Tag Archives: jump exercise

Olympic Withdrawal & Jump Warm-Ups

3 Mar

 

mirai.jpg

Mirai Nagasu, Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

 

And so the Olympics are over and so is my wonderful tv figure skating time

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Now, I finally know how everyone else feels when they get to watch all that commentary about football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. It’s everywhere and you can get your fix at any time. Interviews, commentary, practice sessions, tv time, web time, you name it and you can get it but with figure skating? The only time that is possible is when the Olympics are on… at least in this country. Otherwise, I spend most of my time listening to skating commentary in a mix of Russian and Italian on youtube (and no I do not speak Russian so I have no clue what they are saying…hello google translate) The rest of my time is spent trying to get icenetwork.com to work (which it does not most of the time). Maybe I should move to Japan? I hear they have figure skating on around the clock. Sigh. I’m sure my husband would not be on board with moving to Japan so I will need to find other ways of getting my fix.

So, while it’s been fun getting my figure skating fix for the next four years it’s back to youtube and ice network coverage for me. Seems a little less exciting now. I was perfectly happy before the Olympics with my second-rate coverage.

At least we still have Worlds, right? And now that Adam Rippon has become America’s sweetheart surely we will see at least more figure skating related commentary? I absolutely loved him and his comments. Now, I’m going to go down a very deep rabbit hole on my next comment but I was really getting sick of the Johnny and Tara commentary. I used to like them but now I always end up switching over to Euro Sport on youtube vs. listening to NBC just so I can listen to people who call the jumps and seem to have something more to say about the sport. I’m a big Johnny Weir fan so I wouldn’t even mind if they just let Johnny commentate on his own but the two together? Please. Also, it’s an ice rink so why did I feel like I was going clubbing whenever Tara was commentating? Or was that just me? It may be or it may be that I would just like to focus on the skating rather than what matching sequined outfits the commentators are wearing. Please just put Tanith on! Or just put more clothes on Tara. Is that too much to ask? It probably is but I’m asking anyway.

So, now that the Olympics are over I find myself refocusing more on my actual skating. I’ve been really enjoying my jump class and have started a new group lesson session with the same coach. This month’s lesson will focus on the flip and lutz but before we even get into practicing these jumps (or in my case learning) he has us do a series of jump warmups. These are perfect for anyone at any level and so much fun to do. I’ve posted them below:

  1. Start with two foot slaloms. First forward: Stay down in the knees and then come all the way up, arms completely out. Repeat. Then try backwards.
  2. Swizzles (I’ve mentioned these before)  Forward and Backward, moving arms in forward and out to simulate jumping. Then on the backward swizzles perform a jump from both feet on every other swizzle. Try to maintain speed and push hips forward when jumping.
  3. Backward swizzles with the jump up, land on two feet, then hold landing edge.
  4. Backward Slaloms again: Right slalom: hold right arm back, turn head and jump then slalom on the left side and jump (head turned to back, left arm back). Jumping is on both feet but your jumping on a curve.
  5. Forward Lunges, right and left. Keep arms out. Keep weight on heel.
  6. Backward Lunges. These are extremely difficult and I cannot do them yet. But I keep trying. Keep your back up.
  7. Forward Lunge into forward outside 3 turn to back lunge. Very hard, I haven’t mastered this yet either. Try on both sides. The free foot boot must be on the ice at all times during this move.
  8. Forward outside 3 turn to back crossover and hold landing edge with arms in landing position (similar to a wide v). I mentioned this in another lesson. Hips and arms must be squarely over skating foot. Hips forward, free foot turned out but hips do not turn out. Keep your free foot out and be careful not to let it travel too far crossed behind you… If you are having trouble holding your landing edge from jumps and you are making a small circle curving in (like I was) then your free foot on your landing edge is probably not being held to the outside. Repeat this pattern.
  9.  Add a hop from the landing edge (mentioned in lessons post before).
  10. Do 2 crossovers in your jump direction and jump from backwards to forwards (1/2 rotation) repeat on both feet. Try full rotation, land on both feet. I can only do a 1/2 rotation. Try to keep feet together in air.

