All-level In-Season Training
Whether you’re 6 years old or 60, there’s a training schedule to suit your figure skating needs perfectly
Figure skating isn’t just for the competitive or Olympic bound, it’s a sport you can particpate in for your entire life and at any skill level that you choose. Use our guide below to see where you and/or your children best fit in. And remember, you can as easily be a beginner skater at 40 years as you can a competitive athlete at 11 years. It’s all about where you want to be and how much you want to do.
Beginner Children and Adults
THE BASICS: As a beginner skater, you’ll learn to feel comfortable in your skates through sitting, standing and marching both on and off the ice. Once you’ve gained more confidence you’ll progress to hopping and gliding on the ice. Additional skills will include forward and backward skating, spins and jumps.
TIME FRAME: On average beginner skaters spend between two to four hours a week on the ice. Some of this time will be with a coach or in a group session, while the majority is usually free practice. Practices will include such exercises as twizzles, snow plows and bubbles.
OFF-ICE SUPPORT: Commit to an hour a week of off-ice training to work on balance, coordination, core and flexibility. Planks, various hops and balancing on one leg will help to improve your on ice skills and confidence.
Plank: On elbows and toes, pull your tummy in and keep your body straight; 2 x 30 sesconds with a 30-second rest in between.
Hops: Hop on one leg, holding the landing for two to three seconds before hopping again. Repeat three to five times, before switching legs.
Balance Drills: Hold an Arabesque (Spiral position)
for five to 10 seconds then change legs and repeat three to five times.
HEALTHY TIP: Hydration is very important for good health, so aim to drink three to four glasses of water throughout the day.
Intermediate Children and Adults
THE BASICS: As an intermediate level skater you will now be looking to build on your various jumps and spins. You will also learn that your skating skills, such as backwards, forwards, cross cuts, etc are vital to connect these elements.
TIME FRAME: Your time on the ice will increase to three to six hours s a week with more one on one time with your coach. Start creating goals for what you want and need to practice on the ice. This will help you focus on what you should work on.
OFF-ICE SUPPORT: Your off-ice workouts will focus on gaining strength and improving your stamina. Two, one hour sessions a week will support your on-ice training perfectly.
Single leg squats (also known as pistol squats), burpees and plank variations are all great strength-building exercises. To build stamina, try cycling as part of a spin class or on your own on a stationary bike at the gym. Make sure to stretch every day and get at least eight hours of sleep every night, as this is when your body recovers from training. Single Leg Squats: Build up to doing three x eight-10 repetitions non-stop on each leg.
Burpees: Squat down to lie flat on the floor, then jump your legs back under you and jump up. Cycling: Participate in a spin classes or cycle on the stationary bike for are a half an hour once a week HEALTHY TIP: Nutrition and hydration now play a more important role in your everyday life, so eat a balanced and healthy diet and drink at least eight glasses of water each day.
Competitive Children and Adults
THE BASICS: Competition brings its own trials and tribulations and while these are important factors, training is the most important component for a competitive figure skater.
TIME FRAME: Seven to 10 hours or more of on-ice training with approximately four to six hours of coach-led sessions in a week. You will continue to progress through the each level of elements and field moves, as well as prepare for competitions. Your competition routines will be a key focus of your training and levels Advanced Novice or L8 will require you skate both a Short and Free program.
OFF-ICE SUPPORT: You now require two to three hours of off-ice training each week. Focus is on strength and power development with more detailed core and flexibility sessions, higher intensity conditioning and injury prevention. Including weights, such as form or barbells, kettlebells or resistance machines as part of your strength training is crucial. As is yoga to increase your flexibility and promote relaxation and a calm mind.
Barbell Back Squats: Work with a personal trainer or a qualified coach to ensure a safe technique and that the appropriate weights are used.
Kettlebell Deadlifts: Hold the kettle bell by its handle at hip height keeping your arms straight. Keeping your back straight, bend at the hips and knees to squat and lower the weight to the floor, then stand back up Box Jumps: Improve your leg power and jump height. Jump off the box and hold your landing to improve landing control. Perform three to five with a minutes rest between sets
HEALTHY TIP: Balance your nutrients, macros and calories for optimum performance by using apps such as MyFitnessPal and/or speak with a personal trainer or nutritionist.
High Performance and Olympic Children and Adults
THE BASICS: At this point you are usually a Junior or Senior skater, competing at the highest national and/ or international levels. You will be attending training camps and will have input from national squad coaches, as well as your own coaching team.
TIME FRAME: Aim to be on the ice for 15 to 20 hours per week with multiple hours of one-on-one coaching. Your time may be split into individual and group sessions, depending on your coaching set up.
OFF-ICE SUPPORT: Your off-ice training should be specific to you, to accommodate your training needs and your competitive season. Your strength and conditioning will be developed following various assessments and tests with focus on injury prevention and management. Gym workouts, conditioning sessions, pre-habilitation and injury management work will require four to six hours each week.
Kettlebell lifts such as single arm snatch, swings, high pulls and goblet squats.
Barbell lifts such as squats, deadlifts, split squats and stiff leg deadlifts.
Prehab exercises to strengthen the glutes and hamstrings to reduce the risk of knee injuries.
HEALTHY TIP: Nutrition, hydration, rest and recovery are all mandatory, as they are important factors in ensuring you continue to train smart so that you can compete at your very best.