Learning how to ice skate can be a rewarding experience, and can provide a lifetime of exercise and recreation. Our goal is to provide you with some information that will help you along as you learn how to ice skate. We will look at how to ice skate forwards and backwards by using the sculling, stroking and crossovers techniques. We will also look at how to perform turns (the three-turn and the Mohawk) while ice skating. But first, we will provide some practical tips that can help you prepare to learn how to ice skate.
As you are learning how to ice skate, you may find your muscles tensing up; this is normal. After you gain a little confidence, try to relax your body and be careful not to lock your knees. As a matter of fact, generally speaking, you should bend your knees and lean slightly forward. This will help as you try to relax your upper body, and will help keep you from falling backwards.
Attitude: As you learn how to ice skate, it is important to start out with a positive, "can do" attitude. Try not to become discouraged if it takes you a few tries before you actually learn how to ice skate. Also, be patient while you are learning, and don’t be embarrassed when your movements are not as graceful as you'd like. Remember, every ice skater had to learn how to ice skate at one time or another. It is a good idea for beginning ice skaters to visit the skating rink during the rink’s slow times. This will make the environment less stressful and allow more space to practice; helping you more quickly to learn how to ice skate.
Let’s move now to some specific guidance to help you learn how to ice skate. First, you’ll need to learn some techniques for skating in a forward direction. We will discuss three ice skating techniques here; sculling, stroking and crossovers.
The sculling technique is an excellent method for beginning ice skaters to use to learn to how to ice skate forwards or backwards. Sculling allows new ice skaters to move across the ice without having to lift either skate.
The first thing you’ll need to do is move away from the barrier. Make sure you move far enough away from the barrier so that if you fall you can’t possibly hit it. Moving away from the barrier will also help you focus on the task at hand without relying on a crutch (the barrier) if you start to fall. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to ice skate forward by performing the sculling maneuver.
1. Stand with the feet roughly six inches apart and the body weight evenly distributed between the two skates. 2. Arms straight out to the side. 3. Stand with good posture, looking ahead, back slightly arched. 4. Bend knees and tighten the ankles. 5. Turn the toes out away from each other. 6. Shift the body weight until the skates begin to separate (legs will straighten). 7. Once the legs are almost straight, turn the toes back in toward each other in a pigeon-toed position. 8. After the skates are near the location where they started, turn the toes back out and repeat this motion continuously without stopping.
The stroking technique is an excellent method for ice skaters to learn after learning the sculling technique. Stroking takes ice skaters to a new level by requiring them to skate on one foot at a time. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to ice skate forward while performing the stroking maneuver.
1. Take a position away from the barrier; at least far enough away to make it impossible to hit it in the event of a fall. 2. Begin in a t-position with the right foot forward and the left foot behind at a 45 degree angle; the ice skates should be touching. 3. The shoulders will be slightly toward the left. 4. Left arm will be slightly toward the front, the right slightly toward the back. 5. Bend both knees; the weight should be mostly on the back “left” skate. 6. To begin moving forward, shift the body weight to the right “forward” foot and push off with the left. 7. The body will be forward and the ice skater will be gliding on the right foot. 8. Once the forward motion begins to slow, bring the left foot in next to the right; weight should be distributed evenly on both skates. 9. Bend the knees, and push against the ice with the right foot - the right foot should be at a 45 degree angle when pushing off: (the ice skater will be gliding on the left foot). 10. Repeat steps eight and nine continually without stopping.
The crossover technique requires the ice skater to cross one leg over the other while skating either forwards or backwards. The crossover is similar to the stroking motion with the exception that the legs literally cross over one another. The crossover technique is an essential movement for all ice skaters to learn and perfect. The crossover will be used for going in circles, rounding corners, building speed and performing figure skating jumps, figure skating spins and other figure skating moves. The following are some tips that will help you learn how ice skate forward while performing the stroking maneuver. We will describe the right over left crossover while skating in a circle.
1. Begin ice skating using the normal stroking technique. 2. Bend the skating knee deeply with each stroke. 3. Lean the body toward the center of the circle. 4. Right arm in front and left arm in back. 5. Cross the right leg a comfortable distance across the left leg and transfer the body weight to the right skate; the right skate should now be on an inside edge. 6. Bend the right knee and begin to straighten the left knee. 7. Push with the left skate’s outside edge in a smooth, but thrusting motion. 8. Perform a normal stroking motion then repeat this process.
