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Get Active!

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How to Do It

Figure Skating

Girl ice skating

What you'll need

Skates. These are like roller skates, except, instead of wheels, the boots have a blade. Make sure the boot is snug in the heel and supports your ankle. You should be able to rent skates at your local ice rink and get help finding the right skates. You may also want to wear a helmet if you're just starting out to prevent a head injury when you fall on the ice!

Warm clothes. Even in indoor ice rinks, it can get cold — particularly after a spill on the ice! Make sure you wear gloves or mittens to keep your hands warm.

Play it safe

Be a courteous skater — always be aware of other skaters and follow the traffic flow of the rink. Also, keep your skate laces tied tightly so that you don't trip yourself or anyone else up.

Skating can be hard work, and puts a lot of stress on your leg and back muscles, so be sure to warm up before you skate and stretch those muscles well.

How to play

The graceful figure skaters in the Olympics make it look so easy — but performing jumps and spins on the ice takes time and lots of practice!

To help you stay on your skates, practice good posture. This helps you balance your weight evenly over the skates and keeps you from falling — whether you're coming out of a sit spin or just skating in a straight line! If you do feel yourself starting to fall, however, make sure you bring your hands, arms, and head into your body to absorb the shock of hitting the ice.

Try these basic steps to get started:

Forward skating — Start off with one skate slightly in front of the other. Bend both legs and push off with your front leg, then switch.

Stopping — The basic stop is called a snowplow. Keeping both knees bent, shift your weight to one foot, then turn the other foot inward at an angle. Gradually shift your weight to the angled foot, which will slow you down and eventually bring you to a stop.

Interested in learning more? Check out the US Figure Skating site at U.S. Figure Skating.

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