The Second Up – Part 2 (Kori Ade)

Olympic coach Kori Ade continues her discussion of what she calls the “second up.”  In the first part, she explained the basic concept and why it’s important and began some exercises to improve the second up on an axel.  In this part, she works on improving the axel take-off further.

She begins by focusing on the shoulder movement right after take-off and then switches to the details of the free leg (free knee) trajectory on an axel.  Notice the focus on keeping the free leg knee and foot from cutting into the circle by using a drill at the barrier.  Kori shows a great drill for “snapping” into the rotation with the lower body.

Next, Kori uses a “once around” to work on lift and minimize the free leg coming across during the take-off.  She wants the skater to press the non-take-off leg down in the air.  She says, “Step down to push up.  So it’s called a second up because it’s like stepping onto a stair.”  She illustrates this by stepping up into the hockey box.  [Editor’s note: Obviously when a skater is in the air, this pressing down does not press against anything and cannot add any height to the jump.  But it is a great way to think about getting to an efficient rotating air position.]  She then switches to a full axel where the skater doesn’t cross the feet and lands on two feet.  Finally, she goes back to the regular axel but asks the skater to “pull up” rather than pull in.

The axel exercises shown in this video are incredibly valuable, and are recommended whether a coach or skater thinks in terms of a second up or not.


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