Hi everyone! I recently started to get my axel more consistent and I wanted to share with you some axel drills. All of these helped me to achieve my axel, and now, I am sharing them with you so that you can use them too! I’ve included 8 in total as well as my Youtube video to give you a better visual representation of them all. Give them a try and hopefully, they will help you land that axel!
1. Axel Walkthroughs
This can be done in whatever way you feel helps you the most. For me, I like to mimic the kick through of the takeoff and pull into a backspin with my landing position. You could also do this with no backspin, just strictly working each position.
2. Waltz Jump Backspin
Start with your normal waltz jump but instead of checking out right away, pull into a backspin on the ice first. This is working your way up to the axel by starting with a small jump.
3. Waltz Jump Loop
This is a great one to help with checking your rotation. If you check out the video below you will see that I also did this with both hands on my right hip. It would be your left hip for my lefty skaters. This helps you keep your shoulders checked, preventing you from swinging way out to the left side (or right for my leftys.)
4. Waltz Jump Loop Backspin
Putting it all together now… you are going to try to keep the good check from your last exercise and pull in for a backspin once you are on the ice. Make sure to do a nice landing position out of the backspin so you are practicing good habits!
Backspins alone are part of the foundation for any jump. It is essentially our air position for all jumps and it is very important that we practice it. Practicing them in all the other combos is great but we need to make sure to practice them on their own as well. If you can have a super tight and fast backspin, it will help you to be tighter and rotate faster in the air.
6. Jumping Landing Positions
This next exercise isolates the landing of the jump. You are going to skate in a straight line backward on your landing foot and do a small hop to a landing position. Do a few in a row! Make sure your arms come in and land checked just like you would when in a jump. This will also help to build up your leg muscles so they are nice and strong to support your landing.
7. Bell Jumps
For this exercise, you are going to take off like an axel but land forward on 2 feet. I’m not going to lie… this exercise I did not enjoy working on, but it is definitely is still a good exercise for practicing axels.
The best way to practice axels… is doing axels! No matter how scary it may be to attempt the actual jump it is the best way to get closer to your goal. It isn’t always going to be easy, and you may come home with a bruise or two, but once you land that first one you will feel so accomplished!
If you would like a more visual version of each exercise, be sure to check out the YouTube video I made below! Any of these axel drills can be practiced on the ice or off-ice!
Also, if you would like you can check out my personal axel progress video right here! I hope that by watching it you will gain confidence in yourself and remember that it is okay to not be perfect on the first try. You will see that my many attempts were never perfect, and I fell countless times, but what matters most is that I got back up and kept trying. I believe in you! You’ve got this!
Just remember: Work Hard, Stay Focused, and Never Give Up!