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Is Ice Skating Harder than Swimming? A Comparative Study

Swimming is a great exercise that helps in building muscles and cardiovascular health. But is ice skating harder than swimming? Read on to find out!

Is ice skating harder than swimming? It can be tough to decide which activity is harder – ice skating or swimming.

After all, skating seems like it should be easier than swimming because you’re just moving your feet across the ice.

But is ice skating really easier than swimming? Find out in this comparative study of the two activities.

Is Ice Skating Harder than Swimming?

Is ice skating harder than swimming? Ice skating isn’t as hard as swimming since you only require ten sessions, one hour each, to learn the basics of ice skating techniques compared to the 30 sessions, one hour each, to learn the basics of swimming.

Below I elaborate on the techniques used in ice skating and swimming.

Swimming Techniques for Beginners

Learning beginner techniques is crucial for setting yourself up for success.

Here are the must-know swimming techniques for beginners.

Flutter Kick

This is the first technique beginners learn when starting to swim.

The flutter kick is a repetitive motion of kicking your legs up and down in the water.

This action helps build muscle endurance and stamina as you swim.

Starfish Float

The starfish float is a body position that helps keep you afloat.

Place your hands and feet about shoulder-width apart, as if you are starring in a movie.

Keep your back straight and chest up.

Breaststroke Kick

The breaststroke kick is a powerful leg motion used in the swimming stroke.

This technique extends your leg forward and upward, parallel to the water’s surface.

You should use this move when swimming through dense or resistance-filled water.

Sculling Water

Sculling water is a high-energy stroke that uses the whole body to move through the water.

Start by standing up straight with your feet hip-width apart. Use your hands and arms to propel yourself forward in a swimming motion.

Keep your head, shoulders, back, and hips moving at all times!

Treading Water

Treading water is an essential skill for beginners.

When swimming, tread water by sticking your feet straight to the water’s surface and keeping them stationary.

You can use this technique to keep yourself afloat or to transition from one side of the pool to another.

Dog Paddle

The dog paddle is an easy-to-use stroke that helps you stay afloat. To do this, position your feet hip-width apart and parallel to each other.

Then extend your arms forward and backward to parallel the water’s surface.

Elementary Backstroke

The elementary backstroke is a basic swimming motion used in most strokes.

To do this, start by kneeling in the water with your hands on your hips.

Then extend your legs forward and upward, parallel to the water’s surface.

Use your body to move through the pool as you swim!

Ice Skating Techniques for Beginners

Learning basic ice skating techniques is crucial for success in ice skating. Here are the must-know ice skating techniques for beginners.

Correct Ice Skating Position

To ice skate correctly, you first need to find the correct position. To do this, stand with your skater’s feet parallel.

Then angle your body so that your skater’s shoulders are directly over her ankles.

This transfers body weight to the toe balls and helps with balance.

Pushing and Gliding

You’ll need to push and glide to move around the rink when skating on ice. To push, use your arms and legs to create forward motion. To glide, keep your body still and let your skater’s momentum carry you forward.


Stopping goes a long way to preventing potential injuries and collisions at the skating rink.

To stop, use your skater’s edges to push against the ice. Keep your arms and legs extended so that you’re stable on the ice.

Then, press down your skate blades to create friction and stop moving. Ice skating-stopping techniques for beginners include the T-Stop, snowplow stop, and hockey stop.

Read this complete guide to learn how to stop when ice skating.

Safe Falling

One of the essential ice skating skills is safe falling.

When falling, always use your arms and legs to protect yourself.

Avoid falling on your head or neck, as this can be dangerous.

Instead, try to stop falling on your skater’s edge or skate away from an area challenging to skate on.

Skating Backwards

Backward skating is a great way to practice your ice skating skills.

To do this, take a few steps forward and then skate backward.

Ensure you keep your skater’s edge close to the ice, so you don’t fall off.

Two-foot Spins

First, skate forward in a straight line to perform a two-foot spin.

Then, shift your weight to your skater’s inside edge and keep your arms and legs extended.

Use this momentum to spin around on the ice.

Shoot the Duck

If you want to shoot the duck, take a few steps back from the ice.

Next, skate forward and use your skater’s edge to push off the ice.

Then, snap your skater’s legs in front of you and hold them there for a second or two.

How to Learn Ice Skating Fast

According to Aimee of Coach Aimee, a figure skating coach, it takes 4-10 hours to learn the basic skills for first time skaters, each lesson lasting an hour.

