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Toe Loop Drills (Ryan Bradley)

2011 US Men’s Champion Ryan Bradley shares a series of drills for developing the toe loop. In the video, Ryan is working with a class that already has double toe, so the emphasis is on technique and quickness for the triple toe. But the concepts Ryan shares are also particularly helpful for skaters learning the double.

The entire sequence of drills, with each building on the last, is performed at the wall or barrier. This allows the skater to hang onto the wall for support and it keeps the movements in a straight line. Even though a toe loop is typically performed on a slight curve, it can be extremely helpful for skaters to think of it as moving in a straight line.

To start the video, Ryan finishes up his discussion of jump landings. Skaters are more motivated to work on this necessary quickness when competing against others.

In the first part of the toe loop drill, Ryan stands at the wall with the toe pick in the ice and slides the skating foot on the ice past to the toe pick (Phase 1). Next, Ryan has the class focus on staying down on a bent knee as the foot slides through on the ice (Phase 2). He says, “Down to pivot through.” He wants the “edge to accelerate” and the hips to come through quickly. Next, Ryan kicks the foot through and then steps down on it to simulate the weight transfer of the toe loop in the air (Phase 3). And finally, he performs the same drill but steps down into a backspin at the end (Phase 4).

Ryan wants the skaters to be close to the wall for these drills, and he wants them to step down and backspin close to the wall as well (keeping the jump straight). He also emphasizes the need “to go down to come through.” The drill should not hesitate or stop and start. It should be one smooth motion.


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