Learning to Figure Skate

May 11, 2016
This Is Daniel Cook Learning
Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 1Gear up. Before you get out on the ice, you need to put on your skates. Don't worry about buying your own gear right away. You can rent your gear until you're sure you want to figure skate for a long time.
  • Make sure you rent skates that fit. They should feel very snug but they shouldn't make your feet tingle or hurt.
  • You'll also want to be sure you lace them tight enough. You should not be able to roll your ankle.
Learn how to fall. The very first thing you should learn as a figure skater is how to fall. You will fall a lot and it's important to know how to fall so that you don't hurt yourself. Practice falling. If you feel like you're about to fall, crouch into a dip position so that you land gently on your bottom or on your side. Do not land with your hands out.
  • You should also learn how to get up or at least get out of the way quickly. You don't want other people to run in to you.
Loosen your knees. The next thing that you should practice as a figure skater is how to keep your knees nice and loose. When you're new to skating, you'll be unstable on your legs and your muscles will be weak, so you'll naturally want to keep your knees locked and stiff. However, loose knees that can move easily are very important for figure skating, not just allowing you to move but also keeping your legs from getting sore.
  • Practice letting your muscles relax and shake your leg around. You can also get your knees loose by crouching just a very small amount.
Learn how to move forward. Now that you can stand on skates comfortably and safely, you can learn how to move forward on skates.Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 2 With one leg pointed forward, push your other leg back and out to the side very gently, with your toes angled away from your body just a little bit. This back leg should push you along the ice. Bring the back leg back down and then make the same push but with the other leg.
  • Though the way you balance is different, you might want to learn this basic motion on street rollerblades before learning it on the ice. It is easier and can help keep you from hurting yourself.
Learn how to stop. Of course, once you move forward, eventually you're going to want to stop. You can't just run into the wall forever! The most basic stop is done by bending your knees just a little and the leaning your body to the side, so that both of your blades are angled away from the direction you're moving in.
  • You can also do a T stop, which is done by turning one of your blades into a T shape with the other blade and angling it away from the direction you're moving in.
Learn how to stroke. With those basic motions under your belt, you'll want to learn how to do a basic forward stroke. Stroking is when you do the same motions for moving forward, but longer and more gracefully. Do a more dramatic push off with your leg and hold that leg out behind you for longer before switching to the other leg.
  • Practice this to get to a point where it looks graceful and natural. This will be the basic movement between all of the tricks and movements you will do when figure skating, so you want to do it well.

Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 3Part 2

Learning the Basic Moves
  1. Learn how to move backwards. The very first "move" you will learn as a figure skater will almost always be how to move backwards. This is a lead in to many figure skating tricks and is an important skill to learn and master. It takes coordination and practice but be patient: you'll get it.
    • For the basics on how to move backwards, imagine reversing the motions of moving forward. With your weight on one foot, make a motion with your other foot like you're drawing a lemon in the ice, pushing yourself backwards and you round the curve of the "lemon".
  2. Learn how to turn. Making sharp turns, or even just the gentle turn of the skating rink, is an important skill for a figure skater. Another early skill you will learn is how to do slightly more complex ways of making turns than the simple way you probably learned on your own.There are two common methods for doing turns that you will learn early on:
    • Forward crossovers are used for making large turns and building up momentum for jumps. Essentially, you will make the same motions that you do to move forward, but your legs will cross each other, slowly turning you. You can also do this same move backwards, although you should start with the forward movement.
    • The three turn is another method of turning, used for doing sharp turns and changes of direction. This is more complex but still very doable for a beginner.
  3. There are many different kinds of spins in figure skating and several of them are not as hard as they look. You'll probably be ready to do spins after about a year's worth of mastering the other moves.
    • A basic spin is done by spinning in a circle in one place.
    • A spiral is done by spinning with one leg and your upper body parallel to the ice.
  4. Learn basic sequences. There are some series of movements or tricks that are standard in figure skating. This is called footwork and usually consists of a set of turns, spins, and jumps. Different sequences have different names and you'll want to learn some of the most basic sequences.
Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 4 Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 8 Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 9 Image titled Figure Skate (for Beginners) Step 11
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