Figure Skating
hosted by
San Diego Figure Skating Communications

a non-profit educational organization
Training Approaches to Jumping

      Periodization is the act of dividing training into distinct phases each with a separate short term goal (fat loss, strength, power, speed, etc.). Each of these individual phases are designed to build on the foundation created by the previous phase until ultimately they culminate in achieving peak condition for the competition phase.

      The physical requirements of a specific sport, the needs of the individual athlete, and the frequency and duration of the competition season must be factored into how a training season is split into the following subphases:
  • duration,
  • focus,
  • exercise selection,
  • intensity,
  • training volume, etc.
        The key to periodization is to ensure you are always making progress forwards towards the ultimate goal - jumping higher.

         List the various reasons how jumping ability can be improved -
  • Achieve the ultimate ratio of body weight and strength
  • Emphasize enhancing quick twitch muscle development
  • Development of physical technique
Payload (Body Weight) and Energy Required to Achieve Liftoff Against Gravity
There is no disputing the Laws of Gravity. Skaters whose body type is slim and without much extra body fat will in theory be able to jump higher that another skater who in all other ways is the same except for their total body weight being more.

        There can obviously be differences in performances between skaters who use more or less efficient technique use in jumping, design of the skate boots and blades, plus environment conditions such as: the height above sea level of the ice rink, the purity of the water, the temperature of the ice, and the air temperature in the building.

It take extra effort to launch excess body fat into the air       
        Losing fat and building muscle are essentially two mutually exclusive goals. Burning fat and getting rid of excess body fact requires calories restriction combined and cardio exercises. On the other hand, building muscle requires a surplus of calorie, with little to no cardio combined with heavy lifting exercises. Attempting to accomplish both objectives at the same time will fail.

        In the long run, more consistent progress and greater gains will be achieved in less time by concentrating intensely on reaching one objective at a time.  This type of approach should not exclusive focus on only one athletic trait at a time, to the universal exclusion of continuing general training schedule of other skills. If there is not enough available time to spend time on all the phases each day, break the schedule in two or more schedules that can alternate.

       Trainers using periodization recognize the importance of specific traits and accordingly plan training programs that are designed to minimize any losses of these abilities by incorporating continued maintenance work during the other phases.

       The key is to identify which trait/skill you need to focus on first, then to exclusively train to eliminate  or correct that deficiency. Once you have reached a certain level of proficiency, then you start training for the next requirement and so on.

       Coaches exclusively use one or a combination of three different jumping approaches that are widely used to teach basic and advanced jumping skills. There is universal agreement in the admonishment that a wrapped free leg position is an error requiring a negative GOE by judges.

       The skater's age, body proportions, shape, and weight affect how coaches may approach teaching jumps, especially advanced multi-revolution jumps.  Body changes that occur as young skaters go through puberty can cause skaters to experience difficulty in performing advanced jumps they previously had mastered.

The Gus Lussi jumping technique skaters are taught to jump up first by springing from the skating knee straightening, coordinated with the full extension of the free leg, followed by rotating around the landing foot in a back spin position in the air. The full rotation was completed prior to landing on a curve and flow matching the takeoff. Dick Button was Lussi's first student to perform the delayed Axel, Triple Loop jump, and flying camel spin in national and international competitions.

Gus Lussi (1898 – June 23, 1993) was a figure skating coach. His students include many champions, such as Dick Button, Donald Jackson, Ronald Robertson, Ronald Ludington, Barbara Ann Scott, David Jenkins, Hayes Jenkins, Dorothy Hamill (during her novice years), John Misha Petkevich, and John Curry.  Some of Lussi's students, such as Robin Wagner, Cecily Morrow, Evelyn Kramer, and Priscilla Hill have also become successful coaches.

Lussi is widely viewed as being responsible for developing modern figure skating jump technique, including the cross-legged or back spin position in the air. Lussi's skaters are also known for their spinning technique.

There are Jump Harness Training Systems that coaches are using to assist skaters in learning multi-revolution jumps. The concept is to help figure skaters build confidence as they start to learn new figure skating maneuvers, jumps, tricks and lifts.

As a figure skater's confidence grows, the reliance on the jump training harness should be reduced until it is not required to successful land the jump.

