How To Do a One Foot Glide on Ice Skates

An Ice Skater Glides on One Foot
An Ice Skater Glides on One Foot. Bernhard Lang / Photographer's Choice Collection / Getty Images

Gliding forward on one foot on ice skates is a basic move that all figure skaters and ice hockey players must learn and master. This short tutorial will help new ice skaters master this move.

Related Articles:

  • How to Move Forward on Ice Skates
  • How to Stroke Forward On Figure Skates
  • Extended One Foot Glide
  • Learn to Figure Skate



Time Required:

The time it takes to master this skill will vary from skater to skater.

With practice, gliding forward on one foot on the ice will become easy.  It is recommended that a skater practice basic ice skating skills as much as possible.  

Here's How:

  1. Glide on two feet first.  You may want to gain some speed by taking a few walking like steps. Bend your knees and maintain balance by putting your hands on your hips or puting your arms out in front of you on an "imaginary table."

  2. Transfer your weight to the foot you want to stand on as you glide.  You may find it difficult to do this.  It is recommended that you first glide on one foot on the leg that feels stronger.  For many new ice skaters, the right foot may feel stronger than the left foot.

  3. Lift up the other foot while gliding on an edge.  Even though you wish to glide forward in a straight line, your blade will not glide on the flat of the blade.  The blade should be slightly pressed to either the outside edge or inside edge.

  1. Hold the one-foot glide for a distance equal to your height.   Holding the glide for a long period of time may be dificult at first.  

  2. It is helpful to lift up the free hip slightly.   In addition, if a skater uses his or her core stomach muscles, the one foot glide might last longer.  


  1. Don’t swing your arms around.  Some skaters will hold their arms in front at waist level; others may put their hands on their hips. 

  1. Don't lift up the leg too high.  Put the free foot to the back of the heel during the one foot glide.

  2. Pull in the stomach muscles.  Pulling in the stomach muscles may help a new ice skater maintain balance during the one foot glide.

  3. Make sure you skate on an edge since gliding on the ice does not work if the blade is on a flat.

  4. Lift the free hip up slightly.  If the hip drops, the skater may end up back on two feet.

What You Need:

  • Ice skates that fit
  • Gloves and/or mittens
  • Warm clothing
  • An ice rink
  • It is recommended that a skater consider taking a group skating lesson or private ice skating lesson from a qualified figure skating coach.