Ina Bauer (element)

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Figure skating element
Element name:Ina Bauer
Element type:Moves in the field
Inventor:Ina Bauer

An Ina Bauer is a "moves in the field" element in figure skating in which a skater skates on two parallel blades. One foot is on a forward edge and the other leg is on a backwards and different parallel edge. The forward leg is bent slightly and the trailing leg is straight. If the leading leg is on the inside edge, the move is known as an inside ina bauer. If the skater is on the outside edge, it is known as an outside ina bauer. Many skaters bend backwards while performing this move, although this is not required. The most flexible skaters can bend over almost completely backward. When performed this way, the move is called a layback Ina Bauer, after the layback position.[1]

The move is named after Ina Bauer, who invented it.


Ballet 4th position with flat shoes.

The Ina Bauer element is an extended fourth position in ballet in terms of where the feet are placed. However, the front leg is bent and the back leg is kept straight. It can be entered into through an inside-edge spread eagle, and, like the spread eagle, is commonly used as an entrance into jumps, adding to the difficulty level of the jump under Code of Points. It can be used as an entrance to any jump because the element can be performed on either edge. For example, after the skater exits the Ina Bauer position, a double Axel jump can be executed.

The Ina Bauer can be performed on the inside edge or the outside edge. The outside edge Ina Bauer is considered more difficult than an inside edge. The back position is not mandatory, although most skaters will at least bend a little. The most flexible skaters can bend their backs until their head is nearly upside down.

The Ina Bauer is also a position for the lifting partner in ice dancing lifts.[2] In this case, the lifting partner does not bend backwards.


In singles (inside edge)[edit]

In singles (outside edge)[edit]

In pairs skating[edit]

In ice dancing[edit]

In synchronized skating[edit]

In Japan[edit]

Shizuka Arakawa performs her signature layback ina bauer.

Shizuka Arakawa of Japan is famous for her flexible take on the Ina Bauer, during which she bends her back backwards until her head is upside down. This move was highlighted in Arakawa's winning free skating program at the 2006 Winter Olympics, where she performed an outside edge Ina Bauer, then performed a three jump combination (triple salchow-double toe-double loop). Because of this publicity, the term "ina bauer" has been transliterated phonetically into the Japanese word イナバウアー and has taken on a new meaning. It is a "vogue" word that has come to mean anything having to do with bending over backwards, because the term was repeated so often that many people mistakenly thought that "ina bauer" referred to the back position,[3] not the skating involved (the back position is more exactly called the layback position, making the move combined with Arakawa's back position a "layback Ina Bauer"[1]). In Japan, it is also known as the "Arakawa way" or the "Arakawa type" (荒川のように), after Shizuka Arakawa.

The term has become so popular in Japan that Asahi Breweries has attempted to trade mark it.[4] However, that attempt was blocked because it is a proper name and Bauer refused to give the rights.[4]

Also in Japan, in the preview to the fifth episode of Prince of Stride, where Ayumu Kadowaki pulled his own version of the sister hoax, he said his sister was Ina Bauer, which would have been impossible since Bauer died in 2014 aged 73, even when the story is set in the future (2017).


  1. ^ a b Wessling, Susan (December 2007). "Shizuka Arakawa: Living the Dream". International Figure Skating. Boston, MA: Madavor Media. 13 (6): 50–51. ISSN 1070-9568.
  2. ^ "ISU Communication No.1391" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2007-09-30. (631 KiB)
  3. ^ The Arakawa Effect | Sports | Trends in Japan | Web Japan
  4. ^ a b Asahi's Ina Bauer patent hopes dry up | The Japan Times Online

External links[edit]