If you’ve got your sights on competitive figure skating, or want to take your recreational skating to the next level, your training away from the ice is just as important as your sessions at the rink.
Successful figure skaters excel in four main areas: strength, flexibility, power and balance. We’ve rounded up our top 10 exercises that you can do at home to improve these four areas, and maximise your performance on the ice!
Strength Exercises For Figure Skaters
Stronger muscles mean more power, and greater endurance to get you through your programs. Figure skaters should primarily focus on strengthening the core and leg muscles.
Improving your lower body and core strength translates into higher jumps, more balanced landings and a better ability to maintain different spin variations.
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
The single leg Romanian deadlift is a fantastic exercise for improving your balance and coordination, as well as strengthening your muscles around the hip, knee and ankle.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can progress this movement by adding in a kettlebell or dumbbell.
Kettlebell Sumo Squat
Sumo squats are great for developing your lower body, with a particular emphasis on your inner thighs. This helps with hip and knee stabilisation, helping you to land your jumps every time.
Known as one of the most worthwhile core strengthening exercises, the dead bug helps figure skaters to build essential core stability. It’s also super effective at developing your coordination, helping you to strengthen that mind-to-muscle connection needed to reach those higher technical scores.
Flexibility Exercises For Figure Skaters
From perfecting your Beillmann spin to landing a Lutz jump, figure skaters need a pretty sizable degree of flexibility in almost all elements.
Muscle flexibility determines the angles of your hips, knees and ankles when you takeoff and land; but this will also affect the quality of your stroking, crossovers, spins and footwork. Building your flexibility through stretching exercises off the ice will mean you hit the right angles every time.
Hip Flexor Stretch
With all that focus on strengthening your core and lower muscles, hip flexors are a priority for stretching and improving flexibility. Maintaining hip mobility is also important for keeping up with all the twisting, bending, squatting and hinging involved in figure skating.
Standing Calf Stretch
Stretching out your calf muscles keeps your ankles mobile, helping to absorb the impact of your jumps. This is also a vital stretch to maintain ankle stability, creating a secure platform to push off and land on during your programs.
Working towards performing the splits is a fundamental building block in figure skating, with even the most basic elements requiring some degree of hamstring, hip flexor and glute flexibility.
If you’re not quite able to do the splits just yet, go through this stretching routine to work towards performing both side and front splits.
Power Training For Figure Skaters
Developing your fast-twitch muscle fibres through power exercises is vital for speed on the ice and explosive elements like jumps and turns.
Training for power will not only improve your rapid muscle fibres, but it will also develop your cardiovascular fitness; so you can complete your programs without looking or feeling completely exhausted.
This full-body callisthenics movement has a huge range of benefits for figure skaters, from improving your cardiovascular health, to increasing your range of motion, balance and posture — all critical elements for a successful figure skater.
Being able to push off the ground with power is vital for successful jumps in your program — and this is one of the easiest exercises that you can practise off the ice.
Interval sprint training is hugely effective at training the anaerobic system in figure skaters, helping you to improve your cardiovascular system. The best part about interval training is that you can gradually increase the exercise intervals to eventually match the length of your long program.
Bonus: Yoga For Figure Skaters
Helping you to develop strength, balance, and flexibility, yoga is the perfect off-ice exercise to complement your figure skating regime.
Focusing on functional strength and balance, yoga will help you to develop your stabilising muscles with massive benefits on the ice, from skating on one foot to making your spins look controlled.
No matter what your off-ice exercise routine is, remember that rest and recovery is just as important to your performance.
Once you’re ready to get back to the rink, check out our huge range of top quality figure skating equipment, perfect for novice ice skaters right through to professionals!