Now, we are ready to do the regular jumps : ) By this time though I’m ready to die on the ice from overexertion and I’m usually leaning over the edge of the boards trying to catch my breath. Don’t worry, if you do cardio you’ll be fine, just fine. ; ) At least, that’s what I keep telling myself.

Till next time!

 

 

 

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Lesson Recap #2 & #3

2 Feb

I’ve decided to condense the last two group lesson sessions into one. They do repeat on skills with a definite emphasis on the back spin (shudder).

Adult Class

Two foot back spin exercises (back to basics)

  1. Start from right foot pivot
  2. Do one full pivot (long circle) and be careful to keep right hip open.
  3. Arms should be open
  4. Then do the pivot on your left side to feel the difference in rotation.
  5. Switch back to right foot pivot and do one long circle to two foot back spin.
  6. Keep arms out for balance and then bring arms in after practicing a few times.
  7. Note on Arm Position: Make fists with both hands and bring in with right hand over left.

TIP: Note on Feet Position: Make sure your LEFT skate is in front of the RIGHT skate when doing the two foot spin (I always catch myself cheating and spinning with my right foot in front) 

Moving on from the pivot to two foot back spin

  1. Start with skates hips width apart and scissor your feet back and forth on the ice to feel where you are on the blades. Do this a few times.
  2. With skates hips width apart and knees bent start to do your two-foot spin.
  3. Spin first with arms down and then scooping up and in.
  4.  As you pull feet in to spin also pull arms from down to up (this increases the speed)

TIP: Work on this for 5 minutes, just feeling where you are in the spin, keeping that left foot in front of right and bring your arms from down to up

  1. Then pull feet in during the spin with arms out and then pulling tightly in (fists with right hand over left)
  2.  Finally, lift one foot up and spin using arms from out to in and then also from out to in and then up.

TIP: When you pull your arms in and up like in a fast scratch spin, place your right thumb in your right hand and tightly pull into your chest and then continue up over your face almost brushing your nose and above your head. Arms should be on either side of your head squeezing. This can be practiced on any spin. Maintain a lot of tension!

Back Spin Entrance from Inside Edge

  1. Start on line and push onto right foot into a deep inside edge.
  2. BEND right knee fully and push your hips forward
  3. Imagine a circle in front of you and that is what you should follow as you deepen the right inside edge.
  4. Do not lean back onto your heel (this makes it much harder to spin) Lean forward into the spin.
  5. As you can turn into the back spin from the right inside edge (do not rush the edge) keep your left leg out for at least the first 2 revolutions and keep your arms out.
  6. Then bring everything into spin faster (including your arms)

TIP: I found that if I do not stay on the imaginary circle in front of me when I enter the spin then I usually am off balance. I also find that I need to bend my right knee a lot when I get into the spin and when I do this I normally have an easier time staying over my right side. This also goes with leaning forward a little in the spin as well. All the failed spins I was on my heel or leaning out of the spin. So knee bend is key. Also I am always fearful of falling backwards on this spin and since I’m upright and tall I’m also fearful of how far I have to fall down to the ice. By bending my knee in the spin a little it makes me feel like I am closer to the ice. I don’t think it’s that noticeable but it feels like it!

JUMP Session

Warm – up

  1. Forward side lunges alternating down a straight line then crossovers and start again down another line. You should lunge out to the side and then stand up fully before going back down to do another side lunge.
  2. Back side lunges (these are harder) down the line alternating same as the forward side lunge exercise. Stand up after pulling in from the lunge.

