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Dude Asks Latest Articles

How To Skate Backwards?

Written by:
Reviewed by: Sara Madsen
How To Skate Backwards?

Skating backwards is not only a crucial skill for ice hockey players but also a fundamental technique in figure skating, roller derby, and many other sports. However, for beginners, it can be a daunting and tricky task to learn. Skating backward requires more balance and coordination than skating forward, which can be unnerving at first. But fear not! With the right technique and practice, anyone can learn this essential skating skill. In this article, we will delve into the step-by-step guide on how to skate backwards, as well as equipment, common mistakes, and tips to make the process smoother. So, let’s lace-up and skate our way backward!

1. The Basics: Essential Techniques for Skating Backwards

If you’re a beginner and want to learn how to skate backwards, you must first develop the basic techniques required for backward skating. This can be achieved by following certain steps and tips outlined below:

Starting Position:

To start, you need to get in the right position before moving backwards. Keep your knees slightly bent, with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.

Push and Glide:

Next, you’ll need to push off with one foot while gliding on your other foot. Use your toes to push off, while extending your leg behind you. Keep your movements smooth and controlled to avoid losing balance. Practice this motion repeatedly until you feel confident enough to move on to the next step.

Tip: Always keep your focus straight ahead. Don’t look down at your feet, as it can affect your balance.


Stopping while moving backwards can be tricky, but learning how to do so is crucial. You can use a few techniques, such as the “plow” stop. This involves bending your knees and turning the toes of your skates inward. This will create a snowplow effect which slows you down gradually.

Tip: Avoid trying to stop suddenly as it can lead to loss of balance and falls.

With proper practice and persistence, you will find that mastering the basic techniques of skating backwards becomes easier over time. Remember, the key to success is consistent practice and perseverance, so be patient and keep pushing forward.

2. Common Mistakes When Learning to Skate Backwards and How to Avoid Them

How to Skate Backwards:

Learning to skate backwards can be a challenging feat. It requires practice, patience, and persistence to perfect your technique. However, some common mistakes can hinder your progress and make it harder for you to improve. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when learning to skate backwards, and tips on how to avoid them.

1. Falling Backwards

Falling is a natural part of skating, but constantly falling backwards can be discouraging and may lead to injuries. Most beginners tend to lean too far back and lose their balance, causing them to fall. To avoid this mistake, ensure that your upper body is steady, and your weight is equally distributed on both feet. Keep your knees bent and your torso centered, with your hips slightly forward. This will help you control your balance and avoid falling back.

2. Using Your Toes

Another common mistake is trying to push off with your toes. Skating backward requires using the edge of your blade to propel yourself. Using your toes may cause you to lose balance and fall backward. Instead, push off with the heel of your skate and roll your feet to the outside edge. This motion will help you move backward with more control and speed.

3. Not Looking Back

Many skaters tend to look down when they first start skating backward, which can cause them to lose their balance and fall. When you’re skating backward, it’s important to keep your head up and look behind you. This will help you stay aware of your surroundings and avoid collisions with other skaters. It will also help you keep a steady pace, and adjust your movements accordingly.

In conclusion, skating backward can be tricky, but these tips can help you avoid some of the most common mistakes that beginners make. By staying balanced, using your edges, and looking behind you, you’ll be well on your way to perfecting your backward skating technique.

3. Transitioning to Skating Backwards: Tips for Advanced Skaters

Once you’ve mastered the basics of skating backwards, it’s time to take your skills to the next level. Here are some tips for advanced skaters looking to transition to backwards skating.

1. Practice Swizzles Backwards

Swizzles are a great way to build momentum and agility when skating forwards, but they can also be used to improve your backwards skating. To practice backwards swizzles, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent. Push off to the side with one foot and bring the other foot in behind it, creating a “C” shape with your blades. Alternate feet and focus on maintaining your balance and a smooth, continuous motion.

2. Learn Backward Crossovers

Backward crossovers are essential for efficient and fluid backwards skating. To perform a backward crossover, start by skating backwards on one foot and crossing your other foot behind it. Then, push off with your crossed foot and bring your other foot around in front of it. Keep your weight centered over your skates and practice this motion on both sides until you can do it seamlessly.

3. Build Core Strength

Maintaining good posture and balance is key to successful backwards skating, so building core strength is important. Exercises like planks, Russian twists, and leg raises can all help to strengthen your core and improve your balance on the ice.

With these tips and some dedicated practice, you’ll be a pro at skating backwards in no time. Just remember to always warm up properly before hitting the ice and to wear appropriate protective gear to ensure your safety.

4. Improving Your Backward Skating Speed and Agility with Drills & Exercises

Improving your backward skating speed and agility is crucial for both beginner and advanced skaters. Here are some drills and exercises that will help you achieve faster and more effortless backward skating:

1. T-Drills

T-drills are a great way to work on your backward skating speed and agility. To perform a T-drill, start in the middle of the ice facing one of the goal lines. Skate backwards until you reach the blue line and then pivot, turning forwards, before skating forwards to the red line. At the red line, pivot again and skate backwards to the opposite blue line before pivoting yet again and skating forwards to the far goal line. Repeat this drill several times.

