The Russian Twist, Part 1 – Introduction (Chris Conte)

Chris Conte begins a multi-part series on air turns or what he refers to as the Russian twist.  This is a very common jump drill, but oftentimes the details are missing.  In this series, Chris provides enough information for everyone to understand and properly implement this fantastic exercise.  This information fits perfectly with Chris’s series on developmental drills for double jumps.

He likes to say, “The most important turn is the first one” when doing a double or triple.  He continues, “That first turn, how I lift out of the take-off and close to rotation will enable me to hit a really good position or it’s going to be a fight against the world of physics to get back to a landing.”

Next Chris talks about the commonly taught off-ice “air turn.”  He describes it in detail and shares his preferences.  Notice the similarity to the information in Nick Perna’s off-ice jump class and Nick’s on-ice air turn class.  Chris says, “The power is going to come from the feet turning (pressing) on the floor.”  The ball Chris uses in this discussion is helpful for skaters to clearly feel the path of their axis side hand and arm.  To start the air turn (or any jump), Chris does not recommend starting from a fully bent position.  Instead he recommends standing up straight and then dropping into the loading phase to take advantage of the elastic nature of our muscles to help generate power.

He talks about how the axis side should move together and stay in a straight line during the movements.


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