Double Toe Loop Development – Part 1 (Karen Olson)

Coach Karen Olson gives a double toe loop lesson to a skater, with the emphasis on developing good combination jumps. In the first part of this lesson, Karen shares two valuable toe loop exercises.

The first exercise is similar to the more common backspin double loop. It’s a forward spin into double toe loop drill, where the skater starts in a standard forward upright spin, then steps down (much like the drop three entrance for a toe loop), and reaches back to perform a standstill double toe loop. One key to doing this drill well is to make sure the free leg reach is back and slightly off to the side (rather than directly behind or twisted behind). Karen talks about the “triangle” this makes between the hands and the free foot. This exercise is especially helpful for learning to place the toe pick under the picking hip (and the head!) which aligns the take-off for better power and allows the non-picking leg and hip to continue through without anything blocking them. This exercise is fantastic for reducing the tendency for skaters to throw their upper body around the jump. Karen says, “Keep yourself over your access, then bring that [picking] foot inside of that.”

The second exercise is a toeless toe loop. This is actually a loop jump, with the free leg stretched behind (also called “loose leg loops” or “Russian loops”). As Karen explains, “The point of it is to try to get yourself to push through your right foot and get your hips underneath you right away versus pulling around to do it.” Done correctly, this requires a balanced and properly aligned three turn, as well as correct alignment and hip drive just prior to and during the jumping movement. Karen says, “Take your three turn over the top of it [meaning body over the top of the turn] and then feel how you push your right hip underneath you.”


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