Exercises required for figure skating

Off the ice exercises is as important for a figure skater as the training undergone in a rink. This is basically true for all sports where the preparation and off-sport exercises play a huge role in the level of performance on the field, court, ring or rink. Off-ice exercises improve body posture and endurance, strength and speed as well as fitness levels and all this combined help to prevent or reduce possibility of injuries. Hence, it is crucial that several core exercises be incorporated into every figure skater’s training regimen.

Figure skating is an artistic sport that is very pleasing to the eyes of the spectators. But behind the lithe movements and spins is utilisation of specific muscle groups such as legs, hips, shoulders and core region. Strength training is very necessary to increase power which propels skaters over ice and helps in performing jumps and spins.

Here are some exercises that fall in the core of a figure skater’s exercise routine.

Core muscle training

Poses and balance are crucial for a figure skating display and this is helped by the core muscles which should be developed and worked on. These include exercises specific to different areas of the back as well as strengthening of the abdominal muscle which is to be done through exercises known as planks or bridges. The figure skater has to lie on the floor on the abdomen and then prop up the upper body on forearms and elbows. The upper back is to be strengthened with dumbbell shrugs and the central back with kneeling rows. In this exercise the trainee has to kneel on the weight bench with one arm supporting the body and the other performing rows with a dumbbell on the other hand.

Strength training of the lower body

The hips and the upper leg muscles should be strengthened with lunges and squats. Weighted squats are performed with a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell resting across the lower shoulders. The weight of the bumper plates on the barbell will vary according to the structure and physique of the skater. It is advisable not to over strain and rupture core muscles. Bumper plates in Australia are available at all sports goods store or can even be ordered online. Walking lunges back and forth in a room with dumb bells in hand or barbell on shoulders is also very effective. Pointing toes inwards works on the outer calf muscles and pointing toes outward works the inner calves’ muscles.

Shoulder workouts

Dumbbells should be used for a number of shoulder strengthening exercises. A start can be made with military presses while standing or sitting with the back straight and then pushing the dumbbells above the head till the arms are fully stretched out. The same has to be done with the arms being lifted from the side to straight in front. For the best in dumbbells, bumper plates and barbells in Australia, order online from Fitek.

It is recommended that figure skaters go through a full body workout twice a week with at least a full days rest in between for recuperation of muscles.

Tips to Get Pretty for figure Skating

Figure Skating

While figure skating can be elegance and grace personified, what adds to the beauty of the sport is the shimmering makeup and gorgeous outfit of the participants. Like most sports, the age of the figure skater plays a vital role in the type of makeup, dress and hair. These are the three categories that will now be looked into in some detail.

Makeup – The main point here is that to look pretty on ice the makeup should vary between the exact skin tones to one or two shades darker. The base or foundation should be long lasting so as to go through the day’s routines. It should be applied on the face and blended into the neck. A darker shade ensures that the ice skating rink lighting along with the light reflecting off the ice surface does not “wash” out the complexion of the skater.

Other cosmetics used, regardless of the colour should also be a tone or two darker than everyday makeup and heavier than the usual type. This includes eye shadow, blusher, and lipstick. Try this for a start. Begin with a dusting of bronze and then add on a warm blush with a hint of shimmer in it. For the eyes, experiment with a golden brown liner smudged into lash lines. Remember, a figure skater should look dramatically different on ice than what she would look in person. Competition makeup is not meant to be fashionable, it is meant to accentuate her presence on ice.

The skin texture and glow also contributes to making a skater look pretty on ice, so book an appointment with salon for photo rejuvenation with IPL laser machine. You can also look for a small portable IPL hair removal machine for sale, buy it and carry out periodical skin rejuvenation processes especially before competitions.

Hair – The first principle of setting hair for figure skating is that it should be tied away from the face. Girls can be creative with their hair while preparing for skating. Ponytails, buns, braids, and French braids are acceptable. A small bun can be enlarged to a Donut bun to add volume to the face. It is also common to see decorations added to the hair style of figure skaters. A gel or hair spray is first applied to stiffen the hair and then small trinkets in bright and flashy colours can be stuck in. These can be bows or ribbons or artificial flowers that add a touch of glamour to an ordinary pulled back hair style. If a plain bun is preferred, try bun covers for that special pretty look as a figure skater.

However, hairpins are a strict no-no. A loose one that has fallen off can result in a major accident if it gets jammed between the blades. Use hair clips or bobby pins that have been tightly secured in place.

For boys, keep the hair short. This is what judges prefer. However, those with longer style can have it held back with a headband so as not to get distracted by it falling over the face.

Dress – Wear form fitting clothes that stretch rather than the tight ones that restrict movement. Skating dresses and beige coloured tights are ideal for girls. For boys, black skating pants and a plain coloured short or long sleeved shirt is fine. These should not billow out at the sleeves as it might hinder complicated routines such as “lifts”.

