How To Do a Two-Footed Spin in Figure Skating

Learning how to do a two-footed spin in figure skating is easy and fun.  The two-footed spin is one of the easiest figure skating elements to master, and is the foundation for all other spins.  While the two-footed spin can also be done on hockey skates, use figure skates to learn the spin.  Figure skate blades are designed to spin well and distribute your weight properly, minimizing falls.

You will need:

  • a pair of figure skates
  • an ice rink
  1. Get ready.  Stand on the ice, in figure skates, with your feet about shoulder-width apart.  If you feel unsteady, you can turn your toes inward slightly.  Bend both knees slightly, keeping your back straight and your head up.  The bend should feel like a "sitting" motion, not a "leaning over" motion.  Raise your arms straight ahead of you to about shoulder height.
  2. Wind up.  Turn your shoulders and arms as far to the right as they will go, rotating from the trunk of your body only.  Your hips, knees, and feet should all stay in line with one another and point straight ahead.
  3. Takeoff.  Swing your arms toward the left in a controlled motion, like you're clearing off a tabletop.  Straighten your knees at the same time you swing your arms.  Stop the arms when they are directly in front of you and your shoulders are square with your hips and legs.  Your left shoulder will want to open up and your left arm will want to go flying off to the left, but keep your entire body in the square, neutral position throughout the spin.  If you're spinning fast enough, you'll need to engage your abdominal muscles to stay in place.
  4. Gaining Speed.  Clasp your hands in front of you and pull them straight back toward your chest, sticking your elbows out to the sides.  Once your hands are at your chest, push them downward, straightening your elbows and keeping your arms as close to your body as possible.  An advanced variation on this move is to raise the clasped hands straight over the head.  This takes additional balance and is not recommended for beginners.
  5. Exiting.  To stop the two-footed spin, you have two options.  First, you can let the spin stop on its own.  Second, you can exit the spin by pushing off with the left foot and gliding backwards on the right foot.  Impress other skaters by knowing this move's technical term: the right back outside (RBO) edge.

As your balance improves, you will begin to feel your weight shift to the ball of the left foot and the heel of the right foot during the spin.  This is normal.  It also allows you to spin faster while figure skating.  A good two-footed spin will generate anywhere from four to eight rotations.

These instructions are written for counter-clockwise spinning, which is the "default" direction for about 90% of skaters.  If you are more comfortable spinning clockwise, reverse "left" and "right" in the directions above.  You may need to try spinning in both directions to determine which one you prefer for the two-footed spin.

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