How to Do Forward Crossovers On Figure Skates

Drawing of a woman doing the crossover move in figure skating
(Larisa Gendernalik)

Crossovers are the way ice skaters move around corners. On a curve, the skater crosses the outside skate over the skate that is on the inside of the curve. This article gives instruction on how to do forward crossovers on figure skates.

First Stand on a Hockey Circle

The center circle of an ice rink is the most popular place to practice crossovers, so first, go to the center of the ice rink.

Find the hockey circle and stand on the hockey circle facing the counter-clockwise direction. Put your feet together, and line up your hips and shoulders right over your feet. Bend your knees.

Set Your ​Arms in the Correct Position

Stretch your right arm in front and line your fingers up with your belly button. Extend your left arm behind you. Both palms should be facing down.

Practice Pumping on the Circle on Two Feet

To pump on a circle, place the left skate on an outside edge on the hockey circle. With the right foot, draw a half circle from your heel to your toe. Bend the left knee as you do this.

It is important to not allow your left skate to get on an inside edge or a flat. Keep pressing your left skate to the outside.

Do a Left Forward Outside Stroke

Stroke onto a left forward outside edge using the inside edge of your right blade to push off.

Do not push with the toe pick. Extend your right leg (the free leg) back as you stroke onto a bent left forward outside edge. Keep your right arm in front as you do this and the left arm back.

Cross the Right Foot over the Left Foot

There are different ways to get the right foot over the left foot. Most beginning skaters will want to place the right foot over the left, which is okay, but as a skater advances, it is better to first place the right inside edge next to the other skate's left outside edge, and to then slide the left skate under the right.

As a skater improves at this move, some speed should be gained from the left skate's outside edge as the left blade slides under.

The edges should never change. The skater should skate from a left forward outside edge to a right forward inside edge.

As the skater does this move, he or she should work hard at staying on the correct edges, not toe pushing, and pushing with each foot.

Flex the Foot That is Crossed Under

As soon as a skater gets the right foot crossed over the left outside edge, there will be an urge to allow the leg that is under to push out with the toe pick. Toe pushing on crossovers is wrong; to prevent toe pushing, flex the left foot - the heel should be slightly higher than the toe and the free foot should be parallel to the ice. Keep both feet pointing in the same direction.

Return the Feet Back to a Parallel Position and Begin Again

Keep the free foot flexed as you bring your feet back to a parallel position. A skater should work at doing at least six to ten sets of crossovers in a row. No extra pushes between crossovers should occur.

Be Sure to Practice Crossovers in the Clockwise Direction

Most skaters find doing crossovers in the counter-clockwise direction is easier than in the clockwise direction, but all figure skaters must master crossovers in both directions.

The technique for doing crossovers in the clockwise direction is exactly the same as in the counter-clockwise direction; just turn around, put the left arm in front, and begin by pumping and then stroking on the right outside edge. Cross the left skate over the right.

Remember, no toe pushing is allowed!