Figure Skating Jumps: On-Ice Air Turns – Part 3 (Nick Perna)

This video is the third and final part in a series with Nick Perna teaching an on-ice air turn class. In the previous two videos in the series Nick showed several very helpful jumping exercises for skaters (see Part 1 and Part 2).  This video is focused on air turns that lead directly to the axel.

In this video he has the skaters start with a drill he calls “hops,” a drill also commonly called “bell jumps,” or “air turns” in the figure skating world.  The first exercise called “hops” involves the skater gliding forward on two feet around the hockey circle.  The skater then jumps off two feet and lands forward again on two feet gliding around the circle.  With this drill, Nick emphasizes to the skaters there is no “kick through” and no “h position” of the free leg or “split” in this drill.  He reminds the skaters to keep the correct arm in front throughout the drill.

Next, Nick has the skaters add a “kick through” similar to an axel takeoff, but still starting from the forward two foot glide on the circle. Resembling the first exercise, the skaters still land forward on two feet.  Nick explains the feeling of this exercise for skaters is often a feeling of “swooping” themselves off the ice.  This is a good way to describe the exercise to a skater when they are first learning it. Notice how this drill forces the skaters to get their hips under their shoulders in order to create the “swoop” feeling.  This more closely resembles proper body position for the axel jump, making this an outstanding axel drill.

For the last version of this exercise, the Nick has the skaters keep their outside or free foot on the ice rather than letting them pick it up behind them as they would on the axel.  This version of the jump exercise challenges the skater to glide on two feet all the way up into take-off position.  In this drill the free leg only moves forward in front of the body and never backwards behind the body. Nick notes that this drill is great for skaters who have trouble getting their hips through on axels.  These on ice jump drills are great for skaters of all skill levels to improve jump technique.

NOTE:  This video was taken on a busy training session.  Some of the drills are obscured by passing skaters and coaches.  But the important aspects of all drills are still visible in the video and the descriptions by Nick are valuable even when the view is blocked.


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