Straight Leg For Jump Air Position – Initial Exercises (Audrey Weisiger)

World and Olympic coach Audrey Weisiger is giving a lesson to a young skater who is struggling with straightening the legs. We spend so much time in figure skating telling skaters to bend the knees that we sometimes forget to address the value of completely straightening the legs. Having a straight and locked axis leg is a cornerstone of good jumping, but it’s a concept that many skaters struggle with.

As Audrey demonstrates in this lesson, skaters can be encouraged to learn this important skills with a number of basic drills. To start this lesson, Audrey is simply trying to get forward inside edges and forward outside edges on a straight leg. This is not a difficult exercise, but skaters who essentially never glide on straight legs can really struggle with it. Next, Audrey has the skater perform a backspin, and this skater cannot do a backspin with a straight leg. So Audrey has the skater glide backward in a straight line in an h-position (with skating knee locked). Next Audrey has the skater glide backward on two feet on a circle with both knees locked, before lifting the outside leg and gliding on a back outside edge in the h-position.

To try to get a change to the backspin, Audrey tries various entries (forward inside edge, back pivot, etc) and challenges the skater to get on the “better list.” Audrey’s focus and persistence on this highlights the importance of this topic and all the techniques offer insights in how to accomplish this with our skaters.


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