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How to Do a Basic One Foot Upright Spin On Figure Skates

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Basic Upright One Foot Spin

Basic Upright One Foot Spin

Photo by William R. Sallaz - Getty Images
A basic forward upright one-foot spin is the first spin on one foot that new figure skaters attempt and learn.

In the basic forward one foot upright spin, the free foot is placed next to the skating leg at about the knee or calf level. More advanced skaters may cross the free foot in front of the skating leg and foot to do a scratch spin.

Here's How:

  1. Do Some Back Cross Overs In a Circle:

    A common entry figure skaters use to enter basic spins is a back crossover entry. Skater do a few back crossovers in a circle. It best to do no more than three to five back crossovers.

  2. Next, Wind Up:

    Skaters do back crossovers in a complete circle to enter a basic one foot spin, and then, the last back crossover makes a curve inside of the circle that was made by the crossovers. This extra curve "winds ups" skaters just before they step into the middle of the circle to begin the actual spin.

    The "wind up" is made as the position of the arms rotate and change.

    When the arms change, the arm that was in back (and was the leading arm during the back crossovers) rotates in front, and the arm that was in front of the skater's body during the back crossovers, moves to the outside and slightly back.

    The arm on the inside of the circle that comes to the front will be lined up inside and in front of a skater's waist as the "wind up" is completed.

    The free foot is left crossed under the skating foot on the last back crossover that is also the winding up (and most important) back crossover.

  3. Step Forward:

    Next, a skater steps forward into the circle that was created by the back crossovers circle, reverses direction, and pushes into the spin. It is very important that a skater steps exactly into the middle of the circle that was created by the back crossovers as he or she completes the "wind up" spin entry.

  4. Make a Hook Pattern On the Ice:

    As a skater steps forward into the circle to begin the spin, he or she should bend his skating knee and then rise to make a quick "u" or hook pattern on the ice with the skating foot. This hook pattern is a short forward outside edge into a three turn.

  5. Spin By Making Continuous Circle Patterns On the Ice:

    When the hook is completed, it will feel as if the skater is spinning on what feels and looks like perfect (and not too large or small) backward inside circles. If the skater moves up to the toepick at all, making the circles during the spin will not work. The spin will stop automatically at that point.

    The tracings on the ice that make the circles should be double line tracings. If there are single lines made on the ice as the skater circles and spins, the skater is too far over on an inside or outside edge, and that will also cause the spin to stop.

  6. Bring the Free Foot Towards the Skating Leg:

    The free leg position skaters use during upright spins is optional. Some skaters may want to move the free foot to the calf or knee of the skating foot. Advanced skaters may want to cross the free foot in front of the skating foot and do a scratch spin.

    A skater needs to pull his or her stomach in hard and also needs to be careful not to lean or rock back on the skating blade as the free leg pulls in towards the skating leg.

  7. Pull In the Arms Towards the Chest:

    New ice skaters tend to bring the arms in to the chest too soon. A skater should try to spin for at least one to two revolutions before making fists with the hands and pulling the arms into the upper body.

  8. Enjoy Spinning and Relax:

    Do not be anxious to stop spinning. Try to complete at least four revolutions before exiting the spin.

  9. Stare At a Stationary Object to Exit the Spin:

    To prevent dizziness, a skater should focus on something in the rink that does not move (such as a flag or sign) to exit the spin. The skater should then push out backward onto a strong extended back outside edge and continue to focus on that object as he or she exits the spin on one foot and continues to skate.

More About Spinning:

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