The manufacturers of training harness/apparatus claim their equipment will significantly reduce learning times for acquiring new jumps and help skaters to land advanced jumps more consistently in their programs with less practice time.

This equipment requires a trained coach for the skater to be able to use the equipment on the ice.

One concept involves the continues rotation from takeoff through to the landing.

The elapsed time in the air is related to the speed across the ice and into the jumps and the tight rotation maintained throughout the takeoff to landing.

In Russia the coaches teach skaters the principles of achieving multi-revolutions from a standing position off ice.

Note: some coaches find it acceptable for their skaters to perform skidded takeoffs, hooked
takeoffs, and landings. The IJS has rules about down grading jumps that are under rotated.
Up to, but not exceeding 1/4 revolution is considered acceptable.

      Incorrect takeoff edges receive an edge alert or a edge announcement by the Technical panel in IJS.

Elapsed Air Time
      The time to complete a jump can be calculated depending on the height and weight of the skater and the speed the skater has into the jump and the actual height off the ice the skater achieves.

      Skaters must be aware of their core body position in the air and by understanding he details of each part of the jump from beginning to end. There are both aerodynamics and physics that combine in the technical part of jumping, but there are stamina and psychology parts to the successful jumping equation. There is huge impact on a one-eighth inch wide steel blade when landing jumps.

      It takes considerable strength to control the twisting motion on their skate and lower body when attempting to land  jump," The greater the number of rotations, the more the torque is transferred to the blade, boot, ankle, and knee on the landing foot.

      Skaters need to learn about the theory of jumping, including correct body positions, the distribution of weight, maintaining focus, rhythm/timing, and the body lean prior to taking off, in the air, and in the landing/exit.

      Gravity pulls on our body at a force of 9.81 meters per second per second. The complexity of Skating is due to other forces - velocity across the ice and centrifugal force created by the jump's spin rotation. The amount of rotation that necessary to perform the jump must also be canceled out to land on a controlled edge. The actual opening of the arms to cancel the rotation must start while the skater is in the air on the downward part of the jump.

      To practice strengthen the braking action must also involve coordinate with the free leg beginning the actual position of the free leg pushing backwards in a controlled manner over the tracing rather then in an arc that swings to the side combined with the skater breaking at the waist with the free leg ending in an arabesque position.

      The free leg in exiting a jump follows the same as path as when a skater exits from a fast upright back scratch spin. The free leg must uncrossed, going forward to lift over the landing/spin foot, allowing the free leg to achieve an arc to the side prior to extending back over the tracing.

      Anything a skater does as a floor exercise should correspond directly with what is done on the ice. There are “off ice exercises” jump preparations, which compliment and correspond directly to on-ice jump landings! 

      Figure skaters, in all disciplines, benefit from ballet training. Skaters especially benefit from acquiring  flexibility on the bar combined with the control of arms, head, and foot positions related to core body alignment.


Role of Physics in Skating

Developing A Training Plan

Training Considerations


The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

Developing Training Plans for Athletes
Evaluation of Training
Age Training Guidelines
Components of Training Plan
Stages of Acquiring New Skills
Strategies for Training
Strategies for Competing
Fitness Training & Sports
Advanced Training
List Daily Training Tasks
Construction of a Training Plan
Developing An Annual Training Plan
Principles of Global Training
Competitive Training
Starting to Seriously Train
Skating Environment
Peaking Performance
Benefits of Cross Training
Principle of Varying Training
Varying Training Improves Results
Approaches to Training
Approaches to Jump Training 
Transference of Knowledge & Skills
Aerobic Activities
Anaerobic Activities
Exercises to Develop Coordination
Off-Ice Activities For Skaters
Fitness and Conditioning
Off-Season Conditioning Activities
Tips for Long Distance Traveling
Mental Barriers to Training & Competing
Mental Considerations for Athletic Training
Mental Considerations of Training
Mental Strategies for Training
Endurance Training Activities
Flexibility Training Activities
Bodyweight Exercise Training
Weight Training Activities
Brian Grasso Articles
Evaluation Assessment

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.

Athlete Concerns     Collection of Related Ideas    Skating Articles    Related Topics

Ice Skating Rink Index    Topic Index    Site Index   Home Page