Figure Skating Practice Plan

A figure skater's practice list

Figure Skaters Practicing on ice

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Many figure skaters have a difficult time figuring out how and what to practice during freestyle practice sessions.

This is a recommended practice plan for an ice skater who is able to do "the basics" (forward and backward stroking, turns, stops, and crossovers). It is assumed that the skater can do some jumps and spins.

Start Small and Build Up

  1. First, warm up a bit off the ice.
    Take a quick jog, do some jumps off the ice, and do some stretching.
  2. Stretch at the rail.
  3. Stroke around the rink (in both directions if possible).
  4. Next, do forward crossovers in both directions.
  5. Now do backward crossovers in both directions.
  6. Next, practice all the forward and backward edges.
  7. Do mohawks and three turns.
    Advanced skaters can also do brackets, rockers, counters, and choctaws.
  8. Skaters working on US Figure Skating "Moves in the Field" tests, should run through an entire test at least once.
    If time permits, skaters should practice the required moves over and over. If time is a factor, a skater should concentrate on at least one move in the test.
  9. Now, practice forward and backward spirals.
  10. Next, do lunges, shoot-the-ducks, spread eagles, bauers, pivots, and attitudes.
    If the skater is able, it may be a good idea to also practice bielmans. Also, review both left and right t-stops.
  11. Now, go through the jumps.
    Do the jumps in the following recommended order:
    1. Bunny Hops
    2. Mazurkas
    3. Ballet Jumps
    4. Waltz Jumps
    5. 1/2 Flips
    6. 1/2 Lutzes
    7. Salchows
    8. Toe Loops
    9. Falling Leaf Jumps
    10. Half Loops
    11. Loop Jumps
    12. Split Jumps
    13. Flips
    14. Lutzes
    15. Axels
    16. Jump Combinations
    17. Double Jumps (if the skater can do doubles)
  12. Spins can be practiced between jumps or before or after the jumps.
    It is recommended that the skater do upright spins first. Also, each spin should be done several times, not just once.
    1. One Foot Spin
    2. Scratch Spin
    3. Attitude Spin
    4. Sit Spin
    5. Camel Spin
    6. Camel Sit Spin
    7. Layback Spin
    8. Back Spins
    9. Change Foot Upright Spin
    10. Change Foot Sit Spins
    11. Flying Camel
    12. Other Flying Spins
    13. Bielman Spin
    14. Spin Variations
  13. Skaters should also practice footwork sequences.
  14. The skater should run through his or her program to music at least one time during the practice session.
    The skater should make sure he or she does a complete run-through of his or her program and should not stop until the music ends. If the skater makes a mistake, he or she should keep going.
  15. After the skater completes his or her program, he or she should skate at least one full lap around the rink to build up endurance.
  16. If time permits, the skater should practice the most difficult jumps, spins, or footwork sequences over and over again.
  17. Before the skater leaves the ice, he or she should skate one good "finishing lap" around the rink.
  18. After the skater has taken off his or her skates, he or she should do some stretching and also do a "cool-down" jog.