Using a Balloon for Jump Training – Part 3 (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 Part 2 the skaters demonstrated the other double jumps, as well as a few combination jumps. In this video, Lorie’s daughter Kate demonstrates using the balloon to learn to jump with both arms up over the head.

Lorie has Kate do the single jumps through lutz with arms overhead while holding the balloon. This exercise is very helpful as a way to ensure proper use of the core during the jump take-off, and it’s easy to see issues with swinging the arms and shoulders or pulling too hard for rotation which causes axis problems. Most skaters immediately recognize axis issues when jumping with their arms up, so this is a fantastic automatic feedback mechanism for basic jump training.

Lorie says, “Having the balloon in your hands, you’re forced to keep your arms and your shoulders and your core working together to take the balloon up.” She continues, “Even though you’re going to take your arms and put them over your head, the jump is formed from the bottom to the top. The balloon gives you some structure and someplace to take your arms and a little bit of tension to hold the arms a little closer together.” For skaters who take the balloon too far to the non-axis side, Lorie suggests thinking about taking the balloon up right in front of the face. The balloon is a great way to discover underlying jump issues because it “takes away variables” and forces better technique.

You can use this exercise for double jumps, but many skaters won’t be “strong enough” to complete the jump with the arms open due to the large balloon size.


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