Jump prep with forward scratch spin from three turn entrance

  1. Stroke forward (two strokes) then crossover to the left (2x)
  2. Perform a left forward inside edge into a right inside edge with a flick of your foot (just your leg bent slight in during the turn, helps with the speed of the spin)
  3. Then left outside edge into a scratch spin with right leg held straight to the side, arms out and open.
  4. Perform spin 2 rotations up and then 2 rotations down (just a little bend in knee, not a sit spin) then repeat again. Try 3x up and then 3 x down.
  5. Keep thighs open and away from each other when spinning (I have a tendency to    bring my free leg close to the skating leg and then forward when I go down a little. It should not be like a sit spin position.

TIP: Pull shoulder blades down and back to keep arms open while spinning, this should help with keeping legs and arms open

  1. Repeat this exercise, note that you will get speed into this spin coming from this entrance. I have to maintain slower crossovers so I am not going into it too fast.
  2. Then, add a hop on left leg while in forward upright spin. Jump up in spin on the   down part. Rotate 2x up and then 2x down, 2 x up and 2 x down then HOP. I haven’t been able to do this yet, work in progress.

This exercise leads into a beginning flying spin position.

  1. Add a hop on the left leg while you are spinning  onto the right foot. This hop brings you into your back spin.  Use the 2x up and 2x down rhythm to do this exercise. The 9 year old was the only one who tried this as of yet. Maybe next time I’m on ice I’ll try this… we will see.

Salchow Control Prep and Toe Loop Combo

  1. He had us doing the Sal from alternating three turns to really feel that edge. I found the alternating 3 turns more challenging then the sal. which is probably the easiest jump for me but it really makes you take your time and sit over that edge into the sal. 
  2. So, it was left outside 3 turn (take your time), right outside 3, left outside 3 and really hold that inside edge into the salchow.

TIP: Keep same arm in front through the alternating 3 turns (steady) do not change arms as you switch from right to left.

Salchow Jump Pattern

  1. Left back crossovers (2 -3)
  2. Left forward inside Mohawk to back landing edge position hold (refer to lesson #1 for landing edge hold exercise)
  3. Left outside 3 turn into Salchow / Toe Loop Combo (refer back to lesson #1 for toe loop exercises)

TIP: This exercise also helps you maintain control over that edge into the salchow. I don’t have the swingy three turn issue (like an unchecked three turn) that I see a lot of adult and kid skaters have when they first learn to do this jump but if I did, this would be a great way to stop that. 

That’s all for now! I hope it helps! As for me… I’ll be doing the back spin over and over and over again… Oy veh. And maybe if I feel up to it, I’ll the flying spin exercise.

Lesson Recap #1

13 Jan

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While I’ve been breaking in my boots I’ve been taking group lessons at a rink about 30 minutes from me. I’m not really ready to commit to private lessons or the cost yet again. I am skating consistently (thanks to the group lessons) and while it’s not an exact substitute for private lessons this advanced adult class has given me enough to work on throughout the week. I feel like I’m almost there where I would feel comfortable to go one on one again with a coach but for now, the group lessons are giving me a good base to work from again.

This time I am taking two group lessons on the same day, advanced adult lessons (this is basic Freestyle 1-6) and a jump class. Both classes are small, the first with four adults at varying levels and the latter with three. There is me and another adult plus a 9-year-old in the jump class. I think it’s great to skate with one other kid because sometimes as adults we start to get too comfy watching and mimicking other adult skaters. This can sometimes be bad. Children I think have a natural rhythm and timing to their skating (plus a fearlessness) that I think adults can really benefit from. While some adults do have this as well I find that when I am skating with kids I limit myself less in what I “think” I can do and I just do.

Both classes are taught by the same instructor this year (usually they are different). This works so very well. He’s Russian so while I have had many coaches with different backgrounds, I have never been exposed to the Russian style of skating. I’m really enjoying some of the basic warm-ups that he is having us do as well as the basic edges and I’m looking forward to sharing them here!

