Is figure skating harder than gymnastics? There is a lot of controversy surrounding the comparative difficulty of figure skating and gymnastics.
Some people swear by the extreme athleticism required in both sports, while others claim that figure skating is too hard for most amateur athletes.
In this blog, I will explore whether figure skating really is harder than gymnastics, based on several factors: skill level required, physical demand and training time.
I hope you find this evaluation helpful in deciding which sport is right for you!
Is figure skating harder than gymnastics?
Is figure skating harder than gymnastics? Figure skating isn’t as hard as gymnastics. According to an ESPN study, gymnastics is ranked the 8th hardest sport with 62.500 out of 100, while figure skating is ranked 19th with 54.750 out of 100.
Here’s a table comparison between figure skating and gymnastics.
|Category/skill||Degree of Difficulty: Sport Rating|
1. Figure skating vs. gymnastics endurance
Endurance is the ability to continue performing an activity at a high level for an extended period.
There is no disputing that gymnastics requires endurance as its disciplines are based on skills such as vaulting, flipping and balancing on bars.
In figure skating, however, most routines encompass ballet-like steps and gliding across the ice surface. Overall, figure skating requires more endurance than gymnastics.
- More Reading>> Is Ballet or Figure Skating Harder?
2. Figure skating vs. gymnastics strength
Strength is the ability to generate force with your muscles. Gymnastics requires a lot of strength to maintain balance and execute difficult maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters mostly rely on their upper body and legs for movement.
This means that figure skating does not demand as much strength from athletes as gymnastics does.
3. Figure skating vs. gymnastics power
Power is the ability to generate rapid movement. Gymnastics requires athletes to generate much power in their vaulting, flipping and balance exercises.
On the other hand, figure skating skaters rely more on speed than force when performing maneuvers. Overall, gymnastics and figure skating require the same power.
4. Figure skating vs. gymnastics agility
Agility is the ability to change your direction quickly. Gymnastics requires athletes to be incredibly agile to vault, flip and balance on bars.
On the other hand, skaters use speed and grace when performing figure skating moves such as triple axel jumps and spins/rotations.
Overall, agility is a bit more emphasized in figure skating than in gymnastics.
5. Figure skating vs. gymnastics speed
Speed is the ability to travel a long distance in a short amount of time. Gymnastics requires athletes to be fast to the vault, flip and balance on bars.
On the other hand, figure skating skaters use speed and grace when performing a figure skating moves such as triple jumps and spins/rotations.
Overall, figure skating and gymnastics use relatively the same speed.
6. Figure skating vs. gymnastics flexibility
Flexibility is the ability to extend and contract your muscles. Gymnastics requires a lot of flexibility to execute difficult aerial maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters need less flexibility since most of their moves are performed on ice.
Gymnastics and figure skating require a degree of flexibility, but it is more emphasized in gymnastics.
7. Figure skating vs. gymnastics nerve
Nerve is the ability to control your body muscles. Gymnastics requires athletes to have strong nerve to execute difficult maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters use their nerves and reflexes when performing figure skating moves.
Overall, both gymnastics and figure skating require a degree of nerve control, but it is emphasized more in gymnastics.
8. Figure skating vs. gymnastics durability
Durability is the ability to withstand physical stress. Gymnastics requires athletes to be durable to execute complex maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters use their technique and stamina when performing figure skating moves.
Gymnastics require more durability than figure skating because of the rigorous maneuvers.
9. Figure skating vs. gymnastics hand-eye coordination
Hand-eye coordination is the ability to move your eyes and hands together.
Gymnastics requires good hand-eye coordination to execute complex maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters use their fingers and toes when performing figure skating moves.
According to the ESPN study, gymnastics requires more hand-eye coordination than figure skating since many moves are performed with both hands.
10. Figure skating vs. gymnastics analytic aptitude
Analytic aptitude is the ability to think abstractly. Gymnastics requires athletes to have high levels of analytic aptitude to calculate and execute complex maneuvers.
On the other hand, figure skaters use their creative minds when performing figure skating moves.
Analytical aptitude is necessary for gymnastics and figure skating, but it is emphasized more in figure skating.
How to learn figure skating fast
Here are tips on how to learn figure skating fast. You’ll find these tips valuable if you intend to pursue figure skating.
1. Take classes
The best way to learn figure skating is through classes with a qualified instructor. This will allow you to watch and learn from a professional figure skater who can teach you the proper techniques and strategies. Classes usually last one hour, so making time for them every week is essential.
2. Watch instructional videos
Another great way of learning figure skating is watching instructional videos online or on DVD.
These videos provide you with detailed instructions and help you develop your skate-based skills by practicing along with the video player software or DVD.
3. Learn the choreography
One of the best ways to learn figure skating is by learning choreography.
This means studying and memorizing each move in a given routine so you can replicate them on your ice rink anytime you want.
When learning a new piece, start with simpler moves that will help you understand how everything works before progressing to more complex steps.
4. Take practice jumps
Another great way of improving your skate-based skills is practicing jumps on your ice rink at home using proper form and technique.
Jumps are essential to figure skating and can make or break a performance.
Working on your jumps will also help you develop stronger skater-based muscles.
5. Stay motivated
Even if you’re not improving as quickly as you would like, don’t give up – persistence is essential when learning any new skill.
Keep practicing and taking classes until you reach your figure skating goals!
Other relatively hard sports
Here are other relatively hard sports for your knowledge; softball, ice dance, competitive swimming, lacrosse, ice hockey, boxing, ice skating,
How to learn gymnastics fast
Here are tips on how to learn gymnastics fast;
Get a gymnastics coach
If you want to learn gymnastics quickly and efficiently, it is essential to have a coach. A good gymnastics coach can teach you the basics of gymnastics in a fraction of the time it would take you to learn on your own.
Start with basic gymnastics skills
Before you start learning more advanced skills, it is essential to master the basics. This will help you build a strong foundation and develop coordination between your body and hands.
Find online gymnastics tutorials and videos
If you want to learn gymnastics on your own, you can use several online tutorials and videos.
You can also consider learning from gymnasts like Aly Raisman.
However, I recommend that you get a coach if possible because they will be able to teach the more advanced skills more understandably.
Use a gymnastics tracking app to measure your progress
One of the best ways to track your progress and see how you are improving is to use a gymnastics tracking app.
These apps will let you keep detailed records of your progress, including videos of your performances.
The Gymnastics Meet Tracker is an excellent app to try out.
Find individual gymnastics classes in your area.
If you can’t find a coach or want to learn gymnastics on your own but don’t have time for classes, there are often individual gymnastics sessions available in your area.
Just be sure to research the classes beforehand to find a class appropriate for your skill level and goals.
Join a gymnastics gym
Joining a gymnastics gym can be an excellent way to improve your practice and learn more advanced skills. Gyms often have coaches on staff who can teach you the basics and help you develop your skills further.
Figure skating vs. gymnastics: hardness analysis
Ice-skating/figure skating and gymnastics share some basic skills but also a few key differences.
Gymnastics is harder than figure skating because it requires more strength and balance.
Not only do gymnasts have to perform difficult movements such as handstands and cartwheels, but they also need to be able to control their body weight while on the ice.
Consequently, gymnasts often perform multiple repetitions of challenging maneuvers in each practice session.
On the other hand, figure skaters typically require less strength since most of their moves involve using their upper body or legs.
In addition, figure skating focuses more on technique than gymnastics.
Ultimately, the difficulty of a skill is relative and will depend on your physical ability and experience.
If you’re looking to start figure skating or gymnastics training, be sure to consult with a coach.