TRIA physical therapist, Meredith Bassett, and HealthPartners athletic trainer, Dani Benson, presented a variety of exercises for figure skaters for the U.S. Figure Skating Championship. They presented a stretching series, dynamic warm-up routine, and a muscle activation series that benefit figure skaters. 

Stretching series for figure skaters

  • Standing hip flexor stretch
  • Standing hamstring stretch
  • Standing figure 4 piriformis stretch

Dynamic warm-up routine for figure skaters

  • Toy soldiers
  • Walking quad stretching
  • Walking hip openers

Muscle activation series for figure skaters

  • Single leg deadlift/balance
  • Jump squats or jump lunges or star jumps
  • Skipping
  • Rotation jumps
Figure skating requires excellent flexibility at the hips and knees while maintaining stability at the core and pelvis. These exercises will help with addressing the mobility at the hips while retaining proper posture and improving core strength. Bassett also explains the differences in each series. “Dynamic stretching is to be completed prior to taking the ice in order to appropriately activate and elongate muscle tissue as it will be used during the skating session. Static stretching should be completed after the skating session to focus on improving muscle length at the targeted muscle group. In addition to skating, the core and hip muscle areas should be targeted with strength training to build strength/endurance that is specific to the skater’s body type and routine.”
“The dynamic warmup should be completed before each time going out onto the ice for both practicing and competitions. At the conclusion of each skating session, static stretches should be performed,” Meredith Bassett said. “Muscle activation/strengthening series should be completed 3-4 times a week under the supervision of an athletic trainer or physical therapist to ensure proper form and appropriate progression.”