Make the Most of Your Time Off the Ice
For figure skaters, off ice training can be just as important as your time on the ice. Of course, you want to spend as much time as possible on the ice mastering cross overs, but incorporating cross training (or off ice training) helps maintain a high level of overall fitness that will benefit your skating. Off ice training gives skaters a chance to work new muscle groups, increase endurance (critical for long programs!) and improve overall strength, flexibility and balance. Plus, it’s fun to mix up your training routine! Off ice training also carries more specific benefits like reducing the chance of an overuse injury and allowing you to work new muscle groups while those most commonly used by skaters rest.
Now that you know the benefits of off ice training, you might be wondering what exercises you can incorporate into your training. Riedell skaters Kiri Baga and Kate Charbonneau mix stretching, Pilates and ballet into their workouts to help increase flexibility and balance. Some of our Riedell Skates Facebook fans also say they take ballet. There are even skating arenas and dance studios that offer ballet classes specifically for figure skaters. It’s a great way to improve posture, flexibility, alignment and artistic abilities.
Skaters also told us they increase endurance with aerobic exercises like biking, swimming, power walking, jogging and even roller blading and roller skating. (Check out our Roller site to learn more!) These are all great options because not only will they help increase your strength and endurance, but they are low impact activities. Weight training is another way to increase your strength which will pay off on the ice—you’ll be able to skater faster and jump higher!
Remember, when you are looking for fun ways to mix up your off ice training, focus on these four elements: 1) Core strength/Stability 2) Balance 3) Strength/Power 4) Flexibility.
What cross training exercises do you use in your training routine?
Special note: Consult your coach or a doctor before integrating new exercises into your training regimen. They can help determine what is best for you!