3 figure skating exercises to improve your performance on ice

Figure skating is a sport that requires more than just grace and artistry. While most non-skaters don’t realize this, achieving any technical element in skating requires a significant amount of strength and stamina. Awkward positions must be held for long periods of time, and muscles that most people rarely use must be strong to execute the jumps, twists, and lifts that impress the crowd and the judges. All figure skaters, regardless of age or ability, should participate in a proper strength and conditioning program off the ice to give them the strength and stamina to execute elements, and also to help prevent injury.

Note: Be sure to check with your coach, parents, and doctor before participating in any off-ice exercise and conditioning programs.

Figure skaters looking to build any type of off-ice conditioning program should look at their overall goals to put together an overall off-ice program. I’d like to suggest three exercises in particular that all off-ice programs should incorporate, and this is for all skaters, including partner, dance, and freestyle skaters.

1). bicycle crunches. Like athletes in almost any sport, if a figure skater did absolutely nothing off the ice except ONE thing, then he would have to engage core strength. Your core strength is what allows you to control your jumps, focus your turns, and maintain an upright posture in dance sequences and steps. Try to twizzle or check your rotation with an Axel with no core strength; it’s just not going to happen.

A study conducted at San Diego State University tested more than a dozen different ab exercises to increase core strength, and one stood out above the rest: the bicycle crunch. To do the bicycle crunch, lie on the floor with your abs contracted and your lower back pressed into the floor (you may have to rotate your pelvis down to do this). Put your hands next to your ears (DO NOT pull on your neck!) and raise your legs to a 45 degree angle. Move your legs through a bicycle pedaling motion while simultaneously contracting into a twisting motion and touching your elbow to the opposite knee.

2). arabesque exercises. In the world of dance, gymnastics, and figure skating, the arabesque position is one of the most common positions you’ll need to learn to hold. For figure skaters, this is particularly true when it comes to spirals and camel spins. An arabesque is most perfectly rendered with the standard flat blade or spiral position of the edge of the Field Movements preliminary and preliminary tests, with the skating leg straight, the free leg at hip height or by on top and torso at 90°. degree angle to the skating leg.

To build your flexibility and stamina to hold the arabesque/spiral position, work through the following rotation, completing it on each foot. Start by holding the arabesque position for one minute leaning against the wall, then another minute with your leg resting on a partner or half a wall, then one minute solo, then another minute with your arms on the wall again. Rest about 30 seconds between each position. These one-minute intervals will be difficult at first, but they will improve over time and will help you a lot, especially if you also do ballet or gymnastics.

3). box jumps. For most spectators of our sports, it’s the diving that draws the big cheers. If you’re a freestyle skater, your jumps are usually your most difficult technical element, and one of the things you spend most of your training time perfecting. Fully spinning your jumps, particularly your doubles, triples, and if you can pull it off, a quad, requires incredible skill to get “hang time” in the air. Getting “hang time” is primarily a matter of being able to jump into the air with incredible power, which itself is a matter of shear force.

Box jumps are one of the best ways to work on your jumping power and increase your airtime. A basic box jump is completed by jumping onto a wooden box 18 to 24 inches high with both feet from a standing position. Exploding over the box, then exploding out of the box and back to the ground is the most basic method of working on your jumping power. Additional methods of box jumping include jumping onto a box, then immediately onto a higher box, and then back to the ground. There are numerous variations of this exercise, all of which will improve your jumping ability.

These three drills themselves comprise the most basic off-ice training program possible. Of course, as with any athlete, eating right, getting enough sleep, and a basic cardiovascular program are also beneficial for all skaters.

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