This translates to 4-10 sessions of learning figure skating.

1. Ensure Your Ice Skates Fit Properly

Your ice skates should fit snugly but not too tight.

The tighter the skate, the harder it will be to move and skate on the ice.

Too-tight ice skates also cause ankle and foot injuries.

2. Warm Up and Stretch Before and After Ice Skating sessions

Before skating, warm up your body by skating on a smooth surface for about 10 minutes.

This will increase blood flow to your muscles and help them stretch properly.

After skating, stretch your calves, quads, and hamstrings.

3. Learn Safe Falling

The first step to ice skating safely is to learn how to fall correctly.

Always try to do two things when falling: stay upright and maintain your balance.

You’ll be much less likely to get injured if you can do these two things.

4. Learn to Get Back From a Fall

Once you’ve fallen, the most important thing to do is get back up on your skates as quickly as possible.

Use your arms and legs for support rather than falling onto your butt or head.

5. Learn and Use the Recommended Skating Position

When you first learn to ice skate, you must use the recommended skating position.

This will help you stay balanced and prevent injuries from happening.

Your knees should be slightly bent and above your toes, while your shoulders should be over your hips.

How to Learn Swimming Fast

According to a Swim Now report, it takes up to 30 or 15 hours to learn the basic skills, each lesson lasting 30 minutes or one hour.

This translates to 30 or 60 sessions, depending on whether your sessions last 30 minutes or an hour.

Follow these tips if you’ve desired to learn how to swim for a long time.

1. Begin In The Shallow End

It’s essential to start in the pool’s shallow end, so you don’t feel overwhelmed.

When beginners first enter the pool, they tend to move towards the deep end, where it feels more dangerous.

Starting at a safe distance can gradually increase your time and skills in the water.

2. Buy Swimming Goggles

When you first start swimming, it’s essential to buy goggles to see what’s happening underwater.

Without goggles, you risk getting chlorine and salt in your eyes which could cause pain or even blindness.

You can find high-quality and affordable goggles on Amazon.

3. Dedicate more Time Into Practice

It takes up to 30 hours of swimming practice to develop the basic skills.

So make sure you allocate plenty of time each day for your swim sessions.

You’ll be able to see a considerable improvement in your swimming abilities after just a few weeks of consistent effort.

4. Get Comfortable With Your Face In The Water

Getting comfortable having your face in the water cannot be easy, but it’s essential if you want to improve your swimming skills.

When you first start, try using a snorkel or a facial mask so you don’t have to worry about splashes and chlorine hitting your eyes.

5. Learn The Individual Mechanics Of Freestyle Swimming

Freestyle swimming is a more advanced form that requires different mechanics than beginner-level skating.

If you want to improve your skating skills, learning the individual mechanics of freestyle swimming first is essential.

This will help you develop proper stroke techniques and reduce the risk of injury.

6. Take Swimming Lessons

If you want to improve your skating skills faster, it’s essential to enroll in swimming lessons.

Lessons will help you learn the proper techniques and speed up your progress.

Gymnasiums or specialized swimming centers typically offer swimming lessons.

Is Ice Skating Harder Than Swimming? | FAQs

1. How does ice skating fatigue the body compared to swimming?

Swimming is a much less strenuous sport than ice skating, and as a result, skaters are at risk of injuries like sprains, strains, or fractures.

Ice skaters are also prone to fatigue quickly because of the physical demands of the sport.

2. Which activity is more strenuous on the muscles – swimming or ice skating?

Regarding muscle use, swimming requires more endurance and strength than ice skating.

Additionally, your muscles are used differently when you swim underwater than when you skate on the ice.

3. Is skating one of the hardest sports?

Ice skating can be one of the most physically demanding sports out there.

Just think of all the upper body strength it takes to skate well – not to mention balance and coordination! – Not to mention the risk of falling!

Those who engage in rigorous training often find that skating is one of the best exercises for overall fitness.

Skaters report feeling stronger and more agile after practicing ice skating than any other type of exercise they’ve tried.

Is Ice Skating Harder Than Swimming? | Wrapping Up

Ice skating and swimming are Olympics sports.

In conclusion, ice skating is a hard sport, but it’s nowhere near as hard as swimming since you require more sessions to learn basic swimming techniques.

But with the information in this guide, you can decide depending on your individual goals and interests.

You can opt to become a figure skater or swimmer.

The choice is yours to make! Whatever your choice, you’ll need a lot of practice to perfect the skill.

Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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