Step up your skating game. It's time for physical training!
Yes, skating is a sport. All athletes do supplemental training in addition to their sport. In figure skating and hockey, we call it "off-ice". This is an essential part of your training. It is recommended that skaters do off-ice every day as part of their training, with a day off for rest and recovery. Have one day of physical rest each week (or as needed based on the individual needs of the athlete according to your coaches and medical professionals). That means no skating or off-ice. Relax, do something else that you enjoy or catch up on homework on your rest day.
What is the purpose of off-ice? First and foremost, off-ice keep you safe. Skating is a very taxing sport. It requires that all muscles are both strong and flexible. Mobility is an important part of your training: stretching, movement, joint mobilization and range of motion exercise. If your body is structurally unbalanced, you will not only be unsuccessful in skills acquisition and maintenance on the ice, but you risk injury. We have to be a good athlete off the ice before we can be a successful athlete on the ice. That means mobility, flexibility, agility and strength.
The first thing one does off the ice is warm up. I recommend jogging lightly either in place or around the vicinity of the building (some like to jog around the rink itself a few times or across the lobby). Jumping jacks are great to get the whole body moving. Last of all, JUMP ROPE!!!Jumping rope not only really gets the blood pumping, but its a quick warm up and excellent cardio.Some ropes are better than others. below are a few recommendations. You can use this blog to also shop similar products in the suggestions if these sell out. I prefer this style of jump rope.The plastic ones aren't as easily adjustable, can be too light and get kinks in them that interfere in function. Below is a link to kids rope and an adult size.
When you are exercising, you will need good shoes. I recommend shoes that tie with laces vs velcro. First, they need to learn to tie their shoes as early as possible or they will struggle tying their skates in the future. Trust me on this. Secondly and more importantly, the laces allow for a tighter and more custom fit to the foot. The shoe should have a strong heel counter, absolutely no knit fabrics that allow for a lot of movement. I will not be putting any links to shoes. I do not feel that I can accurately recommend a brand or style of shoe. Go to a sporting good store and try on shoes in person!
Next, you need a yoga mat. No exceptions. I highly recommend a thick yoga mat. Your knees will thank me when you have to kneel or if you are challenging your balance. Get your favorite color and enjoy your workout. My students all seem to like this one by Amazon basics.
This set is a great Prime Day deal and includes other items that I request that my students buy for their workouts.
Exercise bands and therabands are essential and I will be requiring my students to purchase both. If my recommended brands sell out or aren't to your liking, feel free to pick out something similar from a local store.
I like these bands because of the pouch and they are a great prime day deal.
I am planning to purchase this set for myself. Its a good deal on Prime Day.
Another good deal for Prime Day and essential. I will also be purchasing this for my personal use. Required for my skaters.
Ok hand and ankle/wrist weights are very very helpful. Fortunately, I am able to borrow some as part of my studio rental, but I do have some at home (which get neglected too often, yikes). Once children reach adolescence, they can start using some hand weights. Heavy weight lifting is not recommended for young kids and isn't particularly helpful for skaters.
Yoga bricks, balance balls and other tools are all things I useful training skaters. I will be requiring my skaters to buy them as they advance in their training. (hence recommending the set above) I am dropping links below for you to look at what is coming. Some of these will be for in home, zoom training coming soon. Parents and adult skaters, you want these for your own fitness!
These yoga blocks are a good Prime Day deal
Check out a few types of balance balls. I also like wobblers in a chair for passive improvement core strength and "stimming' for those who need that. I use the balance balls for core and balance exercises. If using for balance, check the bottom for a flat surface before purchase.
This balance pad and bands are a great deal. A balance pad is highly recommended for skaters as a daily foot strengthening tool, especially those with "wobbly ankles"! I personally plan to purchase one of these foam pads for my own "wobbly ankles", as recommended by my personal physical therapist, feet this Prime Day.
Last of all, get a stainless steel or shatter proof glass water bottle. You must stay hydrated. Plastic contains toxic, forever chemicals. That plastic bottle may have ben heated multiple times on its way to the store, with dangerous chemicals leaching into the water. Those chemicals can act as endocrine disrupters and many are carcinogenic. Is that better than dangerous dehydration while exercising? Absolutely yes, dehydration can be an immediate life threatening situation. Grab the plastic bottle if that is your only option, but plastic free bottles are best, especially for kids. I linked to two bottles that look like they are good quality.
So what do I require for my skaters? Here is the list.
Athletic attire that is appropriate for the venue
Theraband style elastics
Hydration while exercising
I hope that this was useful, while you are doing your Amazon Prime Day shopping. Now let's get in skating shape!
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