Split Jumps – Basics and Variations (Amy Brolsma)

Coach Amy Brolsma explains how she teaches split jumps. This includes the standard split jump, the Russian split jump, the stag jump, the double stag jump, and the tuck jump. Amy notes that skaters can begin learning split jumps as soon as they know how to do a half flip. The most common entrance for split jumps is the forward inside mohawk, followed by picking with the axis foot, and then landing forward by briefly touching down on the non-axis toe pick and pushing into a forward glide on the axis foot.

Amy teaches the basics as picking and pulling the feet together and “jumping over a river” to create the necessary flow for the jump. The idea of jumping forward also helps skaters get used to the feeling of extending the forward leg into the split position. In the standard split jump, the front foot has the toe pointed forward, and the rear foot is pointed to the side. After starting at a standstill, a skater can slowly add speed, maintaining proper technique and timing. As a skater gets stronger and quicker and more flexible, the split jump naturally gets bigger and bigger.

A Russian split is a challenging variation that requires solid timing and excellent jump height. Amy notes that a standard split feels more like it moves across the ice while a Russian split feels more up and down. The Russian split should be learned with off-ice exercises, with the idea being to drive both toes upward toward the ceiling as far as possible. It takes time for the legs and body to get into the desired position and back to a landing position, so a Russian split requires excellent height. As Amy notes, a Russion split requires “a little bit of practice and a little bit of guts.”

The stag jump position can be learned either off ice or at the boards as Amy shows in this video. The stag position has the non-axis leg bent with the foot directly under the skater’s body. The double stag position can also be learned at the boards, and it is basically the stag position with the rear leg also bent at roughly 90 degrees at the knee. A tuck jump requires the skater to pull the knees up in front of the body so both feet are pulled up underneath the body.

Amy’s demonstrator performs some split jump variations, and Amy offers feedback about what she would focus on and improve. She also notes that skaters can and should learn and practice their split positions off the ice. Amy also explains the “Hungry Hungry Hippo” drill for pulling the feet together to ensure the jump has flow. Measuring jump distance is another good way for skaters to focus on and improve jump flow.


Sorry, this content is for members only.

Click here to get access.


Already a member? Login below

Remember me (for 2 weeks)

Forgot Password

FavoriteLoadingAdd to "My Favorites" (Beta testing)
Member Login

Forgot Password