Learn how to Develop Skating Technique for Speed on the Ice.
There are two areas that you get speed:
1) using proper skating technique and
2) being able to move your feet fast.
They must come in that order. Fast feet without proper technique will not produce speed.
Do you want to be a great player? Great Hockey Players are finely tuned athletes with great training and conditioning with sculpted muscles for power, speed, agility, and explosiveness reaching peak performance on command even under fatigue. Their skating has become subconscious as they maneuver down the ice cutting, turning, spinning, hitting, passing, and shooting at high rates of speed.
Our brains are wired not to hurt ourselves in any athletic move or event. If you are weak turning in one direction due to weak muscles, then your body will slow down to cautiously turn in that direction. If you are lacking balance, then your body will stiffen and straighten up in traffic, trying to avoid a hit or soften the blow, rather than preparing or giving the hit with confidence and strength. Improve your skating skill and you will be able to do everything else on the ice better! Make your skating subconscious and confident so that your brain now looks for openings and opportunities.
How many times do we see players prepare for a check by slowing down, becoming upright, and raising their hands to hit with? They haven’t learned to drive into the opposition with power from their legs by skating through someone. A Bulldozer Blade does not move the dirt – the Tracks do! A shoulder does not move someone – the LEGS do, that is were the body has the power! Skating is the fundamental in every part of the game!
Improve Your Technique, Improve Your Skills, use the PowerSkater – CANADA’S MIRACLE OFF ICE!
Posture in skating is as important for athletes as it is in any sport, though very little time is spent teaching correct skating posture. The body lean, knee bend, balance, stride, hip, arm and shoulder movement, with your head up are all key posture attributes for proper skating. The PowerSkater allows you to over emphasize the correct techniques. Through proper repetition you will be able to mentally memorize the correct body position as well as good good muscle memory.
Just 15 minutes a day, 3 to 4 times a week will dramatically impact your skating skill.
Coaches and scouts still look for skaters first. “Can the kid skate” is their first question they ask themselves. Learn the proper technique in the quiet of your own home or facility. The PowerSkater is not forgiving like the ice, for it forces you into proper form. You can make mistakes on the ice and quickly develop bad habits.
Balance (it has been said that your center of gravity changes 5,000 times during a 60 min. game) If you want to skate fast learn to skate low. The player below is 6′ 1″ and in full speed his shoulder is even with the top of the boards.
Your weight should always be transferred to your forward foot that you are gliding on. As you reach the full extension, your other foot is brought forward transferring the weight for the next glide. During the recovery the feet are returned to the “V” position. When your leg is fully extended, your toes are the last point of contact with your weight shifting midway through the leg drive.
The PowerSkater always starts and ends in the “V” position with a 30-45° angle push from the hip (foot rest setting), emphasizing the correct technique for balance. Younger skaters quite often do not learn to open up their hips, therefore we prefer the foot rests to be set at a 45° hip position. Older more skilled players may want to adjust the foot rests at a 30° setting. The pushing leg will travel backward and always ends up 45° behind your body just like in skating regardless of the amount of hip opening or foot rest setting. Refer to the image for foot rest settings. The foot rest is adjustable with Wing nuts allowing the foot rest to be angled as shown.
During the return (eccentric phase) of the pushing leg, which is under load from the resistance cord, you are challenged to control your movement through this weight transfer. This in turn trains your body to balance and maintain perfect form. Balance is required in all skating moves. The elastic cords under a stretch want to snap back therefore your pushing leg is loaded on the push and the return. Hockey players are strong on the push because forward skating movements strengthens the muscles for the push, but never trains the muscle on the return. The only resistance on the return leg is the weight of the equipment, therefore the player never strengthens their leg to be powerful in both directions. The PowerSkater is the only machine in the world that will train the concentric muscle push and the eccentric muscle return.
Skating skills are the most important part of hockey and quite often the most neglected due to lack of adequate training or ice time. Proper technique is required for all elements of skating, including forward stride, crossover, backward skating, stops and starts. What is the proper technique?
8 Basic Skating Skill Sets
- Relaxed posture
- Flexible ankle bends
- Flexible knee bends – 2″ over your toes
- Body lean forward – shoulders even with the toes
- Back straight
- Chest up
- Stomach in, and
- Your head up
Learn how to use the PowerSkater by going to the PowerSkater Instructional Use page.
Making a full stride on the PowerSkater trains your body to memorize the technique, which results in good habits that will transfer to the ice. The Glide Leg is locked into place and will not move backwards until the Pushing Leg is fully returned to the front of the machine. The user must control the return under load and properly transfer their weight properly from Returning to Pushing with the other leg. The PowerSkater replicates a forward-stride movement, resulting in balance, power and control. The same exercise will assist the skater in other skating skills such as crossover, backward skating, stops and starts. Learning to get low and training the body to stay in a semi-squat or athletic stance on the ice teaches the player the importance of bending their knees when they are blocking a goalie in the front of the net in an offensive position or defending in the front of the net battling with another player who is trying to block your goalie.
Being a Power Forward takes great skill in the corners battling for possession of the puck. Again a semi-squat or athletic stance with a wide lower profile will assist the offensive player to control the defender as much as it will assist the defender in controlling the puck away from the offensive player. All positions require a knee bend. This must be trained.
Skating is legs..legs..legs! Building a strong lower body is a must. When a beginner learns to skate they struggle to stay upright on a thin blade on ice. There body is challenged to control balance and make steps or eventually strides. If the feet are too close together in an upright posture they are very unstable. The problem or challenge is in muscle strength. A skating instructor would prefer an older player to teach because they generally are stronger to execute the directions given to them. The younger player may know what the instructor is saying but simply is not strong enough to execute the drills. The PowerSkater Elite was designed originally for an 8 year old to teach him proper skating technique focusing on posture. Over time on the machine the player gained lower body muscle strength that he transferred to the ice.
If used properly the PowerSkater not only teaches correct technique but also can correct many skating flaws such as “railroading”, “bobbing”, “upright skating”, and “pitchforking”. Learn more about common mistake in skating. LEARN MORE.