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Getting the most out of ice skating as exercise

“Any skating is exercise,” says Canal Park skating director Summer DaSilva. But you’ll get a better workout if you can manage to stay upright. Here are a few pointers to keep you on your toes.

Back It Up: To go into reverse, bend your knees and stick your butt out a little. “Then do the backward wiggle,” says DaSilva, explaining that the side-to-side motion is one of the first things she teaches new skaters.

Stopping: Heading directly into a wall works, but DaSilva says it’s not the most graceful technique — or the safest. Instead, go for the snowplow stop: Push forward while twisting your heels out, so your feet are in a backward V. And don’t try to use the toe picks at the front of your blades. (They’re meant for jumping, not stopping, DaSilva says.)

Falling: When you know there’s no saving yourself, just go with it. Bend your knees and try to land on your hips and rear, where you probably have more padding. To stand up, DaSilva says, roll over so you’re on all fours. Pick up one leg and put that blade back on the ice, then the other, and you’ll be gliding again in no time.

— Vicky Hallett

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