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What Is an Ina Bauer?


2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa Does Her Trademark Layback Ina Bauer

2006 Olympic Figure Skating Champion Shizuka Arakawa Does Her Trademark Layback Ina Bauer

Photo by Koichi Kamoshida - Getty Images

A Beautiful Ice Skating Move:

An Ina Bauer is considered one of the most beautiful moves in figure skating.


The Ina Bauer move was invented by German figure skating champion Ina Bauer in the late 1950s. Many of the figure skaters of today just call the move a "Bauer" and do not know anything about the move's creator.

The Position of the Feet Define the Bauer:

The position of the feet on the ice is what defines the Bauer. The Ina Bauer is considered a connecting move and can be done in various ways. The basic Bauer is done with the blades parallel. The toes of each foot are pointed in opposite directions. The trailing leg is always on an inside edge. That knee does not bend. The leading leg does bend and can be on an inside edge, outside edge, or on a flat.


Some skaters do a back bend as they perform a Bauer. When the move is performed as a skater bends back, the move resembles the layback spin and is sometimes called a "Layback Bauer." Most figure skaters are able to bend back a little, but bending back is not required.

A Spread Eagle Is Similar to a Bauer:

A spread eagle is similar to the Bauer; in fact, sometimes a skater will do a spread eagle followed by a Bauer. Outside spread eagles are more difficult than inside spread eagles; similarly, Bauers done with a leading outside edge are more difficult than Bauers with leading inside edges or flats. If the Ina Bauer or a spread eagle is done just before entering a jump, the level of the jump's difficulty increases. Thus, Bauer or spread eagle jump entries earn skaters more points.

Shizuka Arakawa's Trademark Ina Bauer:

2006 Olympic figure skating champion Shizuka Arakawa did a beautiful layback Ina Bauer at the Olympics. In her winning performance, she bent back all the way with her head completely upside down. The Ina Bauer is now considered her trademark move. In Japan, when fans see the move, they don't call it an Ina Bauer; instead they refer to it as the "Arakawa way."
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