Using a Balloon for Jump Training – Part 2 (Lorie Charbonneau)

International coach Lorie Charbonneau continues her presentation on using a simple air-filled balloon as a jump training aid. In Part 1 she introduced the concept and had her skaters demonstrate single jumps as well as axel and double salchow with the balloons. In this video, the skaters demonstrate the other double jumps, as well as a few combination jumps.

As seen in these jumps, the skaters must maintain core stability throughout the entire jump, including the landing. Using a balloon for training landings is especially helpful to improve technique and reduce dependence on arm movements. Lorie explains that she uses both an extended arm position with the balloon as well as keeping the balloon in tight on landings.

The balloon can be especially challenging for skaters who have a lot of “around” arm movement during jump take-offs. The balloon tends to restrict this kind of movement, instead forcing the skater to properly use the lower body and shoulders to generate rotation. For double jumps that a skater may struggle with using the balloon, Lorie has them do extra single jumps to feel the proper movement. She also wants skaters to finish with a “good rehearsal” rather than a popped or poor attempt and sometimes that means quitting after a single.

A balloon is also an excellent way to train loop combination jumps. Here Lorie has the skaters do single loop single loop combos, single loop double loop combos, and double loop double loop combos.  The challenge is the need to control the first landing and then create the rotation for the second jump in a short time period while not using the arms. Lorie says, “The balloon really restricts your ability to use your upper body and you have to really be able to pivot with your hips and your lower core.” Even if a skater cannot comfortably do the jump with a balloon (or other prop), hopefully training with the balloon improves the technique so it improves the jump without the balloon.


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