Lesson Recap #1 Adult Group Class

  1. Change Spin – Forward scratch to back scratch: I really dislike any type of back spins (as this blog details) so this is still, alas, a challenge for me. Right now holding my left free leg out longer on the back spin is a challenge so I need to count the revolutions and not rush bringing the free leg in. The forward scratch is fine. Hands need to remain out until I bring the leg in closer. I tend to immediately bring my free leg in tight and then I start spinning faster and out of control. This also makes it a lot harder to get more revolutions in as well. TIPS: 1. Slow down the free leg coming in and 2. Count the revolutions 3. Don’t think of the free leg as much as just getting over the right side.
  2.  Basic Forward and Backward Swizzles with Arms (jump warm up) and Hop: Do forward swizzles with arms bent at elbow going back and then coming forward just as you would in a waltz jump. Same thing for backward swizzles. Bring the arms forward and up when you bring the legs in and the arms back and out when you push out. TIPS: 1. Bend 2. Keep your core tight. Once you’ve warmed up these then add a hop to the backward swizzle.  Side note: I kid you not,  we all thought we were going to kill ourselves on these but they turned out to be so much fun. I also saw one of the adults who has not really learned to jump yet do her first tiny hop doing these. Very cool. KEY TO HOPPING IN THE SWIZZLE: Hop when your feet come together and arms come forward and finally, make sure your hips are pushed forward. Feel that your core is tight. Once I felt my hips pushed forward just like on my jump take off’s these got a lot easier and lighter. That is the key. Use your arms as I mentioned in the exercise above.
  3. Backward Outside Edges: Keep your free leg above the tracing on the ice, no arching of the back (my thing, oops) and open your shoulders and keep arms stretched out against that edge. Really lean into that outside edge but as I said before, no arching and keep your back up. You should not have your free leg way out. These are pretty easy but these are some good tweaks.
  4.  Inside Spirals (does anyone like these?): He said to keep the same arm in front. One of the other adults had been taught opposite arm and leg. I think you can do it either way but for sure having the same arm definitely puts you on the inside edge if you are struggling with that part.
  5. Sit Spin: Need to go lower. He said to fall if I need too otherwise it’s a good spin.

 

Lesson Recap #1 Jump Class: All pre-jump exercises

  1. Basic Back Cross Overs (both sides): Keep back arm headed out in the direction you are going. Really keep the shoulders open on the bad side where I tend to drop it. Skating knee needs to be turned fully out (mine is sometimes a little in which can make it less of an outside edge.)
  2. Crossovers with Landing Edge and Hold (BOTH SIDES muhahaa): Cross over and then hold landing edge. TIPS: On landing edge arms should be in peripheral vision, head up, body square. From Crossovers to landing edge you should 1. be down in the knee at first 2. Toe turned out 3. Then rise up on landing edge. 4. Do not turn head in (common error on bad side.) This is all done on a circle. TIP: If you have trouble holding the arms in the correct landing position hold your arms in landing edge position with palms up. This will keep you from opening up. Side note: This was nerve-racking at first on the non-landing side but I found it got easier the more I got used to doing it. It’s really great for working both sides. 
  3. Add Arms to the Crossover Landing Edge and Hold Pattern: Basically, do what I mentioned above but add arms moving forward as in the swizzles. Then hold your landing edge.
  4. Outside 3 Turn, Crossovers, Landing Edge, Repeated on the Circle: This was challenging at first but then it had a nice cadence to it. 1. Outside 3 turn, cross overs, hold landing edge (down and then up), then 3 turn, cross overs etc. Repeat over and over again. Do this on both sides! Should I insert evil laugh here? TIP: Really concentrate on keeping your hips square on your bad side.
  5. Add 1, 2 and 3 hops on the landing edge from the previous move: So outside 3 turn, crossover, down in knee on landing edge, and then hop on toe pick, rise up on landing edge, turn to do three turn and repeat but with two hops on landing edge, and then repeat with three hops. Side note: This was scary at first and I could only do 2 hops but with practice I can now do 3 but they are tiny. BIG TIP: PUSH HIPS FORWARD WHEN YOU HOP. Just like you should feel on your waltz jumps.
  6. Back spins: These were very, very bad. TIP: Don’t rush, hold the edges into the back spin. We only had a few minutes to work on these. I want to say thank goodness because I really dislike them but I’m finally committing myself to making this spin better. Hopefully, before I kill myself on them. : )

All in all, a lot to work on! Holding those landing edges have been helping immensely. I hope this has been helpful. It’s a lot to take in.

