Figure Skating Tips for Off-Season Training
Are you wondering, “Off-season? There’s an off-season for figure skating?” Well, it is true that competitive and professional figure skaters don’t usually have a break from skating and instead partake in some sort of training year-round. What changes from peak season is the intensity and type of training.
The off-season for figure skaters usually runs from late spring to early fall. During this time, skaters can prepare new programs, build strength and agility and use other activities to cross train. No matter what type of skating level you’re at, training is an important part of reaching your skating goals. So we’ve put together a 4-part guide to off-season figure skating training, since we’re right in the middle of it!
- Rest and sleep are just as important to staying healthy as physical training. Use off-season to your advantage by making sure you leave time in your schedule to relax. Riedell Olympian Joannie Rochette says, “To relax after skating, I enjoy taking some time to visit with family and friends, enjoy a dinner or take a nice walk in the park.”
- Cross-training with aerobics, cardio and other activities will allow you to try new things and have fun! Cross-training is a great way to focus on strength, agility, endurance and overall fitness. Many skaters practice dance, weight-lifting (if you’re old enough) and cardio during both on- and off-season as well as concentrating on off-ice jumps. These cross-training activities will help you so you’re ready to get back on the ice in the fall.
- Flexibility should be a focus year-round. Stretching before and after any exercise is essential. Taking classes in ballet, yoga or Pilates can also be fun and will help improve your performance.
- Why not attend a summer ice skating camp? Elite skaters like Riedell’s Rachael Flatt, Kiri Baga and Johnny Weir spend the summer months preparing for their upcoming competitive seasons. During this time, they practice new routines and improve elements like jumps, spins and edge work. Many young skaters can’t spend the entire summer training, although we’re sure many would love to spend that much time at the rink! Many summer camps last one week, and in that time, skaters work on a variety of skills. It is a great opportunity to focus on improving figure skating skill sets and knowledge of the sport. It also gives skaters the chance to try new things, meet new people and have fun. Earlier this week we discussed the Summer of Excellence Camp.
So maybe there really is no true “off-season” for figure skating. You can always work to improve and grow. But also make sure you stop to relax and have fun this summer! What are things you do during the off-season?