Exercises to Build Skating Skills – Part 5 (Denise Myers)

World and Olympic coach Denise Myers continues her multi-part series sharing a variety of exercises and drills intended to improve overall skating skills. These exercises would be excellent as part of an on-ice warm-up or at the end of a session or training day. The ultimate goal is to build skills that translate into improved transitions in programs, as well as build skills and physical strength to improve jumping and spinning. Denise says, “From little on I start these kids with these exercises.” See Part 1 hereSee Part 2 here. See Part 3 here. See Part 4 here. In this video, Denise shares exercises for jumping and possible program transitions.

Denise begins by having the skater perform “forward swizzle clicks” which are forward swizzles with a jump up from two feet and touching the skating boots together once briefly in the air. This exercise is a chance for skaters to work on quickness as well as flexing the feet in the air. (A good jump air position typically has a flexed axis foot.) Notice how this foot flexing locks out the knee so the legs are completely straight in the air. The next exercise is “backward swizzle double clicks” where the skater does backward swizzles into a two foot jump with no rotation, quickly tapping or clicking the boots together twice before landing and repeating. These double clicks work quickness.

As is common among elite coaches, Denise uses walley exercises as a tool for jump training and warm-up. The first walley exercise she shows here is repeating “alternating walleys.” A good goal is to try to make the walleys the same in both directions. The next exercise is “backward outside double three rocker rocker walley” again alternating on each foot. The rocker rocker walley step can be used as a transition in a program. For examples, Denise describes it as a transition into a double axel, and the skater demonstrates how to use it into a spin. For mastering the walley itself, Denise builds from simple back power pulls down a line, to pulls into non-rotating hops with a book click or tap (“outer, inner, up”), and finally full blown walley attempts.


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