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Thread: What do you do to increase your flexibility?

  1. #1
    Cinderella On Ice

    What do you do to increase your flexibility?

    Sorry I'm posting so many questions, but that's what happens when you're the new kid on the block.

    I'm wondering what all of you are doing to increase your flexibility -- like to get your spiral leg higher or to do your layback spins and Ina Bauers.

    I go to Pilates class once a week for an hour. I'm trying to squeeze time into my schedule to do stretching exercises 2-3x a week (but no luck finding/making the time yet). I wonder what has worked best for folks in the shortest amount of time so I can make the most of it.

    Any words of advice are welcome!

  2. #2


    What a great question. As hard as it is to schedule a stretching time into our daily lives, it is the most crucial and important aspect to become more flexible. Try to even do 5 or 10 minutes a day at first. But remember, never ever stretch on cold muscles. jope rope, jog, or bike, or something for a couple minutes before hand. Or, stretch immediately following a hot bath or shower. If your looking for specific stretches to do, go to a search engine like, or even the skateweb( and you should be able to find links to websites that will show you stretching excerises, some are even tailored to figure skaters. Besides stretching, just getting moderate excerise each day(like walking, hiking, biking, etc) will help losen your muscles. However, dont throw yourself into a rigourous training/stretching schedule, cause you most likely will burn out after the first few days or weeks. Start slow, then gradually build up from that. try starting with 5 minutes stretching per day the first week, then increase each week by a 2-5 minutes. You'll be flexible be4 you know it! And pilates is a wonderful way to gain good balance and flexibitly. I take pilates and I find it so much helpful. So is yoga. Hope that helps.

  3. #3


    The way I started stretching was in front of the tv. I told myself that I could sit on my butt and watch anything I wanted, so long as I was doing stretches or sit ups during at least 15 minutes of it. So, in this way, I started stretching more often.

    Now, I fit the stretching into my schedule by doing it immediately after I skate. At one of my rinks, there's actually a room where I can stretch, but at the other one, there's no room, so I wait until I get home.

  4. #4
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: Stretching

    Great ideas, thanks.

    Stretching is especially important for me, as my other activities tend to bind me up, rather than stretch me out. I play racquetball 3x a week, and when I'm "good" I also do strength training. Both of those leave me feeling like a little tank, since I'm not quite 5' 1" and very strong and muscular.

    So getting off my butt and stretching (or as Roaring Skates said, staying ON my butt and stretching!) is a must! I like the idea of stretching out right after skating--I'll have to see if I could get access to the fitness room. It would be great to do it after being all warmed up like that. Or maybe I should just forget what people might say and lay out a mat right in the main lobby area!

  5. #5


    Actually, even though you were joking, it isnt a bad idea to take a mat and stretch at the rink, even if its not in a seperate room. i take my pilates to the rink to stretch on, and we dont have a 'stretching room', so i just find a quiet corner or stretch near the boards. Waiting to stretch when you get home isnt too good an idea becuase 1.) you might forget, or 2.) most likely your muscles wont be as warm and will stiffen up cause of your drive home took awhile. its better, imo, to stretch within a prompt time after you skate.

  6. #6
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: mats

    I think you're right, Sk8Bunny and I can't imagine that anyone will think anything at all--after all, we're all skaters, aren't we?

    The other thought I had was to do some stretches during the day, like right before I leave for lunch and maybe right before I go home. I bought that Stretching Card Deck (it's what it sounds like--a deck of cards with different stretches on it, and it's color coded for the various parts of the body). If I would lay out a set of cards each day and do those 3-4 stretches, it might really aid in my flexibility over the long haul.

  7. #7

    Re: jump ropes & mats

    I jump rope and stretch in the lobby and nobody says anything about it. Another adult skater brings her mat and does her stretches in the lobby too.

    My warm up before I ever set foot on the ice includes jump rope and stretching, and on the advice of a physical therapist (I've got a muscle injury) from now on I'll stretch as soon as I get off the ice too. Plus he gave me some other strengthening stretches to do 2 - 3 times a week, and some jump exercises to do when my injury is healed.

  8. #8
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: jump ropes & mats

    Sk8r1964, sorry to hear about the injury. Was it skating-induced? How long till recovery?

  9. #9

    Re: jump ropes & mats

    One was double salchow induced, the other hockey skate induced.

    In December, I decided to land a double salchow in the hurdle position, with my right leg bent behind me. It wasn't a pretty sight. It healed well enough, but that was probably because I was off ice quite a bit over Christmas.

    Then in early January I was going to put on my program cd and I was doing a right one foot stop when I hit a deep hockey rut broadside. I flew into the boards and slammed my arm into the corner of the door. Deep bone bruise, but no breaks or tears, fortunately. Unfortunately, it interfered with my jumping ability. It's pretty much healed now - just twinges that don't effect the skating anymore.

    Then the weekend before my competition the leg injury resurfaced. The physical therapist said 4 - 6 weeks before I'm fully healed. It would be less if I took a few weeks off, but he and I both knew that wasn't going to happen in the middle of the competition season.

    So - I skate hard one day, skate easy the next. Doing the best I can without killing myself. I want to skate when I'm 96 too!

    BTW, Cinderella on Ice, my return PM to you got denied. Is yours turned on?

  10. #10
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: jump ropes & mats


    Hmm. I went to my account preferences and clicked on the thing that says "accept private messages." I did that last night. Is there something else I would have to do? Can you try sending again? If not, do you know where I would write to ask the question? I'm still new here and trying to figure out all the settings. I don't understand how some things work. I had checked at the bottom of these things to get email notices, and it worked for 3 days and now it doesn't work any more. Weird! I also just learned how to "turn off" or not see topics that haven't been responded to. Thank goodness, cuz it was all getting so messy for my wee little brain.

    Gosh, those are definitely some injuries. And I'm totally jealous that you're just whipping out double jumps like there's no tomorrow. I probably won't even be attempting them until summer. I just have so much to work on. Do you use Bunga pads or those padded leggings or do you just fall where you may? I've never used them in my life but wonder if it's something I should think about when the time comes for lots of falling. What do you think?

  11. #11

    Re: doubles

    Um...saying that I'm whipping doubles out like there is no tomorrow is probably a little, how should I say it, exaggerated? <img src= ALT=":o"> The reality of it is that I've squeeked out about 2 dozen double toe loops, cheated of course, no double salchows (although they were fully rotated but not landed cleanly) and no double loops (the best I can get so far is 1 and 1/2 revolutions). Didn't want anyone on the board thinking I was better than I really am.

    However, from your mouth to the skating gods' ears and I'll have them all soon enough!!!!!:lol:

  12. #12
    Cinderella On Ice

    Re: doubles

    I've sent a PM to the skating gods, asking that you and I find a couple doubles in our skating bags!

    OK, so you're not whipping them out, but you sure sound right on the verge. I'm still totally impressed! Until then, may the ice be soft if it rises to meet you, and you not take anyone out if you happen to do a butt plant!:rollin:

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