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Stretching Exercises for Figure Skaters

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Figure Skater Matthew Savoie Stretches Before a Practice Session at the 2006 Winter Olympics

Figure Skater Matthew Savoie Stretches Before a Practice Session at the 2006 Winter Olympics

Photo by Yuri Kadobnov -Getty Images
It is important that figure skaters stretch before and after skating. Stretching daily will make a skater's body more flexible, so the skater will have more power when he or she performs. Stretching also improves a figure skater's posture and decreases chances of injury. This is a short list of recommended stretching exercises for figure skaters.

These exercises should be done at least once a day, but twice a day is better. Hold everything for ten to thirty seconds. Do each exercise five times.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you in a slight split. Lean forward.

  2. Next, grab your feet and stretch forward.

  3. Now, bend your knees while your legs are still in a split. Let your feet touch one another. Twist your body to the left knee and then to the right knee.

  4. Split your legs back out straight. Again, twist your body to the left and then to the right.

  5. Lay on your stomach in a "Frog" position. Clasp your fingers behind your back. Your feet should be touching. Now grab your feet with both hands. Hold for a count of ten.

  6. Next, do the same exercise, but grab one foot with the opposite hand.

  7. Grab both feet again, lean backwards and try to touch your head to your feet. You should still be on your stomach.

  8. Now, sit on your knees and lean straight back.

  9. Lie on your back again with the legs straight. Pull each straight leg (one at a time) over the head while laying flat on your back.

  10. Now, do the above, but pull each leg sideways across your body.

  11. Lay on your side. First, stretch your left leg forward, then up (sideways), and then stretch your left leg back. Now, do the same thing on the other side with your right leg.

  12. Lay back on your back. Pull both legs straight up; then let both legs split out. Next, hold the back of both legs and pull the legs toward your face.

  13. Stay in the above position with your legs split out. Bend both knees and allow the feet to touch.

  14. Now, change to the upright position and try to do the splits. Keep your hips closed. First split with your right leg in front and then switch to the left leg.

  15. Next, bend the front knee and lunge forward.

  16. Then, sit on your hips and do side lunges.

  17. Stand up. Bend forward and touch your hands to the floor. Then grab your hand to your knees and straighten your knees.

  18. Try to do horizontal splits with the legs split out sideways.

  19. Go to a rail or bar. Put one foot on the bar. Slide your foot forward into a gradual split.

  20. Straighten up. Face the leg that is on the bar and bend towards it. Now, bend sideways towards that leg. Be sure to do this exercise on both sides.

  21. Turn around and so an arabesque (spiral) with your foot still on the bar. Stretch the front of your body all the way to the floor. Then, lean all the way back. Now, slide backwards into a full split.

  22. Next, face the bar, and slide sideways on the bar into full splits. Again, lean towards your leg and then lean backwards.

  23. Now, hold on to the bar with one hand. With your other hand grab your extended leg in front of your body. Let go of the leg and put your arm to the side. Move the extended leg to your side and grab the leg again. Hold for a count of ten and then let go. Move the extended leg to the back and repeat. Do this exercise on both legs.

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