Axel help?!

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Hi all and sorry for yet another axel help post lol.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips and advise to help me correct my axel technique.

At the minute, my jump is mostly 1/4 UR (sometimes a 1/2 on a bad jump) and although this may count if I manage to land it my technique is nothing short of abysmal.

My two main problems are:

1) My hips go back when I jump, so i kinda look like I jump with my butt out and my body forwards. This doesnt happen on my off ice axels, nor does it happen on any other jumps. My coach and I have been trying to fix it, but no matter how many times I get told to keep my hips under me I can't seem to control it.

2) I can't cross my legs. I can do it fine off ice, but on ice my legs are parallel to eachother instead of crossed. My coach says if I sort problem number 1 out, this problem will mostly fix itself.

I can do axels off ice and practice them regularly, as well as practice waltz-loop and waltz-backspin, backspin-loop, and back twizzles on a circle exercise. I don't seem to have this issue with any of the exercises.

Does anyone have any tips on how to fix this?

(Also, I know its difficult to give advice without a video but my rink has a ban on phones in busy sessions so unfortunately I couldn't take one)
 

sandraskates

Final Flight
Joined
Oct 31, 2006
Country
United-States
Ok, I'll give some diagnosis a whirl but without a video it's hard.

Since your problem is similar to mine, I'd say that perhaps you're scared(?). I'm trying to regain my axel and can also do everything you mentioned off ice, the waltz-loop, waltz-backspin, etc. But when I actually attempt *the jump* my legs don't yet complete the crossover transition either. It's because I can't commit (according to my coach).

You might try attempts on the harness if one is available to you. I've also looked at many YouTube videos to get some positive mental pictures of proper axels before I practice.

I find this journey video very inspirational as she makes all the beginner mistakes but now has a lovely axel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG1SO6iNlTw
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Ok, I'll give some diagnosis a whirl but without a video it's hard.

Since your problem is similar to mine, I'd say that perhaps you're scared(?). I'm trying to regain my axel and can also do everything you mentioned off ice, the waltz-loop, waltz-backspin, etc. But when I actually attempt *the jump* my legs don't yet complete the crossover transition either. It's because I can't commit (according to my coach).

You might try attempts on the harness if one is available to you. I've also looked at many YouTube videos to get some positive mental pictures of proper axels before I practice.

I find this journey video very inspirational as she makes all the beginner mistakes but now has a lovely axel:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MG1SO6iNlTw
I've always struggled with forward entrys and at first I was scared of axels. I feel I've fallen too many times to be scared of it now though lol. I pull out of the odd attempt when my entry is off, but for the most part I go for every attempt and it still happens :/

I just have no idea how to keep my hips in place and cross my legs - which
I find infuriating considering I dont even have to think about that off ice

I have the same problems with my 2S and 2T attempts and I've always been a lot more comfortable with these jumps. I don't have any fear at all when it comes to jumps from a backwards entry, I just go for them.

Unfortunately there are no harnesses at our rink so I'm stuck learning it the old fashioned way lol.

Yes, I love her axel progress video! I follow her on insta I love her skating!
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
As previous posters have said, it's difficult to tell without a video, but I suggest going back to basics. Work the waltz jump backspin and waltz/loop. Do walk throughs. Make sure you do all of this paying close attention to your posture and the position of your legs. Off ice is different because there is no edge or glide to work with, so your body will do different things then when on the ice. It's possible you just need to retrain the muscle memory.
 

jersey1302

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Country
Canada
Practise jumping a waltz jump from still and going directly into a back spin on the landing. So dont push the free leg out into a landing position. Instead do a backspin directly from the end of the jump. It will train your mind and leg that this is the proper position. You can literally do this with every jump, single toe loop backspin, single flip backspin etc.
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Practise jumping a waltz jump from still and going directly into a back spin on the landing. So dont push the free leg out into a landing position. Instead do a backspin directly from the end of the jump. It will train your mind and leg that this is the proper position. You can literally do this with every jump, single toe loop backspin, single flip backspin etc.
Yeah my coach has me doing these! He prefers to teach it where you land the waltz jump on two feet instead though and then snap into the backspin which I find indefinitely harder than waltz backspin lol
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
As previous posters have said, it's difficult to tell without a video, but I suggest going back to basics. Work the waltz jump backspin and waltz/loop. Do walk throughs. Make sure you do all of this paying close attention to your posture and the position of your legs. Off ice is different because there is no edge or glide to work with, so your body will do different things then when on the ice. It's possible you just need to retrain the muscle memory.
Thanks! Ill keep persevering with these exercises
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
Practise jumping a waltz jump from still and going directly into a back spin on the landing. So dont push the free leg out into a landing position. Instead do a backspin directly from the end of the jump. It will train your mind and leg that this is the proper position. You can literally do this with every jump, single toe loop backspin, single flip backspin etc.

The most important part of this exercise is to properly land in the backspin. You need to land on the outside edge. If you land on the inside and roll over to the outside, that's incorrect. It's important because you need to master the full shift of weight.
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Reviving this thread as I now have a video!

https://imgur.com/gallery/N2saL9m

This was shot today and, as you can see, I'm still having a lot of trouble getting my axel down. 90% of my axel attempts look like this, with the odd worse one that is a lot more UR and the rare special one which is fully rotated. I would really appreciate some tailored advice from this video. I think my main problem is definitely crossing my legs but I just can't seem to be able to do it on this jump.
 

