By Pippa Teague, Infinite Potential Strength Coach
I have had the pleasure to work with many young athletes over the past few years, both on and off the ice. Power development is important not only in figure skating but in many sports including lacrosse, hockey, and gymnastics to name a few.
In the world of figure skating, being able to jump high and create power on the ice is essential if you want to land those double and triple jumps. This article provides a few exercises to help develop and improve vertical jump height and power for figure skating.
Before setting out in these exercises it is important to first have a solid base of strength and conditioning. Power is being able to apply strength quickly!
Proper form completing exercises such as squats, lunges, plyometric drills, hip extensions (bridges) and upper body strength all contribute to improving jump height and power.
This is performed by jumping or dropping off a box and then immediately rebounding into another jump right after, as soon as your feet hit the ground. This works on reactive timing and power. It can be done to a vertical jump, another box or a hurdle.
Start sitting on one box, legs at a 90 degree angle. From that position bring arms back and drive through feet to jump up to another box in front. This box can be equal or higher that the box you are sitting on. This eliminates the stretch reflex that happens in a normal plyometric jump and trains the concentric action only which is great for building explosive power.
This develops unilateral power and strength. As skaters take off from one leg in all jumps, it is important to mimic this movement biomechanically to build the strength, power and stability that can be taken onto the ice.
Standing on one leg without using a step, drive the arms backwards and bend at the knee and ankle. Jump and land onto the box with a soft landing.
*All of these exercises can be done with additional load- dumbbells or weight vest is recommended. Adding weight will force the athlete to over compensate in the jump, forcing them to increase power and explosiveness.
Exercises can also be regressed by decreasing the height of the box!