Off-Ice Lutz Exercises – Part 1 (Robert Tebby)

In this 2-part series, World and Olympic coach Robert Tebby shares some excellent off-ice lutz exercises. He begins by noting that the two most valuable jumps take off from the left outside edge (for CCW jumpers), the axel (forward, edge) and the lutz (backward, toe assist). The first exercise starts standing on two feet with arms in a frame or “Buddha” position, then bending both knees while pressing the left shoulder forward with head remaining anchored. To complete the exercise, the arms remain in frame or “Buddha” position and the skater rises out of the bent knees while rotating so the right shoulder is in front. The goal is to load the legs and shoulders and release into a rotated shoulder position putting some torque on the hips. Perform 10 good repetitions.

Robert takes a moment to explain why the head should remain anchored during jumps. First the head is heavy and it has the potential to pull the entire body off axis. And second, a stable and stationary head helps with a sense of awareness of the body. By keeping the eyes and ears stationary throughout the take-off, skaters may experience increased awareness and balance in the air, and allow for improved landing preparation as well.  Once in the air, the skater’s head will turn in the direction of rotation (naturally), and then skaters should turn the head back to the axis side (against the rotation) on landing to help control landing rotational energy. Robert shows a common exercise of standing in a tight air position and simulating a stationary landing, with focus on head turning toward the axis side. This exercise should also be done 10 times.


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