warm ups

Stroking!!!

It seems like such a simple thing, such an obvious thing: Stroking is the base of any figure skating warm up, right?

It may be the base, but there's more to stroking than you might think. The stroking portion of your warm up needs to get your pulse rate up, warm up your muscles, help you feel your edges under you, and get you skating with the best technique right from the start so that you can do everything else. Oh, wait, that last bit... that's the hard part, so, let's start there.

Jumping the tens

Continuing in this week's theme of warm ups for ice skating practice, I want to share an exercise I call "jumping the tens". Depending on various factors, you might want to change this to "jumping the threes" or "jumping the fives". In general I'd say either do fewer jump types with more reps or more jump types with fewer reps. Of course, your personal fitness level or injury profile should also be taken into consideration when you decide how many reps to do of each jump.

Warm Up Strategies On Small Rinks

Over the course of my skating career I've spent a lot of time on very small rinks. The first rink where I ever trained was the old San Francisco Ice Arena on 48th Avenue and Kirkham. It was tiny and was the oldest indoor ice rink in the US still standing for many years before it was closed down in late 1989. The first rink where I coached was the Palouse Hills Ice Rink in Moscow, Idaho which sits inside a big U-shaped tent.

Spin Cycle

The spin cycle is a series of spins from easy to difficult, skated at the beginning of a session with no previous spin warm-up. This exercise is intended to help increase consistency across spins even on the first attempt.

There are no second chances. If a spin is good or bad, it doesn't matter. Just move on to the next one. Between spins, think about what would have made the last spin better and what you need to do to have a perfect next spin. Visualize your next spin completely. Feel it in your body from entrance to check in your imagination. Then spin.

On Ice Warm Ups

Every on-ice session needs a warm-up and a cool-down period. Some of the warm-up and cool-down can – and should – be done off ice, but warm up time on ice should not be neglected. Elite skaters often spend the first half hour of their daily ice tie on moves in the field (MIF) in a warm-up mode. By that I mean that they work on stroking and MIF patters with power and fluidity, without slowing down for technical adjustments for a full half hour.

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