How To Do A Spiral In Figure Skating

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Step 1

The spiral is riminiscent of an arabesque, as in ballet. Therefore, it is very easy – and preferable – to practice on the ground before moving onto the ice.

Stand by a ledge (such as a windowsill). If there are no ledges available, an open section of wall also works (though a ledge at about chest-level is preferable). Face the wall; don’t tilt in any direction. Place your hands lightly on the ledge. Keep in mind as you do the spiral that you aren’t LEANING on the wall; the ledge is simply there in case you lose your balance.

Step 2

If you have one side that you already know is significantly more flexible, you may want to begin with that side. Pick your favorite side – flip a coin, if you have to – and lift that leg off of the ground. As your leg goes up, your chest goes down, just like a teeter-totter; just make sure that as your chest lowers, it also stays arched. Your head should remain up along with the arching; where your nose points is where you’re going to go. You don’t want that to be the ground; or the ice!

Step 3

Raise your leg to hip level – above, if you can! In a competition, your spiral must be at least at hip-level to qualify. Remember that you are a teeter-totter, to arch, and that you aren’t going to lean on the wall; the arching should keep you from leaning. As you are raising your leg, be sure to turn out the whole leg from the hip; not just from the toe or the knee. Point your toe and straighten your knee. Not only do all of these things make your spiral look better, but they will make it higher and keep you balanced better.

Hold your spiral in this position, starting at twenty seconds. Once you work on perfecting your spiral and feel comfortable staying in that position, extend the amount of time that you remain in that position.

Step 4

Now to transfer it onto the ice. It is easily transferrable once you have learned it off the ice. In many cases, learning any move off the ice first will help you greatly to perform it on the ice.

There are two entrances: early beginners can start from basic forward stroking. More advanced skaters can perform the spiral as they would in a test session; stand at the far edge of the blue half-circle for the hockey goal at the end of the rink. Do one left forward stroke, a right forward stroke, and then a right-over-left foward crossover, one left forward stroke, and then stand up on your right leg and go directly into a spiral.

When performing the spiral, your weight should be slightly forward; not on the toe nor back on the heel. Keep your arms out to your sides; remember, don’t lean! You are just doing a basic spiral right now. Remember to be a teeter-totter, arch (with your chest up), turn your leg out, and point your toe.

When you get to the red half-way line or have held the spiral for four seconds, switch feet by pushing onto the other foot. Do not take a lot of time to get into position; it should only take a moment, or else you also risk losing your balance.

Congratulations! You are doing your first spiral.


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