Till next week!

 

 

 

AHA!

27 Sep

And.. it is the start of the figure skating season very soon and with that comes my new schedule.
In between working my two jobs I am now focusing on getting back into shape and improving my skating skills.
I think I have gained 10lbs this summer… its probably both old age and the fact that I did not skate more than 1-2 days a week over the summer some times skipping whole weeks! horrors of horrors 😉
Well – apparently it was very bad because I thought that skating didnt really help my weight that much. Um… I was very wrong. It wont keep my super thin (well- I’m not sasha or training for sectionals) but it does keep me somewhat toned and at a decent weight.
Hmmm so now I have to schlep- it off slowly….
OK- so I have been skating every week. I am moving up to 4 times a week as the fall season commences and I am hoping to achieve a consistant camel this year as well as a decently centered layback. Also… a decent back spin and a good lutz.
Axel could be in there but I wont put it in there just yet 😉
I have a lesson every friday and we have been working on my silver moves which I will record soon. I am actually managing those inside to outside three turns.. lol… a month ago I couldnt even manage one of the inside three turns…nice huh?
Plus I am working on my forward power pulls which I have issues with but at least now I get halfway down the ice. Hooray!

So to recap what I did last friday before I forget… and well, its also the point of my blog.. to record all my lessons or at least most of them and help others and me to remember what to work on and how…

1. Should keep left shoulder in front on the back spin, also complete exercises just holding that deep right inside edge with free leg behind before going into back spin. (I have issues there folks)
2. Always point your take off toe on take off in your edge jumps. It provides much more spring into your jumps.
3. The left shoulder should be completely closed on your loop. An exercise that i do now to teach me to do this is:
Start on a circle going backwards in your loop take off direction.
Then in an inside edge like power pull i place my right foot all the way behind and deeply bend my left leg and drop my left shoulder in front while looking behind me- then rise to loop position with free foot (left foot in front and right behind, left shoulder closed) and I repeat 2 more times then on the third time I jump into the loop. Its hard to explain.
Video coming 😉

Thats it for now.
I think those were the most important points for this week.
No flip horror stories for now. I HATE THAT Jump.
Ok., well anyone who reads this blog will see my struggle with that thing over the years.
ew.
Alrighty, Its sat night and I have real issues since I am spending it writing in my skating blog… but hey… thats how you know you are skating obsessed!

OMG.. I did forget one thing… I went to our skating clubs skate sale and actually found a pair of barely used size 7 reidell silver star boots!!!

I was so excited. And they fit! For those of us who are budget challenged you are going to flip when I tell you the price!

$75!!! Amazing. I know the woman who owned them before, they didnt work out for her. But they feel really nice on my feet and they fit snuggly. I have had jacksons for 4 years now. I really wanted to go back to reidells for some time. Not to mention the Jacksons always felt so high- and I am tall already that it made it harder to dig into the ice. MIght be a mind thing but reidells have a smaller heel so that will be nice. So I thought I could just move my blades onto those boots but it turns out Jackson 7’s are not the same as reidell’s. I think my jacksons are all stretched out so its not like I am cramming my foot into those but the reidells require a longer blade. Weird.
Maybe I had the wrong size before? Could be. I dont know. My feet always hurt in those things but I have really flat feet and that could be a result of that issue.
Anyway, I have to pick up the blades that went with them. Never heard of them but I think they are a basic freestyle blade- not the best but they will do for now. The budget can take $35 barely used blades not $200…. lol
So I am going to get them mounted tomorrow and I am so excited! I thought I would have to wait until next year and to be frank.. those jacksons stink! hahaa…

ciao!
 

Outtie….