimately leave the ice on a double or triple axel with the take-off foot at roughly 90 degrees to the direction of travel, but as Jeremy notes, some skaters leave the ice with the take-off foot completely backward. This is generally allowed in competition and not considered a cheated take-off. Jeremy says, “Is it always the best thing for your [take-off] foot to pivot more? Is that going to help your rotation? Is that going to help your height? And the answer is… It depends.” Some pivot is necessary because, “There’s a lot of torque that needs to be created with that foot.”

Next, Jeremy discusses the need to incorporate off-ice jump training in figure skating. He says, “What’s the sure-fire way to get someone to land an axel, double axel, or if they’re working toward triple axel? It’s all done off ice. Start off ice, with axel or any other jumps. It’s going to make your journey on your jumping experience so much quicker, you’re not going to believe it. Do most of your learning off ice.” Off ice training helps skaters understand rotation, as well as specific jump technique.

Axel Insights and Drills – Part 1 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 2 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 3 (Jeremy Allen)
Axel Insights and Drills – Part 4 (Jeremy Allen)


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