Drill for More Height on Loop, Flip, Lutz (Nick Perna)

International coach and jump specialist Nick Perna shares a drill he uses to help skaters properly lift into the air on the loop, flip, and lutz jumps. He begins by noting that many skaters struggle to achieve an h-position or 4-position on these jumps, often due to how they train rotation off the ice. The initial climb from the ice is critical to good jumping, and this first up typically requires a somewhat open position where the non-axis knee lifts into an h- or 4-position as Nick explains.

To help students learn the h-position, Nick uses a drill he calls the “catch leg H.” In this drill, skaters jump up into the air with their hands under their non-axis knee. This drill can be done with one arm (either) but Nick recommends teaching it with both arms. To be able to catch the leg in this manner, skaters “have to take the time to climb and lift that leg up.” A common error for the drill is pitching forward, lowering the body so the hands can get under the leg rather than raising the leg higher. The skater holds the leg only very briefly in the air prior to letting go to execute the jump landing.

Nick uses this drill on loop, flip, and lutz but he cautions to only use this drill on lutz if the skater has a lutz with the correct take-off edge. If the skater struggles with a change of edge error, this drill will make that worse. He also has skaters do this drill on backspin to get used to the h-position for jumping.

In terms of the the grab, skaters may not initially get the hands fully under the leg and instead just grab their knee. But most get it quickly with practice. The motion of the arms in the drill is the same as “in a real jump” as the arms drop in a scooping movement right under the non-axis leg. Nick notes that the skaters grab the leg after already pressing it up into the h-position. The grab itself does not lift or hold the leg, but is a way to work on using the lower body muscles directly to lift into the h-position.

Next, Nick explains that skaters who tend to take off on flip or lutz in a more “split” position should not use this drill. This take-off technique on flip and lutz with a straight non-axis leg and very little pivot on the toe pick through the take-off does not require and h-position. But all skaters will benefit from this drill on the loop jump.


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