Picking up a new sport is always a tricky business. While you want to put your all into it and really master the sport, there is also that voice in your head telling you to proceed with caution. The last thing you want to do is suffer an injury that not only results in a setback when learning the sport but even keeps you from going about your daily life.
If figure skating is the sport that you are in the process of learning, it’s important to be aware of the most common injuries so you can then prepare yourself and make sure you stay safe. Here we’ll take a look at various tips that can help you to master the sport in a safe and fun way.
The Most Common Injuries
When it comes to figure skating, there are a number of common injuries that people of all ages and all levels of experience can sustain. Of course, as a beginner, you can be more susceptible to these injuries, as your form is still being perfected. Common injuries include wrist sprains or fractures, ankle sprains or fractures, overuse injuries, cuts, bruises, and scrapes. You can check out this blog on Riedell Skates for more information, as it’s the best blog for figure skaters of any level.
While simple cuts, scrapes, and bruises won’t have any sort of lasting impact on your daily routine, a sprain or a fracture can be a lot to deal with. You’ll potentially be looking at time off work, multiple visits to doctors, and in some cases even physiotherapy in order to fully recover.
As for how to avoid the injuries listed above, there are a number of safety tips that you can follow.
Invest in the Right Boots
First off, you want to be sure you are using skates that fit properly. If they are too big or too small, you can run into problems. If you plan on taking your figure skating to the next level and even competing in the sport, custom boots could be the best way to go. These will fit your foot best, helping you to avoid injury.
So, what is the best fit on a figure skate? It’s always recommended that you buy the size that fits right now. Parents often buy skates a bit larger for their child thinking they will “grow into it”, but that won’t necessarily happen and they risk injury in the meantime. So buy to fit your foot at that moment.
When trying on your skates, wear a pair of thin socks rather than thick woolly ones. This is the recommended footwear for everyone, contrary to what you may have thought. Once the skates are on and tied up, you should be able to place your index finger in behind the heel. It should be a tight squeeze, with only half a finger-width recommended by experts.
Check to see how the boot is fitting across your foot. Is it too tight or do they appear to fit well? You will also want to stand up in your skates and take a bit of a walk. Pay attention to see if your heels are lifting, as they should stay snug in place within the boot. You also need to be able to stand up straight without the ankle feeling too tight or as though it will make you buckle forward.
Safety Tips to Follow
Once you’ve got a good fit, the next tip is to take the time to do some light stretches before you step on the ice. This will help to loosen up your muscles and joints, which will allow them to perform better. Even just a few stretches in the change room before you lace up your skates is all it takes.
It’s also advisable you invest in protective gear such as a helmet, wrist guards, and knee pads. When you are just starting out it’s wise to expect you will fall here and there, so when you’re wearing the protective equipment the results of a fall will be very minor.
There’s also nothing wrong with a day of rest. Pushing yourself when your body just isn’t feeling up to it is often a recipe for disaster. If you don’t have the strength or energy, it’s best to put it off for another day. The last thing you want to do is end up with an injury due to over-use.
Finally, you want to take your time and not push yourself too much. Of course, you want to learn as much as you can, as fast as you can, but just like with anything, mastering the sport of figure skating takes time and practice.
Enjoying the Sport in a Safe Way
These tips will help ensure that you enjoy the sport in a safe way.