Stretching is an essential part of successful figure skating. A good stretching routine can help to minimize muscle imbalances, prevent injury, and improve your skating endurance and performance. The following stretching program is designed for figure skaters who do not have any current injuries or individual stretching needs. If you have an injury, or a specific mechanical imbalance that may be holding back your skating performance, your Ascend Physical Therapy & Wellness Physical Therapist can design a stretching program more specific for your individual needs.
When is the Best Time to Stretch?
When your are warm and relaxed! For optimum performance you should stretch after you have done a general body warm up of about 5-10 minutes. This can include a combination of off-ice exercise such as light running or cycling, or on-ice quick laps that get your heart rate up. Figure skaters will need to do both dynamic and static stretching. Dynamic muscle stretches (short quick movements) form part of your pre-competition or training warm-up. They are used to prepare your muscles for the rapid contractions experienced during figure skating. Static stretches (long slow holds), on the other hand, are more useful to improve your overall flexibility and are most effective if done after your competition or training session, at the end of your cool down.
Rules for Dynamic Stretching:
Rules for Static Stretching:
Essential Stretches for Figure Skating:These muscles are your prime movers for figure skating. You'll need to stretch these muscles each time you train or before a competition. Don't forget to stretch both sides. The stretching program shown below will take about 15-20 minutes to complete.
Leg Swings side to side and front to back
Trunk rotation (quickly)
Ankle range of movement
Static Stretches for Figure Skating:
Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius)
Calf Stretch (Soleus)
Lower Back Stretch (Extension)
Back Rotation Stretch (slow and hold)