Need Recreational Ice Skates? Figure Skates?
To perform good figure
skating moves, it is helpful to have agility, flexibility, balance,
and the ability to ice skate on an edge. If you do not feel you have
a good grasp on all of these skating attributes, donít be
discouraged. You can still learn and successfully perform some of
the basic figure skating moves that Iím sure you will find quite
exhilarating; you may just have to work a little harder.
It is important to
understand the relevance of the blades when you are learning to
perform figure skating moves. Blades have two edges, the inside and
the outside. Many figure skating moves will require you to know
whether to take off on the right (foot) forward (direction of the
skater) inside or outside edge (of the blade). As you read books or
other websites about figure skating moves, you will often see
abbreviations like ďright forward insideĒ (RFI) in reference to
directions for figure skating moves.
Letís start with the
basics. Assuming you have a pair of
figure skates and are properly
dressed; make sure you warm up and stretch before working on your
figure skating moves. Proper warm-ups and
muscle stretching will help
prevent injuries and will allow you to be more flexible while
performing your figure skating moves.
Itís time to start
learning your first figure skating move - the figure eight. The
figure eight is sometimes said to be the foundation of all figure
skating moves. The figure eight is a good figure skating move to
learn first, because at least one skate remains on the ice at all
times. The figure eight should literally trace the shape of a number
eight in the ice. Figure eights may be performed by skating
backwards or forwards, and on either the outside or inside edge.
Letís start by looking the easiest figure skating move to learn, the
forward outside circle eight.
Forward Outside Edge
To get into position for
this figure skating move: stand in the T-position with your right
arm in the front of your body over the line you are going to be
making on the ice, and your left arm behind you over the line you
will have made in the ice. At this point in the figure skating move,
you should be standing with your back to the center of the circle
you are preparing to trace. As you look into the direction you are
about to skate, lower your eyes, but not your head. When you
actually begin the figure skating move, your weight should be on
your left foot.
Begin skating and move
your feet into a two-foot glide position. Push-off with the entire
blade, not just the toe. During this part of the figure skating
move, your left foot will be behind your body, turned out with the
heel over the line you are cutting into the ice. Keep your arms out
with your hands about waist level; your left knee should be slightly
bent. Keep your hips and shoulders straight and try to ride the
edge. Make an effort to stay in this position until you reach
one-half of the circle. Next, bring your left arm and leg alongside
and ahead of your right arm and leg (they will switch positions).
While performing this figure skating move, remember your posture and
keep your body straight.
At this point you will
be beginning the final third of your circle. As you conclude this
move, you will gradually begin to straighten your legs. As you do
so, as with all figure skating moves, remember to maintain good
posture. As you approach the end, bring your free foot along side
with your left arm in front of your body. Now bend your knees and
push-off into the left outside circle. As you push-off you will turn
the right skate out 90 degrees. The left skate should hit the ice at
the center, so its curve joins the one made by the right skate.
Now that you know the
basics of this figure skating move (right edge outside circle), all
you need to do to perform left outside circle, is follow these
directions, but reverse the sides.
If you are an
experienced figure skater and are looking for tips on how to perform
more advanced figure skating moves, please visit our
Jumps or Figure Skating Spins pages. These pages provide some
excellent tips on more advanced figure skating moves.
To master figure skating
moves, we recommend you seek assistance from a figure skating
instructor. If you try to master the art on your own, you are likely
to develop bad habits that will haunt you in the future. By taking
lessons from a professional instructor, you will learn how to
perform figure skating moves more rapidly, and should develop the
correct skills as you go. We encourage you to use our
Rinks locator to help you find a figure skating instructor near you.
Call the closest ice skating rink for more information.
Finally, be patient
while you are learning to perform figure skating moves, and donít be
embarrassed when your movements are not as graceful as you'd like.
Remember, every figure skater had to learn these figure skating
moves at one time or another.