Tips to Boost Your Summer off-Ice Training
What would be a nicer way to do some off-ice training during the summer than outdoors enjoying the sunny weather? You may have limited access to ice rinks in the summer or maybe you just want to concentrate more on off-ice training and improve some of your fitness qualities. Summer is always a great season to work on something new and to take a step forward in your skating level for the next competitive season.
Whether you’re skating in the summer or not, Riedell gathered some inspiration to help boost your summer off-ice training! And don’t forget, when training outside, remember to hydrate yourself in the heat. If the temperature gets warm, stay out of direct sunshine, and enjoy your workout in shady or windy surroundings.
1. Agility and Explosiveness
Moving effortlessly on the ice requires lots of hours on the ice, for sure. But in addition to just skating, you can significantly improve your agility and explosiveness off-ice. When you want to jump higher, spin faster, gain more speed, and achieve quicker moves on the ice, these fitness qualities are something to work on!
Plyometric exercise is one of the most used and beneficial off-ice training methods for figure skaters. Plyometric training activates the quick response of major muscles. Thus, it is usually combining different kinds of jumps such as squat jumps, lateral jumps, burpees, tuck jumps, box jumps, running and so forth. Gyms with elastic jumping surfaces, boxes and other equipment are great locations for plyometric training.
However, outdoors you have all the space around you and the sky’s the limit. Imagine how you can use your surroundings! Whether you are in urban surroundings or have a possibility to go in the woods or a park, you have endless opportunities to get some great plyometric workout done.
Start your workout with a good warmup jogging around. Look around you and take advantage of all the uneven surfaces you can find – benches, stairs, rocks, hills, and wood stomps. Work with a training buddy and challenge each other. Plyometric training outdoors is a great example of how a super effective exercise routine can also be lots of fun!
Dreaming of a higher spiral position, easy Spread Eagle or Ina Bauer, or a beautiful Biellmann spin for your next competition program? Set your goals now and you can achieve that in a few months with dedicated training!
First, know that regular stretching is the key in improving your flexibility. A good tip is to do it while enjoying your favorite TV show, doing homework, sunbathing, or having a marathon call with your friend. Try to make stretching a daily habit.
Many difficult positions in skating require some extensive flexibility specifically in legs and back. As we know, a healthy skater’s body requires balanced mobility and flexibility to maintain good balance in muscles for all that jumping and hard training.
Additionally, when you’re working with your flexibility by deep stretching, it’s important to always have a good warm-up before. That’s why it’s important to stretch after each training session; when your muscles are still warm. Going over your whole body with short stretches is also a good boost for your recovery.
Strength is also a very important fitness quality for a figure skater. Balanced strength levels are needed for all moves on the ice. Especially for jumps, skaters need good leg muscle strength. What’s more, the upper body needs to be strong to be able to help the movements and hold the right positions. Many skaters know this fundamental element of skating: core strength is the key in keeping your body healthy and functional!
When training strength, it’s again time to use your imagination. If you have any equipment at home such as dumbbells, kettlebells, barbells, elastic bands and so forth, take them outside and get your gym workout done while enjoying some fresh air.
Getting out of the gym gives you such an energy boost for your training. And if you don’t have access to gym equipment, no problem! Look around you and use any heavy objects you can find: rocks, water buckets or bottles, or even your dog or a friend.
Cardiovascular training means any activity that elevates the heart rate and breathing rate. Cardio training has multiple benefits for a skater: it improves the overall fitness abilities and it improves the body’s ability to recover faster and get more out of other training methods.
Variety is key in cardio training, and summer is a great opportunity to make it fun! You can have brisk walks or runs with a friend, go for a bike ride around the city, swim, hike, or whatever you can imagine doing outdoors. That’s why we wanted to remind you about another activity – roller skating!
What would be a better way to do some cardio training than inline or roller skating outdoors in lovely summer weather with friends?
When roller skating outdoors, remember to check that you have a smooth surface. Especially for inline skating, heading to a sports field or a parking lot may be a good idea, since small rocks can trip you if getting under your wheels.
Safety is vital, so remember to properly protect yourself by wearing a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Even though skaters might have extensive experience skating on the ice without any protection equipment, falling on smooth and sliding ice is a bit different than on hard asphalt!
If you are new to roller skating, start slowly, and get used to the different feeling than on the ice. The center of gravity is a bit different on wheels than in ice skates, and naturally wheels act a bit differently than blades. Take your time to get used to the different feeling.
Remember, all Riedell ice boots are suitable for roller and inline usage as well, so you can easily purchase a pair for roller usage or use your old Riedell ice boots.