Now that you have learned how to ice skate forward by sculling, stroking and performing crossovers, you are now ready to learn how to ice skate backwards. Here we will look at the same the ice skating techniques, backward sculling, backward stroking and backward crossovers.
Backward sculling is performed the same as forward sculling, with the one big obvious difference – the direction. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to ice skate backwards using the backwards sculling technique.
1. Stand with the feet around six inches apart and the body weight evenly distributed between the two skates. 2. Arms straight out to the side. 3. Stand with good posture, looking ahead, back slightly arched. 4. Bend knees and tighten ankles. 5. Turn the toes in toward each other in a pigeon-toed position. 6. Shift the body weight until the skates begin to separate (legs will straighten). 7. Once the legs are almost straight, turn the toes back away from each other. 8. After the skates are near the location where they started, turn the toes back in toward each other and repeat this motion continuously without stopping.
The backward stroking technique is the next logical method for ice skaters to learn after learning the backward sculling technique. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to ice skate backwards using the backward stroking maneuver.
1. Stand with the feet around six inches apart and the body weight evenly distributed between the two skates. 2. Arms straight out to the side. 3. Stand with good posture, looking back over your shoulder, lean slightly forward. 4. Bend knees and tighten ankles. 5. Turn the left foot in with the toe pointing in the direction of the right foot. 6. Push off with the left foot and shift the body weight to the right foot; you will be gliding backwards on the right foot. 7. Lift the left foot. 8. As you begin to slow down, bring the left foot back along side the right foot and place it on the ice. 9. This time turn the right foot in with the toe pointing in the direction of the left foot, but not as inward as the initial take off (also, remember you are now moving so the push off will feel a little different). 10. Push off with the right foot and shift the body weight to the left foot. 11. As you
begin to slow down, bring the right foot back along side the left foot and place it on the ice. 12. Repeat these steps continually.
Backward crossovers provide ice skaters an excellent method for rapidly gaining speed while skating backwards. We recommend that backward crossovers first be learned by skating in a clockwise direction. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to ice skate backwards using the backwards crossover technique.
1. Begin ice skating using the normal backwards stroking technique. 2. Bend the skating knee with each stroke. 3. Lean the body toward the center of the circle, looking over the left shoulder. 4. Left arm and shoulder are back. 5. Cross the right leg a comfortable distance across the left leg and transfer the body weight to the left skate. 6. Push off with the left skate. 7. Cross the left leg a comfortable distance across the right leg and transfer the body weight to the right skate. 8. Push off with the right skate. 8. Repeat these steps.
Ice Skating Turns
As you learn how to ice skate forwards and backwards, you will inevitably need to learn how to switch from forward to backward skating, and vise-versa while skating. Here we are going to look at two ice skating turns; the three turn and the Mohawk.
During the three-turn, the ice skater can turn from either going from backward skating to forward skating, or forward skating to backward skating. If done correctly, the ice skate blades will trace the number three on the ice. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to switch directions by performing the three-turn maneuver
1. Begin skating forward on a left outside edge, and place your right foot just off the ice, and pointed toward the right. 2. Look in the direction you are skating, the left arm should be in the front and the right arm out to the side. 3. Bend both knees, keep right leg off the ice, but bring it in near the left leg. 4. Perform an outside edge with your left foot, pushing off with the right inside edge. 5. Straighten the left knee and transfer the weight to the ball of the foot. 6. Twist the upper body counterclockwise, shift the left skate, and spin it around in the opposite direction you were skating. 7. You are now skating backwards with the left arm to the back (direction skating) and the right arm to the front of the body.
The Mohawk is performed much like the three-turn, but on two feet. There are various options to performing the Mohawk turn, but we will look at one of the simplest - an inside Mohawk. The following are some tips that will help you learn how to perform the inside Mohawk turn.
1. Begin skating forward on a right inside edge. 2. Right arm should be extended to the front, left arm toward the back. 3. Bring the left foot in next to the right foot. 4. Rotate the body counterclockwise, and shift the weight to the back of the right blade. 5. When the rotation is complete, place the left skate down (pointed out away from the right foot) and perform a back inside edge. 6. You are now skating backwards with the right leg extended to the rear. 7. Right arm should now be in the back (direction skating) and the left arm to the front of the body.
