Off the ice exercises is as important for a figure skater as the training undergone in a rink. This is basically true for all sports where the preparation and off-sport exercises play a huge role in the level of performance on the field, court, ring or rink. Off-ice exercises improve body posture and endurance, strength and speed as well as fitness levels and all this combined help to prevent or reduce possibility of injuries. Hence, it is crucial that several core exercises be incorporated into every figure skater’s training regimen.
Figure skating is an artistic sport that is very pleasing to the eyes of the spectators. But behind the lithe movements and spins is utilisation of specific muscle groups such as legs, hips, shoulders and core region. Strength training is very necessary to increase power which propels skaters over ice and helps in performing jumps and spins.
Here are some exercises that fall in the core of a figure skater’s exercise routine.
Core muscle training
Poses and balance are crucial for a figure skating display and this is helped by the core muscles which should be developed and worked on. These include exercises specific to different areas of the back as well as strengthening of the abdominal muscle which is to be done through exercises known as planks or bridges. The figure skater has to lie on the floor on the abdomen and then prop up the upper body on forearms and elbows. The upper back is to be strengthened with dumbbell shrugs and the central back with kneeling rows. In this exercise the trainee has to kneel on the weight bench with one arm supporting the body and the other performing rows with a dumbbell on the other hand.
Strength training of the lower body
The hips and the upper leg muscles should be strengthened with lunges and squats. Weighted squats are performed with a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell resting across the lower shoulders. The weight of the bumper plates on the barbell will vary according to the structure and physique of the skater. It is advisable not to over strain and rupture core muscles. Bumper plates in Australia are available at all sports goods store or can even be ordered online. Walking lunges back and forth in a room with dumb bells in hand or barbell on shoulders is also very effective. Pointing toes inwards works on the outer calf muscles and pointing toes outward works the inner calves’ muscles.
Dumbbells should be used for a number of shoulder strengthening exercises. A start can be made with military presses while standing or sitting with the back straight and then pushing the dumbbells above the head till the arms are fully stretched out. The same has to be done with the arms being lifted from the side to straight in front. For the best in dumbbells, bumper plates and barbells in Australia, order online from Fitek.
It is recommended that figure skaters go through a full body workout twice a week with at least a full days rest in between for recuperation of muscles.