When to Start Introducing the Axel (Page Lipe)

International figure skating coach Page Lipe offers some insights about when a skater is ready to begin working on the axel jump. As a minimum, Page recommends having a strong loop jump and ideally, a backspin or at least the ability to balance on one foot without wiggling in the backspin position on the ice. When to introduce the axel is really an individual coaching decision that often depends on maintenance of the waltz jump for competition.

Page also discusses the need for core strength when learning an axel, and this is often overlooked by coaches and skating parents. Those lacking core strength and stability should focus on off-ice training exercises like planks and headstands (by a wall). Page says, “They have to have a certain amount of strength in their body in order to do an axel, or else… they’re going to get more and more depressed because they can’t do their axel when really they’re just not strong enough.”


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