Gloves for both sexes are permissible.

Girls’ dresses can have a few variants. Bows and ribbons will make the skater look pretty.

However, wear the dresses worn to practice in competitions too. It will make things easier for the figure skater.

Follow these simple tips to look pretty and wow the audience both in performance and looks.

Building an Ice Rink in Your Backyard for Figure Skating

Ice Rink

Figure skating is a sport full of grace with dance styles and movements that astonish audiences around the globe. The skaters are able to achieve so much control over their body movements and literally balancing on a blade at a cost. Figure skating demands significant strength and flexibility which comes with hours upon hours of training. Whether you have ambitions of becoming an Olympic figure skater or just a capable one, you can refine your skills at home by building your own backyard ice skating rink. With a home rink time once wasted travelling to community ice rinks become extra practice hours. Moreover, unlimited practice time on home rink produces instant results.

With few essentials such as a plastic tarp, lumber, rebar stakes, garden hose with spray nozzle and staple gun you can make an ice skating rink in your backyard. Here is how to get started.

The first step in building the ice rink is to get a permit from your state authorities. The process of making the ice rink is noisy which can annoy your neighbours and they can file a complaint against you. To avoid this situation you need to have governmental approvals. Contact an expert commercial property lawyer to get advice on all the rules and regulations related to building an ice rink in your backyard.

Once you have the approval you can start building the rink. Decide where in your backyard the rink will go. An ideal spot is a large piece of lawn that is free of rocks, trees or other obstructions. If the ground is uneven the ice will vary in thickness from one end of the rink to the other. Once you’ve found a flat space measure out the desired size in a rectangular shape. Build the frame using construction boards and each board should be secured with a rebar stake.

When the rink frame has been built, line it up with a white or clear tarp (it is essential to use a light coloured tarp because dark colours absorb heat causing ice to become slush). Push and evenly smooth out the tarp until it completely covers the bottom of the frame as well as sides. Extend the tarp over the edges of the frame and onto exterior leaving enough material so that it is easy to staple it in position. Secure it at corners and at three-foot intervals along the sides. Trim away the excess or roll against the frame.

Once you are done with the framework and ready to fill the rink with water, first check the weather forecast. Provided that next few days are expected to remain below freezing point, go ahead and fill the tarp with about an inch of cold water. It should freeze within 6-8 hours, next with a spray nozzle add one inch of hot water. Repeat the process until you get 5 inches of solid ice. Test the ice by tapping all over the surface with a broomstick. That’s it your ice skating rink is ready to practice.

What is Figure Skating?

Figure skating is a sport that enthrals audiences regardless of their background and irrespective of their country, culture or religion. Full of grace, the dance styles and movements defy any attempt at description and sometimes even comprehension. That skaters are able to achieve so much control over their body’s movements and all while literally balancing on a blade, astonishes audiences around the globe. However, this does not come without a cost as it requires hours upon hours of training to perfect a routine. Even then the simplest mistake or slip during a competition can put years of relentless training to waste. If there was any sport that truly reflected the saying ‘on razor’s edge’ it is figure skating.

The whole balancing act of figure skating is based on a blade with two edges, overlapping the inside and outside of a groove. It is a mark of a top skater who can glide on the ice using only one edge of the blade at a time. Judges in competitions will also give higher marks for this technique over those who use both edges simultaneously. With a range of blades available, the different types enable skaters to perform specific steps. Blades that have large serrated teeth in front near the toes, are used for single and pair skating, while simple toe picks are utilised for jumps and take-offs. Skaters who favour smaller, intricate steps in their ice dancing routines, use shorter blades and smaller toe picks for greater control over their foot movement.

The origins of figure skating can be traced back more than a century and was the first winter sport to be introduced in the Olympics in 1908. There are 4 events in Olympic figure skating – men’s singles, ladies’ singles, pair skating and ice dancing. The international winter sports also includes two more categories for skating and synchronised skating which are both are non-Olympic events. The main manoeuvres which are awarded points include; throw jumps, spins, lifts, death spirals and moves in the field. The more difficult and intricate they are, the more points are awarded.

All figure skating competitions fall under the guidance of the International Skating Union (ISU) which includes the World Championships, Winter Olympics, The European Championships, and the Grand Prix for both junior and senior levels along with a few other international level tournaments.

The arenas and rinks for figure skating are not standardised and there is a difference in size between Olympic rinks, European rinks and NHL sized rinks. However, as per rule 342 of ISU, any event recognised by the body shall “”if possible, shall measure sixty (60) meters in one direction and thirty (30) meters in the other, but not larger, and not less than fifty-six (56) meters in one direction and twenty-six (26) meters in the other.” Typically, the size of the rink can affect the skater’s skill demonstration and their results will depend on whether they are able to give a flowing performance without being cramped for space.