Activities Sports & Athletics Learn How to Ice Skate in 10 Steps Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Skating Basics History Gear Lessons Famous Skaters Inline Skating Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Other Activities Learn More By Jo Ann Schneider Farris Jo Ann Schneider Farris was a silver medalist in junior ice dancing at the 1975 U.S. National Figure Skating Championships and is the author of two books on skating our editorial process Jo Ann Schneider Farris Updated January 30, 2019 Ice skating is a sport you can learn at almost any age. It gives you a good aerobic workout and can improve your balance and coordination. Over time, you'll also strengthen your leg muscles, improve your joint flexibility, and have more endurance. Health benefits aside, ice skating is fun. You don't need anything except access to an ice rink and the willingness to try something new. Wear clothing that is warm and lightweight and that allows freedom of movement. A helmet isn't required, but if you're afraid of falling, a hockey or snowboarding helmet can give you some added protection (and confidence). You don't need your own ice skates when you're learning how to skate; you can rent your skates at any public rink for a small charge. But owning your own skates gives you a performance advantage and a custom fit that allows you to improve as a skater. 01 of 10 Off the Ice: a Proper Fit Hero Images/Hero Images/Getty Images Whether you rent skates or buy your own, make sure your skates fit properly and that you have tied them correctly. Don't be afraid to ask someone who works at the rink for help. Your skates should fit snugly but comfortably. 02 of 10 Find the Entry Door Westend61 / Getty Images Most indoor ice rinks are surrounded by a soft mat or carpet that makes it possible to walk safely to the ice rink's surface. The mat also protects ice skate blades. If you own your skates, walk to the ice surface with skate guards on. Remove the skate guards just before you step onto the ice. Do not walk on concrete or wood with your skates on. 03 of 10 Get on the Ice and Hold Onto the Rail DusanManic / Getty Images Some skaters are frightened when they step on the slippery ice surface; others are excited. Use the rail to acclimate to being on the ice, especially as you make your first skating moves. 04 of 10 Move Away From the Rail Hero Images / Getty Images Once you work up some courage, move just a bit away from the rail. Bend your knees slightly. Don't let your hands and arms swing around. 05 of 10 Practice Falling and Getting up on the Ice Hero Images/Getty Images Be ready for that first inevitable fall by practicing. Bend your knees and squat into a dip position. Fall to the side and lean a bit forward as you fall down. Put your hands in your lap. Turn over on your hands and knees. Take one foot and place it between your hands. Then take the other foot and place it between your hands. Push yourself up to standing. 06 of 10 Move Forward Hero Images / Getty Images After mastering falling down and getting up, it's time to skate forward. Start by marching in place, then march and move. Next, do short "scooter" steps with one foot at a time. Pretend you are riding a scooter down the street. You can keep your arms in front on imaginary scooter bars for balance. When you are comfortable with the scooter steps, try alternating scooter steps. Take a step on the right foot, rest on two feet, and then step onto the left foot. Try pushing from one foot to the other, and skate around the rink. 07 of 10 Learn to Stop B Bennett / Getty Images Push your feet apart and use the flat of the blade to make a bit of snow on the ice and do a snowplow stop. The toes point inward (pigeon-toed). This is similar to skiing. 08 of 10 Practice Gliding on Two Feet YinYang / Getty Images March or step across the ice and then "rest." Glide forward for a short distance on two feet. 09 of 10 Do a Dip Huntstock / Getty Images In a dip, a skater squats down as far as possible. The arms and rear should be level. This is a great exercise to warm up your knees. First, practice doing a dip from a standstill. Once you feel comfortable gliding forward on two feet, practice dips while moving. 10 of 10 Have Fun Ice Skating Frank van Delft / Getty Images Ice skating is fun, so enjoy your time at the rink. After you master these steps, play games on the ice or try to spin, skate backward, glide on one foot, or do forward or backward swizzles. And once you learn the basics, you can stick with gentle laps around the rink or advance to figure skating or ice hockey, depending on your interest.