Ice Skating Tips
If you are learning to ice skate, we offer several ice skating tips to help you along. We will start with what we consider to be two of the most important ice skating tips; learning how to fall, and how to stop - we will begin with falling. Please see our How to Ice Skate page for additional ice skating tips that can help you learn how to begin skating forwards and backwards.
Ice Skating Tips: How to Fall
Falling down is the single biggest risk for ice skaters. For this reason, one of the most valuable ice skating tips for any skater is learn how to minimize the risk of injury when falling. For beginning ice skaters, falling is inevitable; for experienced ice skaters, falling is a constant and real possibility. The goal for every ice skater when falling should be to avoid injuries and get back up quickly. If you are a beginner or concerned about falling, it is a good idea to wear ice skating skate protective gear (helmet, wrist, elbow, knee and possibly hip and tailbone pads).
The following represents our top 10 ice skating tips when it comes to learning how to safely fall. 1. Try to be relaxed when you fall; a limp body is far less likely to get injured than a stiff body. 2. If falling forward, keep your chin up. 3. If falling backwards, tuck in your chin – this, along with number two, will help you keep from hitting your head on the ice. 4. Try to prevent the wrists, elbows, hips and knees from hitting the ice first. 5. Always wear gloves when practicing falls. 6. Always try to land on your bottom first (when possible). 7. For extra protection, wear protective equipment as mentioned above. 8. When you do fall, pull your hands in to protect them from getting run over by other ice skaters. 9. To get up from a fall; move to your hands and knees, place one skate under you, and put the other skate under you as soon as practical, and lift yourself up. 10. When you fall, get up quickly from off the ice.
Practice Falling From a Standstill Position
1. Stand still on the ice. 2. Bend forward with your hands in front. 3. Extend your hands toward the ice, break the fall with your hands, and straighten the knees before they hit the ice (we recommend you use wrist guards at the very least when practicing falling). 4. Keep your head and chin up to prevent your head from hitting the ice. 5. Move quickly to your hands and knees. 6. Put one skate under you at a time and carefully extend your knees as you lift yourself up. 7. Practice these steps several times.
There are a number of potential ice skating tips to help you practice falling. These ice skating tips range from practicing while standing still, to practicing while ice skating forward, and
practicing while ice skating backwards. For more ice skating tips, we strongly encourage ice skaters seek professional guidance from a certified ice skating instructor. When it comes to practicing falling, seeking professional guidance is probably our most important ice skating tip.
Lastly, it is worth noting that if you are skating outside, the second biggest ice skating risk is falling through the ice while skating on ponds, lakes, etc. Always make sure the ice is thick enough to support your weight; if in doubt skate elsewhere. It is also good to scope out the surface for any other obstacles that may be in the way. Finally, always skate with a partner – your safety may depend on it.
Ice Skating Tip: How to Stop
One of the first ice skating tips every skater should consider is to learn how to stop. There are a number of different ways to stop while ice skating, but here we will discuss three – the T-Stop, the Snowplow-Stop and the Hockey-Stop.
The T-Stop is probably the best stopping technique for beginning ice skaters to learn. The T-Stop is performed with the skates forming a t-position as the name implies. To execute a t-stop, you should: 1. Begin skating slowly in a forward direction. 2. Turn one skate at a 45 degree angle and drag it behind the other skate. 3. Pull the skate that is being dragged into the instep of the lead skate. 4. Shoulders should remain straight and forward in the skating direction. 5. Arms should be out to the side. 6. Lean back slightly and shift the body weight to the rear skate that is being dragged.
The snowplow stop is another stop that is great for beginner ice skaters to learn. The snowplow stop got its name because of the ice shavings that buildup in front of the blade, resembles the snow that builds up in front of a snowplow. The snowplow stop is performed with the skates forming a pigeon-toed position. To execute a snowplow stop: 1. Begin skating slowly in a forward direction. 2. Arms straight out to the side. 3. Bend the knees, lean back slightly and push the skates apart. 4. As the skates are pushed apart, the feet should begin to form a pigeon-toed position. 5. The inside blades are used to shave the ice.
