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Best way to increase skate speed and balance?

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Old
04-07-2010, 12:02 AM
  #1
DrZoidberg
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Best way to increase skate speed and balance?

Anyone have some training tips or ideas?

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04-07-2010, 12:39 AM
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HowToHockey
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foot speed

I think speed and balance would go hand in hand, balance comes with building the muscles.

If you really want to focus on balance then get a swiss ball, there are 1000 different balance drills you can do on those.

Also look into balance boards. You can make them yourselves and they work the leg and core muscles.

For speed you need to build / train your fast twitch muscles. You can do this with foot speed drills and line drills Here's a link foot speed drill

For the foot speed drills the idea is to do them as fast as possible, time yourself, see how long it takes you to do 5 reps, then try to beat your time.

Also run up and down your stairs (if you have them)

That will get you started

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04-07-2010, 12:50 AM
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Hockeyfan68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrZoidberg View Post
Anyone have some training tips or ideas?
Don't get old

Sorry ... old guy here and I could not resist.

Well one question I have is what is the level of hockey you are playing or planning to play?

It would help others in giving advice since many here have played serious organized hockey.

Example Beer league = Drink more beer

Rusty Blades League = Take your arthritis meds

Etc ...

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04-07-2010, 01:05 AM
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take some power skating classes. or if you have the money, private lessons from a good figure skating coach.

main thing is just practice skating as much as you can... go to as many public skates as you can make it to and try to work on some solid technique, no use reinforcing bad habits.

First don't lean over very much. bend your knees (but NOT your upper body... think of your upper body like a tree trunk, only thing that should be bent are you knees.

work on your stroking. you want to push your weight down into your skates, and push each foot out hard to the side (not behind you... there's no power in that)

your one knee should be bent, and other foot that you are pushing out to the side should be fairly straight when you are pushing out.

one thing I find works good for the kids I teach in terms of learning better balance and being able to make better and sharper turns-- is skating fast towards the red faceoffs dots (where you'd take a faceoff on an offside) and making as sharp as turn as you can around the circle.

try and do that about 6-10 times or so as fast as you can going counter-clockwise, and make your turn as close as you can to the circle. then do it again going clockwise.

Also try to skate without your stick as much as possible until you feel you have really improved your balance. A lot of people will lean on their stick too much and end up not having proper balance. Try skating with your arms out to your side, keep your torso straight (not leaned over) and bend those knees.

Once you get that down, you can work your way onto leaning over and moving your arms for some extra momentum... but not until you have got the proper basic skating techniques down first.

so until then, keep your arms out straight to the side, bend your knees and keep a steady torso. Work on this, and I promise you will notice improvement.

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04-07-2010, 01:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
I think speed and balance would go hand in hand, balance comes with building the muscles.

If you really want to focus on balance then get a swiss ball, there are 1000 different balance drills you can do on those.

Also look into balance boards. You can make them yourselves and they work the leg and core muscles.

For speed you need to build / train your fast twitch muscles. You can do this with foot speed drills and line drills Here's a link foot speed drill

For the foot speed drills the idea is to do them as fast as possible, time yourself, see how long it takes you to do 5 reps, then try to beat your time.

Also run up and down your stairs (if you have them)

That will get you started
Talk about destroying your knees. I wouln't recommend that one at all.

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04-07-2010, 03:19 AM
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Running doesn't destroy knees if you do it right. If you run on the balls of your feet like we have evolved to do rather then the heel like we get accustomed to with fancy running shoes, the energy is absorbed by muscle instead of joints.

A few everyday sorts of things you can do:

Running up and down stairs is a common recommendation for improving footspeed, and it's something you can do in everyday life. Take every step, but do it as fast as you can. And wear shoes that force you to do it right- anything with thin and minimal padding is great for forcing proper technique, think a pair of chucks.

As for technique with skating, biking uses similar muscles. Train those. Go to the gym and put the bike into a muscle building routine and put it on the highest level you can handle. If it allows you to choose type of routine, do the explosive interval one. It'll go from easy to resistance, back to easy, then to a harder resistance, then to easy, then to an even harder one, and so forth. That will help get you that explosive stride. If you don't want to go to the gym, just going out biking in the real world will help.

For balance, balance balls are good, but so is going out hiking and finding a rocky area, and hopping from rock to rock.

If you want to get really hockey specific, Russian boxes are amazing, they combine all of the above aspects.

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04-07-2010, 03:27 AM
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nullterm
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Get your technique down before you worry about anything else.

Powerskating or go to a public skate/stick n puck with someone who knows how and get them to give you pointers. Then as much ice time as you can just focusing on technique in your stride.

I've seen guys with spare tires outskate guys that were in great shape.

Get your proper stride down so you skate more efficiently and the speed will come. Then conditioning will help.

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04-07-2010, 05:00 PM
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Badger36
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You also might want to to read the book, "Power Skating". My girlfriend bought me that book for X-Mas and its great.

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04-07-2010, 05:48 PM
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HIIT (Hi Intensity Internal Training, thinking alone the lines of sprinting for 60 seconds, then resting 30, things like that) and Plyometrics are your friends. Increasing muscular endurance of certain leg muscles often tends to help balance, as well as sometimes improving explosiveness. Increasing endurance is often easiest to do, just ride the exercise bike with mild resistance for 45 minutes. BTW, sprinting up stairs will wear you out too.

