Figure skating seems to be something that its athletes are born with – natural grace, balance, artistic flair and technique come to mind – but only so much of these important traits that lead to the sport’s most successful athletes possess are down to being born with it. The rest simply involves a whole lot of practice, practice, and a lot more practice.
But you don’t have to be Tonya Harding or Kim Yuna to consistently be able to do what you want to do out on the rink – after all, many of us non-athletes skate for the fun of it. But to those of you who are budding enthusiasts, you should know that a lot of preparation goes into being ready anytime you step out there on the rink.
And that’s why we came up with 4 important ways for you to stay fit during off season so that you don’t miss a beat on your axels and turns out there, even if you’re not a professional – check them out.
1. Build And Improve Your Cardio Levels
Good cardiovascular fitness will always be a good thing to anybody practicing any sport. Building your cardio levels for skating will always be of important benefit, especially when you prepare for more explosive and high intensity workouts that will definitely and undoubtedly be the core of your workout plan as an athlete. Get your runs, jump ropes, biking, and resistance training in to build important upper body, lower body and core strength…you’ll thank us later when you do some of the exercises described in this article further.
That’s where high intensity exercise comes in – running in bursts, plyometrics, and other types of jumping.
Some examples: running, jumping rope, biking.
2. Do Compound Exercises
Endurance can be further enhanced by doing compound exercises – which are also forms of functional training. Try combining squat holds with explosive movements involving your legs and your quads to build good balance, improve muscle memory, and build power in the muscles that will be supporting your techniques out on the rink itself for extended periods. Your anaerobic systems will thank you for pushing them to the limit and strengthening themselves in the process…and in doing so, making the cardiovascular system itself work.
3. Practice Resistance Training
Resistance training is a great way to build muscle strength, particularly for the muscles that you will be most often using for ice skating – that is, your upper and lower body as well as your core. Using a machine that helps your arms, legs and your back is great if you have access to one – rowing machines are the absolute best in this regard – or classic dumbbells as the next best thing. Just make sure you perfect your form – lifting heavy means nothing unless you do it properly. Better the one who lifts light weights with perfect form rather than the blowhard who makes an ass of himself trying to impress everybody but having the incorrect form anyway.
4. Try Dryland Training
This is one of the seasoned hockey coach’s most important playbooks for training – dryland training involving high intensity interval workouts and plyometric training for much improved targeted training which will definitely complement the work you will be putting out on the rink, because the principles of proper ice skating remain the same across all ice sports.