A PowerSkater skating machine teaches Power Skating technique
Step by Step Instructions on How to Use the System
1. Starting Position
Each forward stride will start with your feet close together in the “V” position with your knees turned outward and your body centered over top of your feet (more commonly known as an athletic stance in hockey). The PowerSkater trucks (the two sliding platforms that you stand on) always start at the apex of the machine. Step on from inside the triangle of the machine. Place both feet on the trucks with your feet flat on top of each truck and your foot against the foot rest (adjust the foot rest to the size of your shoe). You will notice that your feet are in the “V” position. It is recommended that you wear athletic shoes when exercising on the PowerSkater.
With the foot rests perpendicular to the track, each push will result in a 45 ° hip opening. We recommend that younger and less skilled players learn to open their hip at a 45° angle. Older more proficient skaters may prefer a 30° setting for the foot rest. Regardless of the hip opening angle (20° or 30°) each leg extension will end up at 45° behind you glide leg.
2. Starting Posture
The body lean, knee bend, square shoulders, chest up, back straight, arms relaxed in front of your lap, and your head up are the key posture techniques to proper skating. Now that you are standing on both trucks with your feet in the “V” position, bend your knees under your body until they are 2 – 3” past your toes. Lean your body forward at your hips by pivoting at the hip, with your back straight, until your shoulders are vertically in front of each knee, bend at the elbow at an 85 – 90° angle with your hands free. Keep your head up, chest up and looking forward.
3. Forward Stride
You are now ready to begin your workout. Push either your left or your right foot outward. A proper skating stride must always be backward and outward laterally at a 30° to 45° hip opening. With the foot rests set at 45°, you push the truck backward traveling at a 45° angle from behind your body and at a 45° opening at the hip. When making a stride, take as long a stride as is comfortable. The longer the stride you take where your pushing leg knee is straight will result in greater speed when free skating. Do not move your center of gravity backward in the push, but rather keep your butt over top of the apex of the machine. The opposite knee (glide foot and leg) will be at approximately a 90° knee bend. The only time either knee should be straightened is during the push and leg extension, otherwise the knee must be well bent. Transfer your weight during the leg extensions to your locked gliding foot, maintaining your center of gravity over your upper body.
When you bring your foot forward for another stride, your knee should be well bent and your body profile needs to remain low. Do not bring your body upward, but rather make your lower body do all the work. Keep your shoulders forward. Always keep your knee in front of your glide foot. As soon as the final push has been made, the toe of the foot should be in control of the truck, returning to the “V” stopped position. The truck automatically returns ready for the locked glide position. You are now ready to make an opposite foot and leg push.
Everyone is strong in the push off phase (concentric muscle movement) and are weak on the return (eccentric muscle movement). When you skate on ice you need only to raise your returning foot an inch or so off the ice. When you skate on the machine you must keep your foot on the truck. This will train your muscle to be faster, stronger, and more flexible, translating into speed. Push off and return at equal speed. As an example if you push off at a 1.. 2.. 3.. count, then return to a 1..2..3.. count. Do not let the trucks slam to the front of the machine. Train your mind and your muscles the proper technique.
Focus on perfect form.
4. Weight and Balance
When making forward strides, your weight should always be on your gliding foot. When using the PowerSkater, your weight should be transferred to your locked foot simulating the glide. Always keep your shoulders level. Keep your head up at all times. Do not lean on any objects or put your hands on your hips or knees. Keep your balance of your upper torso directly over the “V” position of the PowerSkater. Many first time users of the PowerSkater system may experience awkward weight and balance movements. Push with your foot. Do not wiggle around by rotating your hips or by moving your knees outward before your foot moves. You may even feel like you are going to fall off the foot trucks. This is a common feeling until you learn to maintain your weight shifts, keeping your center of gravity directly under your body. In a short few workouts, your balance should steadily improve. If you have the opportunity to position a mirror well in front of you while using the PowerSkater, this will help you see your form. You can hold a hockey stick in your one hand only (out to the side), but do not use your stick as a prop or crutch for balance. I would not recommend you starting with a stick until you have developed good form and habits.
5. Arm and Shoulder Movement
Proper arm and shoulder movements are important in skating to help propel your body in the forward direction. Quite often you will see the bad habit of the skater’s arms and shoulders being thrown from side to side; thus the upper body movement is completely opposite to the lower body direction and movement. Move your arms in time with your feet and leg pushes (left arm forward – left leg outward, right arm forward – right leg outward). By never crossing the vertical midpoint of your body in your arm swing, you will learn to throw your weight forward in time with your lower body movements. As an example, push with your left foot, then swing your left arm forward with the palm of your left hand turned slightly up, never crossing the vertical mid-line of your body. To keep proper balance and full coordination in skating, it is necessary that you utilize your arm and shoulder action in coordination with your feet.
Skating is a one legged movement demanding balance by maintaining your center of gravity. The player, who develops proper technique and strength, will improve their efficiency and save energy. The player whose skating is technically sound is in a position to skate fast, is hard to take out of the play, has more energy and tires less rapidly, and will have less difficulty in learning other agility moves. On the other hand, if you have just one technical imperfection you will be seriously handicapped. Skating is a series of movements. Instructors will quite often suggest working on one thing at a time. The PowerSkater system allows you, in the privacy of your own home to workout, focusing on several movements simultaneously. Your pushes have to be at a 30° – 45° opening at the hip with your pushing leg going back behind your body at 45° movement. To reach a full leg extension, you will automatically bend your glide leg knee to a 90° bend. You will also learn to keep your balance in this position, thus training your body to lower your center of gravity. When your exercise on the PowerSkater following the correct posture, you can greatly improve your skating skill and speed.