How to Do a Spread Eagle on Figure Skates

01
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Stretch Out at the Rail

Step One - Stretch Out at the Rail
Step One - Stretch Out at the Rail. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

A spread eagle is a figure skating move where a skater glides on two feet with the toes pointing in opposite directions. The legs are completely straight and spread apart.  This step-by-step tutorial gives directions on how to do a spread eagle. 

Step One - Stretch Out at the Rail

While holding onto the rail put the inside of your skates right at the edge of the rail.

  • Straighten both legs.
  • Push your hips completely forward.
  • Hold this open position for at least 20 seconds.
02
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Do a Spread Eagle at the Rail

Step Two - Do a Spread Eagle at the Rail
Step Two - Do a Spread Eagle at the Rail. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Move your feet about 10 inches away from the boards and shoot each blade out on outside edges.

The feet should point in opposite directions, and the heels of each blade should be in line with each other.

03
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Move the Spread Eagle at the Rail

Step Three - Move the Spread Eagle at the Rail
Step Three - Move the Spread Eagle at the Rail. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Use the rail to move yourself sideways in one direction and then in the other direction.

  • Maintain the spread eagle position for as long as possible.
  • Tuck in your rear end.
04
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Glide on One Foot

Step Four - Glide on One Foot
Step Four - Glide on One Foot. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Leave the rail and glide forward on one foot with the free foot extended in front.

05
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Attempt a Spread Eagle

Step Five - Attempt a Spread Eagle
Step Five - Attempt a Spread Eagle. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Next, open up your legs and attempt to do a spread eagle. Try to tuck in your rear end and don't look down.

06
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Practice Spread Eagles

Step Six - Practice Spread Eagles
Step Six - Practice Spread Eagles. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Practice makes perfect!

Most ice skaters can't do spread eagles right away, so practicing spread as much as possible will help skaters master spread eagles.  Practice spread eagles even if you believe you can't do them!

07
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Have Fun With Spread Eagles

Step Seven - Have Fun With Spread Eagles
Step Seven - Have Fun With Spread Eagles. Copyright © JO ANN Schneider Farris

Once you get good at spread eagles, take the time to have fun with them and do variations.

  • Try spread eagles with bent or straight knees.
  • Try spread eagles on inside or outside edges.
  • Use various arm positions while doing spread eagles.
  • Combine jumps, spirals, or other connecting moves with spread eagles.