How To Do the Three-Turn Exercise in Figure Skating

In figure skating, you use the three-turn technique to change your direction—either from backward to forward or forward to backward. Although it is quite simple to do, you need to practice and do some drills in order to perfect it during your actual figure skating. Here’s how you should do it.

  • Do a warm up. You need to first warm up your hips for the three-turn. Do this by standing straight. Heels together. Stretch your arms sideways. Then, twist your hips to the sides for several counts. Make sure your shoulders don’t move as you twist your hips. When you are done with the warm up, proceed to the drill.
  • Begin to skate. You have to move in a semi-circle, gliding with your right foot as the left foot is bent and placed behind the right foot. The left foot should not touch the ground. Your hands should be stretched straight. The right hand should be at the front as you glide.
  • Do the turn. You have to change direction when you reach the curve part of the semi-circle. So twist your hip to the left so that you can glide backward and make the curve. This is where the hip-twisting exercise comes into picture. You need to twist perfectly, so you can start a turn. After twisting, you will make a 180° degree turn. Continue gliding until you complete the semi-circle.  
  • Glide with the left. After the first semi-circle, make another semi-circle move. You will have to switch the gliding foot, so this time you have to use your left foot. Push your left foot forward, while your right foot is placed behind the left foot, not touching the ground. Your left hand now should be at the front.
  • Make another turn. If you need to make a turn, twist your hip to the right. This will change your direction—from forward to backward. Now moving backward, continue gliding until you finish this semi-circle.
  • Continue with the glide-and-twist movement. Three-turn technique will basically help you glide in semi-circle. It is useful in making a turn to do the curve part of the semi-circle. Make sure to do the three-turn in a series until you have perfected doing the turns.
  • Check the curve marks. To know if you have done the three-turn perfectly, try to check the ice you skated on. You should see perfect semi-circle curves. If you see scratches instead of curves, you are not pushing your foot forward properly after completing a semi-circle.

Before doing the exercise, make sure to prepare your stuff. Wear the appropriate skates and practice clothes. Also, have some bottles of water on hand. Most likely, you will be practicing the three-turn move together with other advanced moves such as the Mohawk turn, backward crossover, and forward crossovers. You have to learn and perfect all these, especially if you are set to compete. Make sure to learn from an experienced coach who can competently demonstrate each figure skating move.


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