Toe Loop Theory – Shoulders Throughout Take-Off (Michelle Leigh)

World and Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues her explanation of the mechanics of a toe loop.  In the first video of this series, she introduced the idea of the edge and the heel take-off with a straight leg, as well as an exercise to help develop the necessary movements and feelings.  In this video, Michelle addresses the shoulders and explains their position and movements at critical moments of the take-off.  In particular, at the moment the toe pick is placed on the ice, the shoulders should be turning and in line with the skating edge of the non-picking foot.  A common teaching error is asking a skater to have their shoulders square to the jump direction at the moment the toe pick enters the ice, but this positioning “blocks” the rotation and makes the skater feel “stuck.”

In the video, Michelle also talks about anchoring the head, and she provides more information about the 2-foot drill she uses to help develop the toe loop.  Notice the similarity of this drill to the Russian Twists as described by Chris Conte.


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