Oh, and see this, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High-in...g#cite_note--2

"A popular regimen based on a 1996 study[2] uses 20 seconds of ultra-intense exercise (at 170% of VO2max) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated continuously for 4 minutes (8 cycles). In the original study, athletes using this method trained 4 times per week, plus another day of steady-state training, and obtained gains similar to a group of athletes who did steady state (70% VO2max) training 5 times per week. The steady state group had a higher VO2max at the end (from 52 to 57 ml/kg/min), but the tabata group had started lower and gained more overall (from 48 to 55 ml/kg/min). Also, only the Tabata group had gained anaerobic capacity benefits.
[edit]
Little Method

An alternate regimen based on a 2009 study[3] uses 60 seconds of intense exercise (at 95% of VO2max) followed by 75 seconds of rest, repeated for 8-12 cycles. Subjects using this method trained 3 times per week, and obtained gains similar to what would be expected from subjects who who did steady state (50-70% VO2max) training for five hours per week. While still a demanding form of training, this exercise protocol could be used by the general public with nothing more than an average exercise bike." Id.

The little method is safer because proper Tabata, getting to 170% VO2 max is practically impossible for some people without really serious potential health effects.


Last edited by BadHammy*: 04-07-2010 at 06:42 PM.
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04-07-2010, 09:54 PM
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HowToHockey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
Talk about destroying your knees. I wouln't recommend that one at all.
You just have to do it properly. It is common for football players to run stadium stairs.....and rocky did it!

I did it when I was playing competitively, I would hit every step on the way up and down for foot speed, and doing every other step would build my leg muscles.

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04-07-2010, 10:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nullterm View Post
Get your technique down before you worry about anything else.

Powerskating or go to a public skate/stick n puck with someone who knows how and get them to give you pointers. Then as much ice time as you can just focusing on technique in your stride.

I've seen guys with spare tires outskate guys that were in great shape.

Get your proper stride down so you skate more efficiently and the speed will come. Then conditioning will help.
Came here to post this. Take powerskating lessons, best thing you can do to improve skating.

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04-07-2010, 10:33 PM
  #12
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You have to be objective and ask if it's your body or technique that need work, then go from there...

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04-07-2010, 11:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumbo View Post
Talk about destroying your knees. I wouln't recommend that one at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cptjeff View Post
Running doesn't destroy knees if you do it right. If you run on the balls of your feet like we have evolved to do rather then the heel like we get accustomed to with fancy running shoes, the energy is absorbed by muscle instead of joints.

A few everyday sorts of things you can do:

Running up and down stairs is a common recommendation for improving footspeed, and it's something you can do in everyday life. Take every step, but do it as fast as you can. And wear shoes that force you to do it right- anything with thin and minimal padding is great for forcing proper technique, think a pair of chucks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
You just have to do it properly. It is common for football players to run stadium stairs.....and rocky did it!

I did it when I was playing competitively, I would hit every step on the way up and down for foot speed, and doing every other step would build my leg muscles.
Running up stairs doesn't do damage to your knees, but running down them sure can.

The reason is that the elevation of the stair (going up) prevents your leg from fully extending, making sure that the force is transferred to the muscle that you're trying to work. When you're going down stairs, the elevation drop means that the leg has a chance to fully extend, and combined with the force of running downhill, has a much higher risk of a connective tissue injury.

If you run downhill in a squatting position, it relieves most of that stress.

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04-07-2010, 11:29 PM
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WhipNash27
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Plyometrics for speed and quickness and if you're willing to try it (which I have once and sucked terribly ) yoga for balance.

Of course proper skating technique also helps .

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04-08-2010, 12:24 AM
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budster
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I am a fan of biking--ride to work everyday. This has been a good way to compel me to exercise because sometimes I lack discipline to work out. So my advice, make your work out your transportation. Rollerblade or bike to work/school if it's not too far.

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04-08-2010, 12:46 AM
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HowToHockey
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I am a fan of biking--ride to work everyday. This has been a good way to compel me to exercise because sometimes I lack discipline to work out. So my advice, make your work out your transportation. Rollerblade or bike to work/school if it's not too far.
Good call, biking uphill gets you bonus points

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04-08-2010, 12:53 AM
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Originally Posted by beavboyz View Post
Good call, biking uphill gets you bonus points
Or an exercise bike with the max uphill setting, talk about sweating

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04-08-2010, 01:13 AM
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Good call, biking uphill gets you bonus points
Biking is definitely key...

I may still be awful - but I am getting faster, and alot of it has to do with just being on the ice during public skates wearing some gear like elbow pads and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to skate hard.

The biking is tremendously helpful for endurance as when I've played open hockey after about an hour or so the other, more talented players are sucking wind, but even though my effort has been as hard as theirs, I can easily go for another hour of intense play.

I cycle 3/4 times per week, about 18-20 miles each time, usually over non-flat terrain, but I pedal hard throughout, knowing that it will benefit my hockey play.

As an old-timer like H68, I try to do exercises that are gentle/low-impact on my sore knees. The night before I play I usually will just ride a shorter distance, so as not to extend myself and leave myself "fresher."

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04-08-2010, 01:15 AM
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04-08-2010, 03:28 PM
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nullterm
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No one mentioned, but rollerblading helps. If you're just looking at your basic stride and balance for speed. Especially if you can find an uphill, you'll get a real good workout at the same time.

If you can, blade to work on your commute instead of biking.

Having played with roller hockey guys who can skate like the wind, and yet have any idea how to stop. heheh

Just don't use rollerblading as a template for anything outside of basic strides, cause it's very very different as far as edges vs wheels. But it's better than not having 24/7 ice to access.

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04-08-2010, 03:37 PM
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Gunnar Stahl 30
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i really just think you have to go out on the ice and practice and dont be afraid to fall. power skating really helps because you learn technique

off ice stuff helps but not really until you are a really strong skater and the only way to do that is to be on the ice....

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