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 Skater Fitness - - TABLE OF CONTENTS - by Tim Silvester

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.

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