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Pair Skating Lifts


Lifts are the highlight of pair skating. There are several different types of lifts that pair skaters do. This short article lists the main lifts done by figure skaters that do pairs.

1. Hand to Hand Lasso Type Overhead Lifts

Caitlin Yankowskas and John Coughlin Do an Overhead One Arm Lasso Type Lift
Photo by Elsa - Getty Images

In hand to hand lasso type overhead lifts, the lady rotates as she is lifted into the air.  She ends up facing the same direction as the man after he fully extends his arms.  It is common to see eiite pair skaters do one arm overhead lasso type lifts. 

2. Twist Lifts

Quin Pang and Jian Tong of China Do a Twist Lift
Photo by Jamie McDonald - Getty Images

In a twist lift, the man lifts the lady in the air and then throws her. She rotates and twists and then he catches her on the waist and assists her with landing.

3. Platter, Swan, or Tabletop Lift

Platter Lift
Photo by David Madison - Getty Images

In a platter lift, the man lifts his partner over his head, with his hands resting on her hips. She is horizontal to the ice, in a platter-like position.  The woman stretches out her arms and arches her back. 

4. Star Lift

Rene Inoue and John Baldwin Do a Star Lift
Photo by Matthew Stockman - Getty Images

In a star lift, the man lifts his partner from his side, by her hip, into the air. The lady's legs are usually in a split scissor type position and it looks as if she is upside down, in a split, above his head, as the man rotates and moves down the ice.

5. Lutz, Flip, or Axel Lifts (Armpit Lifts)

Young Pair Skaters Do a Lutz Lift
Schneider-Farris Personal Photos

In a Lutz, flip, or Axel lift, the man puts one hand under one arm in the armpit of the lady and the lady
places her hand on the man’s shoulder. The lady is lifted from a Lutz, flip, loop, Axel or toe jump takeoff.   Her legs are usually split in the air, but other leg positions can be done.

6. Waist Lifts (Loop Lifts)

Young Pair Skaters Show Off Their Loop Lifts
Photo Courtesy of Trudy Oltmanns

The waist lift is a loop lift.  The lift is entered with both partners skating backward.   The lady puts her hands around the man's wrists as he lifts her from the waist. The lady does what looks like a loop jump, but is lifted in the air as the man rotates and moves down the ice.  A variety of leg positiions can be done by the lady.  The man's arms can be fully extended with the lady lifted way above his head, but it also acceptable for the lady to be held lower.  Both partners exit the lift on one foot on a back outside edge.

7. Press Lift

Press Lift - Pair Figure Skating Move Press Lift
Photo by JO ANN Schneider Farris

A press lift is an overhead pair skating move where the skaters face different directions when the lady is lifted in the air and both partners fully extend their arms. This pair skating move is usually the first fully extended arm overhead pair skating lift that new pair skaters learn.

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