Tips From The Top

Valerie Palencar has been a figure skating coach for more than two decades. She recently turned her attention to the development of an on-ice exercise class she has dubbed “Icersize,” which is essentially an aerobic class on ice.

Here are her tips for beginner skaters interested in “Icersizing” their way toward healthier living.

Start with your heels together, your toes pointing out and your knees bent. Press your weight on the inside of your blade toward the heel of your foot while still bending your knees.

Allow your feet to open and your legs to glide out until they are under your shoulders and your knees have straightened.

To continue the motion, pull your toes back together with your heels pointing out (pigeon-toed) while pulling upwards in the knee. This is followed by a short two-foot glide.

Repeat this movement with a bending and straightening of the knees to gain speed.

Stay off your toe picks if wearing figure skates. The deeper you bend the knees and the more you push from the heel, the more power and speed you will get.

Originally published in February 2011