Off-ice training for figure skating is booming with more skaters getting involved. With the emphasis of skaters performing more technical jumps, spins, pairs and dance lifts and other elements on-ice, the need for off-ice strength & conditioning training has definitely increased. Also, skaters are performing more programs and competing more throughout the year, thus the need for that skater to be physically strong and well conditioned. Finally, a majority of these skaters are attempting these technical skills on-ice, with many repetitions, and these skaters are very young with immature bodies. Therefore, there is a risk of serious musculoskeletal injuries, if not early in their skating career, than later in their skating careers.
As parents, it is very important for you to know what off-ice training is, and how important your role is in finding appropriate off-ice training for your skater. A lot of times the technical on-ice coach does not have the necessary time to research and search out a trainer for their skaters. Also, it is the parent who has the responsibility to get that skater not only to the rink, but also to the gym or health club for their off-ice training. The following is an outline of some of the guidelines for off-ice training and figure skating.
I. Why should skaters perform off-ice training?
For enhancing skating skills and performance and to reduce and/or prevent skating related injuries.
II. What are the Components of Off-Ice/On-Ice Training?
Warm-up/Cool-down with Flexibility Training
Aerobic and Anaerobic Endurance Conditioning
Periodization of all components
III. Enhancing Skating Skills and Performance through Strength, Power, Flexibility and Endurance Conditioning Training May Allow for the Following:
Enhanced posture or body positioning on the ice
Increased stroking speed or power
Increased jump height
Increased rotation speed of jumps
Increased speed of jump check-outs
Improved strength of jumping landing
Improved positioning or strength of holding spin position
Improved upper-body strength for choreography movements
Enhanced cardiovascular condition to complete short and long program with more efficiency