Nimyue

On the Ice
Joined
May 15, 2018
The first thing that jumps out to me is that you are not kicking through at all. Your knee needs to go up more... the usual wording is to kick through, but you don't want your foot to get too far from you, it's more like kicking through with your knee then snapping over to your right side.

I think bell jumps might help you a lot in getting comfortable kicking through. It also helps mentally to think that the axel only a half rotation more than the bell jump. But if you practice the bell jump focusing on bringing your knee through and jumping up, it should help your take off. You can then add tapping your boots together in the bell jump to help with bringing your legs together after the take off.
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
Add to what Nimyue said, it doesn't appear that you are jumping the jump - you're spinning it. You need to make sure that you launch up into the air over the toepick. Getting the free leg through as Nimyue suggests will help this. The rotation is important, but that can't happen without the height. I always tell my skaters to focus on the jump first. If the entry is done correctly the rotation should happen as long as the jump mechanics do.
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
The first thing that jumps out to me is that you are not kicking through at all. Your knee needs to go up more... the usual wording is to kick through, but you don't want your foot to get too far from you, it's more like kicking through with your knee then snapping over to your right side.

I think bell jumps might help you a lot in getting comfortable kicking through. It also helps mentally to think that the axel only a half rotation more than the bell jump. But if you practice the bell jump focusing on bringing your knee through and jumping up, it should help your take off. You can then add tapping your boots together in the bell jump to help with bringing your legs together after the take off.

Thanks Nimyue! I'll really focus on the kick through in bell jumps. Tapping feet together in a bell jump sounds like a good exercise too.
 

Figuringitout

Rinkside
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Add to what Nimyue said, it doesn't appear that you are jumping the jump - you're spinning it. You need to make sure that you launch up into the air over the toepick. Getting the free leg through as Nimyue suggests will help this. The rotation is important, but that can't happen without the height. I always tell my skaters to focus on the jump first. If the entry is done correctly the rotation should happen as long as the jump mechanics do.

Thanks silver.blades, I'll try and focus on the kick through more. I think I used to have more of a kick, but my body couldn't catch up with my feet and I'd end up breaking really badly at the waist so it gradually transitioned to a spinny axel attempt instead.
 

jersey1302

On the Ice
Joined
Jan 10, 2016
Country
Canada
Yeah my coach has me doing these! He prefers to teach it where you land the waltz jump on two feet instead though and then snap into the backspin which I find indefinitely harder than waltz backspin lol

I'm not a coach however I honestly wouldnt teach anything landing on two feet, I think thats bad for the mind and body to get into a habit of a two foot landing which is never good in skating. Id train it with the one foot and that way your brain is constantly knowing to land on one foot vs 2. :scratch2:
 

1111bm

Final Flight
Joined
Dec 31, 2016
I'm not a coach however I honestly wouldnt teach anything landing on two feet, I think thats bad for the mind and body to get into a habit of a two foot landing which is never good in skating. Id train it with the one foot and that way your brain is constantly knowing to land on one foot vs 2. :scratch2:

Also not a coach :laugh: but I agree. I've seen this with several of my fellow adult skaters, who opted to two-foot their landings in the beginning stages of learning a new jump (also on turns, say on a counter f.i. when you put the free foot down immediately after the turn).
They do this to feel more secure of course, but at some point it becomes a bad habit and it's so difficult to re-program your body once it's ingrained in your muscle memory.
I don't know how it is for kids/teenagers, it may be easier to unlearn this, but I believe for older beginner skaters it can be pretty detrimental to the whole learning process.

And putting your free foot down is not 'just' a small detail, where at some point you can simply switch to keeping it in the air instead. When you're landing a jump (or exiting a turn) on two feet, your weight is in the wrong place, you're not 'over' your (skating) side and you're not practising one of the crucial parts of an element, which is to balance on the blade in the right way.

ETA: to the OP - I'm just a recreational skater, so no expert knowledge here by any means, but I checked out your video because I was curious, and it looks to me like you're out of axis, with your shoulders not parallel to the ground, because you're kind of jerking your left arm up too high. It also looks like you're not over your landing hip/right side anymore as a result of this. And it also seems like you're not jumping out of, but into the circle. But that's just my amateurish observation ;).
The not-kicking-through part is also true, but I've seen plenty people land Axels without kicking through (not very pretty ones though).
 

silver.blades

Medalist
Joined
Jan 4, 2007
Country
Canada
I'm not a coach however I honestly wouldnt teach anything landing on two feet, I think thats bad for the mind and body to get into a habit of a two foot landing which is never good in skating. Id train it with the one foot and that way your brain is constantly knowing to land on one foot vs 2. :scratch2:

As a coach, I would never teach one of my skaters to land a jump on two feet. That's just asking for them to develop the bad habit of two footing. Landing a jump on one foot is part of the technique of the jump rotation and two foots are incredibly hard to untrain once they become habit.
 

kolyadafan2002

Fan of Kolyada
Final Flight
Joined
Jun 6, 2019
Rather than height being an issue (it may be depending on your max rotation speed), I think the bigger issue is that you are not transferring over the right hip. To fit this, try lots and lots of practicing off ice. Maybe try with a band around your ankles. Also dont try to land the jump. Stay in and around the right side and when its rotated it'll either land itself, or you will have to then learn the landing action stronger.
As the others have said, you need to move your knee up to gain the opportunity to push your right leg down with your ankles together over the right side. Even with delayed axels, you can see they do the transfer over the right side almost instantly.
 
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