Using a Jump Rope to Train for Skating (Michelle Leigh)

World and Olympic coach Michelle Leigh continues a multi-part series on off-ice jumping and training.  In Part 1 she focused on some basics and the axel.  In Part 2, she discussed the salchow and some drills to improve landings.  In Part 3, she addressed issues with the off-ice toe loop, and in Part 4 she covered loop, flip, and lutz.  In Part 5 she offered exercises to improve the air position for any jump. In this video, she shares some tips on how to use a jump rope as a training tool for skating.

Jumping rope is an excellent activity for figure skaters. Not only does it provide conditioning, but it helps with other things like strengthening and alignment, as well as rhythm, coordination, and timing. Michelle recommends that during the non-competition season, skaters should skip rope doing “doubles” (rope passes twice for every jump) for the same duration as their long program. This keeps their conditioning from deteriorating and will allow them to get to full program run-throughs more easily. Michelle says, “It’s tough to create the same fitness level from just basic running, so this skipping is helpful to skaters.”

Next Michelle shares a helpful drill using a jump rope to improve the tuck for flying sit spin.  By folding up the jump rope and still jumping through, the skater must tuck strongly.

Michelle offers even more drills including one foot rope jumping, alternating between single and double jumps. Michelle says, “By varying your skipping techniques and doing one foot then the other foot you’re developing a good balance in the body… so we’re not stronger on one foot than the other.” One-legged rope jumping is also outstanding for developing proper alignment.

Finally, Michelle has the skater show some lateral skipping with double jumps when changing direction. Lateral skipping is helpful for footwork sequence skill development.

Check out all the videos in this series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part 6.


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