2. 360-Degree Turns

360-degree turns are another effective way to improve your backward skating agility. Start by skating backwards in a straight line and then perform a 360-degree turn in one direction, before continuing to skate backwards. After a few strides, perform another 360-degree turn in the opposite direction and continue skating backwards. Practicing this drill will improve your hockey agility, control, and balance.

3. Resistance Band Training

Resistance band training can help you build strength and endurance in your legs, which can translate to improved backward skating speed and agility. Wrap a resistance band around your waist and tie it to the boards, facing away from the boards. Skating backwards, perform quick strides while pulling against the band’s resistance. Repeat this drill for several sets.

Implementing these drills and exercises into your skating routine will help you improve your backward skating speed and agility over time. Remember to practice consistently and focus on proper technique to ensure you are maximizing the benefits.

5. Mastering Backward Crossovers: Advanced Techniques for Skaters

Once you have become comfortable with the basic techniques of backward skating, it’s time to focus on mastering backward crossovers. These advanced techniques require more coordination and agility, and can take some time to perfect. In this section, we will cover some tips and drills to help you master backward crossovers.

Tip #1: Keep Your Knees Bent

One of the biggest mistakes skaters make when attempting backward crossovers is not keeping their knees bent. Straightening your knees not only makes it harder to maintain your balance, but it also makes it more difficult to complete the crossover. Keep your knees bent to allow for a smoother and more fluid movement.

Tip #2: Shift Your Weight

Another important aspect of backward crossovers is shifting your weight from one foot to the other. As you cross over, transfer your weight onto the foot that is crossing over, and then quickly shift it back onto the other foot after the crossover is complete. This will help you maintain your momentum and keep your movements fluid.

Drill: Figure Eight Crossovers

One effective drill to help you master backward crossovers is the figure eight drill. Set up two cones in the shape of a figure eight, and then skate backwards around the cones while completing crossovers. Focus on keeping your knees bent, shifting your weight, and crossing over as smoothly as possible. As you improve, increase your speed and aim to complete the drill in a shorter amount of time.

Mastering backward crossovers takes time and practice, but by following these tips and drills, you can improve your agility and speed on the ice. Remember to keep your knees bent, shift your weight, and practice regularly to see progress over time.

People Also Ask

1. What is the correct stance for skating backwards?

To skate backwards, keep your knees bent and your weight centered over the middle of your feet. Your shoulders should be relaxed with your arms in front of you for balance. Lean slightly forward and push off with one foot while gliding on the other.

2. How do you stop when skating backwards?

You can stop when skating backwards by performing a “T-stop”. Bring one skate perpendicular to the other and drag it behind you, applying pressure to the wheels to slow down. Alternatively, you can also do a “hockey stop” by turning both feet to face forward and using the inside edges of your skates to make a sudden stop.

3. What are some tips for learning to skate backwards?

Start by practicing on the flat surface and focus on maintaining your balance and proper posture. Practice gliding and using one foot to push off while the other foot glides. Also, try skating backwards in a circle, and gradually increase your speed as you gain more confidence.

4. How can I improve my backward skating speed?

Improve your backward skating speed by focusing on your leg strength and developing a powerful leg push-off. Also, try using advanced techniques like crossovers and transitions to gain more speed while skating backward.

5. Is it easier to skate backwards on rollerblades?

Skating backwards on rollerblades may be easier as they have a shorter wheelbase and provide a more stable base for balance. However, the basic principles of skating backwards on inline skates are the same as on ice skates or roller skates.


Skating backwards can be challenging for beginners, but with practice, it can become a fun and exciting skating skill. Focus on maintaining proper posture, balance, and leg strength while practicing different techniques like crossovers and transitions to improve your backward skating speed and control. Remember to always wear protective gear and skate with caution to avoid accidents or injuries.

Brenda Block

Brenda Block

Freelance Journalist/Editor
I navigate the bustling world as a freelance journalist with an insatiable curiosity for uncovering stories that resonate. With my background in communication and a keen eye for detail, I specialize in reporting on local events, health, and environmental issues. Passionate about storytelling, I am devoted to bringing to light the diverse voices and narratives that shape the vibrant community here at Dude Ask website. In addition to my journalistic endeavors, I also serve as an editor, meticulously refining content and overseeing the editorial process to ensure the highest quality standards are met. This role has honed my ability to collaborate effectively with writers, offering guidance and feedback to enhance their work while maintaining the integrity of their unique perspectives. Outside of my professional pursuits, I'm an avid reader and explorer of my city's hidden gems, constantly seeking inspiration for my next article or adventure.

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