The hockey-stop is an important stop, and one that every ice skater should learn. The hockey-stop will bring skaters to an abrupt stop, even when skating relatively fast. The hockey-stop got its name because it is a stopping technique often used by hockey players. The hockey-stop is performed by turning both skates in the same direction, parallel to the direction skating. Ice skaters should learn the hockey-stop in both directions. To execute a hockey-stop: 1. Begin skating at a moderate speed in a forward direction. 2. Arms straight out to the side, skates should be slightly apart, knees bent. 3. Simultaneously, twist the shoulders in one direction and the feet in the opposite direction. 4. The lead skate will shave the ice on an outside edge, the trailing foot will shave the ice on an inside edge. 5. The hips and skates are facing to the side, the head, chest and stomach should be facing the skating direction.
Ice Skating Tip: How to Stop while Skating Backwards
There are multiple ice skating tips to help you stop while ice skating backwards. If you are skating with figure skates you can lift the heel of one of the skates and dig the toe-pick into the ice. This will not instantly stop forward (in this case backward) progress, but it will slow you down to an eventual stop. While skating on any ice skates you can use the backward Snowplow stop, and the backward T-stop; we address both below.
1. Bend both knees. 2. Turn the toe of one or both of the ice skates out (dragging it on an inside edge). 3. The inside edge of the skate(s) will eventually help bring you to a stop.
1. As you are skating backwards: 2. Bend the skating leg and lean forward. 3. Extend one ice skate behind you and turn it at a 45 degree angle. 4. Place the free skate onto the ice on an inside edge (set it down slowly to feel and adjust to the pressure accordingly). A final ice skating tip to help you to stop while skating backwards is to execute a backward turn, and stop in the now forward direction by using the forward T-Stop, Snowplow-stop or the Hockey-stop.
Ice Skating Lessons
Ice skating lessons generally provide new ice skaters with a valuable set of tools and principles that they will use for years to come. Can a person learn to ice skate without taking ice skating lessons? Yes, we know a great deal of people that have learned to ice skate on their own. Even though it is possible to learn to ice skate without formal instruction, we recommend new skaters take ice skating lessons when possible.
There are many advantages to taking ice skating lessons. First, you will learn the correct ice skating techniques. Second, you will have someone to observe your movements to make sure you are skating correctly. Third, you will likely learn to ice skate much quicker. Finally, along with many of the other advantages of ice skating lessons, you will avoid forming bad habits that will hinder you from reaching your ice skating potential.
People that desire to take ice skating lessons will normally have options for the type of lessons they choose. For example, some rinks offer private ice skating lessons. If you are not a total beginner, and/or would like to learn how to perform various figure skating moves, private ice skating lessons may work best for you. With private ice skating lessons, you will get the one-on-one attention that can help you rapidly improve your ice skating skills. You will also more quickly perfect the various moves associated with ice skating. If you are not a beginner and are serious about learning to ice skate (and can afford the lessons) private ice skating lessons are the way to go. The major drawback for some people is the cost; private ice skating lessons are normally much more expensive.
If you are not as advanced, you may be interested in taking group ice skating lessons. Group ice skating lessons are normally the best overall choice for beginners. Group ice skating lessons are less expensive than private or semi-private ice skating lessons. Also, rinks that offer group ice skating lessons often offer discounts on skates, future lessons, skating time, etc. Group ice skating lessons provides you with an excellent option to help you determine whether or not ice skating is for you. On the flip side, during group ice skating lessons you will receive very little individual skating instructions. Also, you will likely have less of a choice regarding the time you attend the ice skating lessons. You will be at the mercy of the schedule set forth by the ice rink for the group ice skating lessons.
Another opportunity to learn to ice skate is to take semi-private ice skating lessons. Semi-private ice skating lessons are often taken in addition to private or group ice skating lessons. With semi-private ice skating lessons you will learn skating techniques quicker, and on a more personal level than with group ice skating lessons. Why would anyone want to take semi-private ice skating lessons? Semi-private ice skating lessons offer more individual instruction time. Instead of 20 people taking ice skating lessons, you may only have four or five. Additionally, semi-private ice skating lessons will save you money, since these lessons are normally cheaper than private ice skating lessons.
Many rinks and arenas offer ice skating lessons. We encourage you to take advantage of Ice Skating Rink made by government of India at Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India locator to help you that offers ice skating lessons.
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