Exercises to Help Figure Skaters Do Sit Spins

How to Strengthen Your Legs and Muscles For the Sit Spin

A Young Figure Skater Does a Sit Spin On the Ice
A Young Figure Skater Does a Sit Spin On the Ice. Photo Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Figure skaters should do exercises on the ice and off the ice to help strengthen their legs. Strengthening the thigh muscles, the calf muscles, and the core will help a skater do better sit spins.  This article gives some steps in accomplishing that goal.  

Here's How:

  1. Practice bending your knees on and off the ice.

    Do as many squats and dips as possible.  If you are able to do shoot the ducks, practice those too.  Work on bending your knees and legs daily.  Each day, work at trying to get down lower and lower.  

  1. Doing lunges will also help strengthen a skater's legs.

    Just like squats and dips, the lunge position can be practiced on and off the ice.

  2. It is essential that the skater also work on strengthening his or her core muscles.

    Core strengthening exercises should be done off the ice.  Exercises that will help a skater get stronger for the sit spin include abdominal presses, abdominal crunches, planks, push-ups, and leg raises. 

Tips:

  1. Doing sit spins over and over again helps strengthen a skater's legs, knees, thighs, and core muscles. As time passes, and with practice, doing the sit spin will become easier and easier for a skater.

  2. When entering a sit spin on the ice, the skater should step onto a strong and deep outside edge curve in almost a lunge like position.  The skating knee should bend forward deeply. Then, the skater should twist into a "twisted lunge" type position.  Swinging the free leg around comes next.

  1. Figure skaters can strengthen their leg muscles by first bending down only as low as they feel comfortable.  Also, it is important to rise up slowly.  Doing this exercise, again and again, will help skaters master the sit spin position.

  2. During the spin, it is recommended that a skater stay on the front of the skating blade and, at the same time, pull the stomach muscles in hard.

  1. If the weight drops back towards the heel during the sit spin, the skater will fall. 

  2. The upper body should not be hunched over unless the skater does a position variation after he or she masters a basic sit spin. When figure skaters first learns the sit spin, they should look like they are really comfortably sitting during the spin.

  3. Relax when you do a sit spin. 

  4. It is okay to practice spinning in the dip position on two feet.  Doing so will help strengthen a skater's leg muscles and knees.

  5. If you are unable to get up on one foot by either pulling forward very hard over the skating knee, it is okay to push on the skating thigh with one or both hands to push yourself up while you are working towards mastering the sit spin. 

More About Spinning On Ice Skates:

What You Need

  • Your own figure skates with blades appropriate for spinning on the ice, rather than rental skates are essential.
  • Private lessons from a qualified figure skating coach may help you master the sit spin.