Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

3 Figure Skating Off Ice Exercises To Improve Your On Ice Performance

June 14, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 162

Figure skating is a sport that requires more than just grace and artistry. While most non-skaters don't realize this, pulling off any technical element in skating requires a significant amount of strength and stamina. Awkward positions must be held for extended periods of time, and muscles that most people hardly ever use must be strong in order to execute the jumps, spins, and lifts that impresses the crowd and judges. All figure skaters, regardless of age or ability, should engage in a proper off-ice strength and conditioning program in order to give them the strength and stamina to execute elements, and also to help prevent injuries.

Note: Be sure to check with both your coach, your parents, and your physician before engaging in any off-ice exercise and conditioning program.

Figure skaters looking to build any sort of off-ice conditioning program need to look at their overall objectives in order to put together an overall off-ice program. I would like to suggest three exercises in particular that all off-ice programs should incorporate, and this is for all skaters, including pairs, dance, and freestylers.

1). Bicycle crunches. Like athletes in just about any sport, if a figure skater were to do absolutely nothing else off-ice except ONE thing, then it would have to involve core strength. Your core strength is what allows you to check out of jumps, center your spins, and maintain an erect posture in dance and step sequences. Try doing a twizzle or checking your rotation out of an Axel without core strength -- it simply isn't going to happen.

A study conducted at San Diego State University evaluated over a dozen different abdominal exercises for increasing core strength, and one stood out far and above the rest: The bicycle crunch. To do the bicycle crunch, lie on the floor with your abs engaged and your lower back pressed into the floor (you may have to rotate your pelvis under to achieve this). Put your hands beside your ears (DO NOT pull up on your neck!) and elevate your legs to about a 45 degree angle. Move your legs through a bicycle pedaling motion while simultaneously crunching up in a twisting motion and touching your elbow to your opposite knee.

2). Arabesque exercises. In the worlds of dance, gymnastics, and figure skating, the arabesque position is one of the most common positions you will need to learn to sustain. For figure skaters, this is particularly true when it comes to spirals and camel spins. An arabesque is represented most perfectly by the standard flat blade or edge spiral position of the pre-preliminary and preliminary Moves in the Field tests, with the skating leg held straight, the free leg at or above hip height, and the torso at a 90 degree angle to the skating leg.

To build your flexibility and stamina for holding the arabesque/spiral position, work on the following rotation, to be completed on each foot. Start by holding the arabesque position for one minute while supporting yourself with the wall, then another minute with your leg supported by a partner or half wall, then one minute on your own, 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 will improve over time and greatly assist you, especially if you also do ballet or gymnastics.

3). Box jumps. For most spectators of our sports, it's the jumps that draw the big rounds of applause. If you are a freestyle skater, your jumps are usually your most difficult technical element, and one of the things you spend the most of your training time working on perfecting. Fully rotating your jumps, particularly your doubles, triples and, if you can pull it off, a quad, requires an incredible ability to obtain "hang time" in the air. Getting "hang time" is mainly a matter of being able to vault yourself into the air with incredible power, which itself is a matter of shear strength.

Box jumps are one of the best ways to work on your jumping power and increase your time in the air. A basic box jump is completed by jumping onto an 18 to 24 inch tall wooden box with both feet from a standing position. Exploding up onto the box, and then exploding off the box and back to the ground is the most basic method for working on your jump power. Additional methods of box jumping include jumping up onto one box, then immediately onto another, 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 exercises in and of themselves comprise the most basic off-ice training program possible. Of course, as with any athlete, eating right, getting enough sleep, and a basic cardio program are also of benefit to all skaters.

Jassen Bowman is an ice dancer and freestyle skating test judge.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Off Ice Exercises


Figure Skating Conditioning

LED boat trailer lights are designed to offer high-power output and low-power consumption for ultra-bright and reliable illumination; they are sealed to resist UV-radiation, corrosion, and water

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Boating l December 12, 2012 lViews: 274

All these scooters are highly durable as they have been made using qualitative materials. They are ideal for extreme tricks, jumps and stunts for youngsters and are extremely light in weight. All

By: Simon Liva l Recreation & Sports > Extreme l November 24, 2012 lViews: 413

The interest in BMXing has grown massively over the past few years. With BMX hitting its peak in the 80's with freestyle riders, the sport has never looked back. Even more impressively BMX racing is

By: Alan Trotter l Recreation & Sports > Cycling l October 24, 2012 lViews: 452

Mountain biking has grown vastly over the years from simple, open entry competitions to global world cup and olympic events. There are still local enthusiasts and the sport has a dedicated following.

By: Philip Loughran l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 248

It's unfortunate but true that although summer holidays such as the 4th of July and Labor Day offer some of the best opportunities for families to get out and enjoy some quality time together, with

By: Dexter Luck l Recreation & Sports > Boating l July 10, 2012 lViews: 585

The term "Klunker" that for years became synonymous with heavy, clumsy machines, was actually the model of bike made by the Schwinn company that had something to do with the origins of freestyle

By: John D Meyers l Recreation & Sports > Mountain Biking l July 10, 2012 lViews: 270

This article is the second in a series on motivation and inspirational tips for adult figure skaters. In the first article, I discussed strategies for dealing with this times where you can't seem to

By: Lori S Robertsonl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl January 16, 2012 lViews: 184

Nothing brings out the little girl in us females more than the thought of a new figure skating dress. Yet, at the same time, nothing can scream more "bling-overkill" than a skating dress. There was a

By: Lori S Robertsonl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl January 16, 2012 lViews: 209

Ice skates for kids come in even more styles than adult skates, so it is very important to take some time and do some research before making a purchase. Find out how to choose ice skates for kids who

By: Theresa Cohenl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl January 14, 2012 lViews: 182

Ice Rinks are large bodies of frozen water, or plastics if synthetic, in which it is possible to skate where many sports and activities can be undertaken including ice hockey. Rinks made with ice can

By: Natalie Eastaughl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl January 11, 2012 lViews: 179

Inspiration and Motivation - wherever do we adult figure skaters find these to keep going on the "meh"/"blah" or down days? You know, those days where you wonder if you've made any progress in the

By: Lori S Robertsonl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl January 02, 2012 lViews: 148

In a previous article, I wrote about some of the difficulties in air travel with figure skates since 9/11. Recently several countries have changed their policies in regard to this. Based on feedback

By: Lori S Robertsonl Recreation & Sports > Figure Skatingl December 31, 2011 lViews: 155

Tax resolution services firms have a large number of different pricing models they use. Understanding these pricing models will help you make a more informed decision regarding whom you hire for help.

By: Jassen Bowmanl Finance > Taxes Reliefl March 24, 2012 lViews: 149

Tax resolution companies can be some of the most unscrupulous outfits on the planet. Don't become yet another victim of tax resolution scams. This article will show you how to identify the hucksters,

By: Jassen Bowmanl Finance > Taxes Reliefl March 24, 2012 lViews: 138

One of the difficulties that can arise from being a self-employed handyman is figuring out how to handle taxes. Understanding tax law is obviously something most people would rather not get into, due

By: Jassen Bowmanl Finance > Taxes Reliefl March 23, 2012 lViews: 140

An IRS Installment Agreement, or payment plan, is the primary means by which taxpayers with tax debts settle up with the government. A special provision in the law allows the IRS to accept payment

By: Jassen Bowmanl Finance > Taxes Reliefl March 07, 2012 lViews: 182

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus