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Author Topic: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while  (Read 3089 times)

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Offline Hanca

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Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« on: February 21, 2011, 08:58:59 AM »
I haven't skated much for three months and the muscles in my thighs got really, really weak. Now since I started skating again about a month ago I managed to build up my left leg by doing a lot of sit spins (though I still can do only 4-5 rotations instead of 8 I could do before, because I don't have the strenght to hold it longer. But it is getting there.). I am not sure how to build up my right leg. Every time I am doing loop, I feel that I don't have the spring. The jumps is tiny and it was one of my stronger jumps before. I think it is strenght issue, because I saw how much my left leg muscles wasted so I assume the right leg muscles would waste the same. (It also feels like if I am very heavy, although I didn't put on any weight. Too weak muscles!) I don't have back sit spin yet, so I can't build it up the same way as I am doing my left leg, and I had a knee surgery 5 months ago so I have to be careful not to put too much strain on the knee.

Does anyone have any suggestions on thigh muscles exercises which will not put strain on the knee?

Thank you.

Offline rsk8d

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2011, 09:48:58 PM »
What type of surgery did you have done?  You really should talk to your PT to see what exercises are appropriate.
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Offline Hanca

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 02:12:18 PM »
I tore my meniscus. It is fine now, I started skating about 10 weeks after the surgery. It is generally not painful, but I know that it  hurt a few times since the operation, when I over did it. So I need to get back the muscles without overdoing it with the knee.

I don't have any physio.  :-\

Offline sarahspins

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 02:30:34 PM »
I'd suggest doing a lot of off-ice conditioning.  You really need to work with a PT for at least a little while so you can get some idea of what muscles and exercises you really need to be focusing on... without that you may end up creating more imbalance than fixing anything.

Offline rsk8d

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 03:36:01 PM »
Meniscus repair or menisectomy?  Surprised your weren't referred to physical therapy if you are a skater.....
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Offline Hanca

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 03:43:37 PM »
As far as I know, it was partial menisectomy. They cut off the bit which got torn.

It doesn't surprise me that I wasn't sent to physio. The health system is not that great here in the UK. (My husband was in hospital for 2 days complaining about stomach pain and they overlooked appendix problems. They were treating him with paracetamol! In fact, they operated only after it burst. He had to stay there over a week then because there was some infection inside his stomach. He was very, very ill. The healthcare is a bit risky here. If you want to survive, avoid doctors and hospitals. Sad!)  

Offline JimStanmore

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2011, 06:03:23 PM »
It is scary to give advice to someone who had knee surgery - you really need a PT.

Here are some links that might be useful.  There is a forum run by a medical professional but, I lost the link:
http://www.medhelp.org/posts/Orthopedic-Sports-Medicine/Ice-Skating/show/1441209
Lauren at Sk8Strong: http://www.sk8strong.com/contact_us.html
(EDIT: I forgot who Lauren is on the board - she already posted above. I just really like her stuff.)

You could always email Dr. Debbie Thomas, LOL.

Offline lindafmb

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #7 on: March 02, 2011, 07:08:00 PM »
Hi Hanca,

As they others have said, it is always a good idea to consult with a doctor prior to commencing an off-ice conditioning program. That said, I've put together a brief strength-training clip for figure skaters utilizing the Total Gym, which allows you to control the angle as well as the resistance used in several exercises that are specifically designed for figure skaters, making them quite a bit safer than if performed with free weights or standard exercise machines. The lower body exercises would probably be of most interest to you, and includes functional exercises designed to target the muscles used for sit spins.

Here it is:



I've recently had lumbar spinal surgery (in September 2010) and have since fully recovered, due in part to the rehab program I put together with my sport medicine specialist and physical therapist...that rehab program is also posted on my YouTube channel, along with several other clips that apply to off-ice conditioning for figure skaters.

Please enjoy, and do let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.
Linda

Offline sarahspins

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #8 on: March 03, 2011, 10:41:26 AM »
Great, now I want a total gym :)  Thanks for sharing that!

Offline rsk8d

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #9 on: March 03, 2011, 08:56:48 PM »
Lauren at Sk8Strong: http://www.sk8strong.com/contact_us.html
(EDIT: I forgot who Lauren is on the board - she already posted above. I just really like her stuff.)


Thanks Jim! Much appreciated!  Just a side note: all of Sk8Strong's products are now carried by the largest skating retailers in the US and Canada.  Very excited!
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Offline Query

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2011, 03:12:51 PM »
A lot of people say Sports Physical Therapists (Sports PTs) and Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are better at sports needs better the normal PTs and uncertified Athletic Trainers. Many college athletic programs want people with double certifications - Sports PT/ATC, like the guy I went to, but there aren't many like that. A PT or ATC who was also a skating coach might be good too. Regardless, ask other athletes for someone good.

I have started to use the weight machines my pool center keeps in a back room. I'm so pleased with what the weight machines can do for me, that ordinary exercises simply don't. A lot of sports experts say they are outmoded, and that you should exercise only by doing the things the way you do in the sports themselves, but at least for me, machines help a lot. In a few weeks I almost doubled the amount I can use on most of the machines, including leg presses. Decades of non-machine exercises didn't have a similar effect, for me.

Experts are good, but personal results are better.

Weight machines keep you body aligned right, so if you are struggling at first to do something, they won't push you out of line, the way a body weight exercise can. The leg press machine (which exercises a lot of what you are using when you rise on one leg) is normally used with both legs. You can use one leg, though it is a bit awkward. Machines have to be adjusted right so you aren't using your body in weird ways - if you find a gym with a trainer, or someone else is knowledgeable, they can help a lot. You need to be comfortable lifting your own weight (or twice your weight with two legs, with each leg supporting 1/2 the weight) to get up at all from knee bends. To jump you need more.

Christi Yamaguchi [sp?] says you should be able to leg press 3 times your weight (I guess with both legs) in her book. (Does that mean 3X for triple jumps, 4X for quads? I'm only pushing 2X.)

Some skating moves require you go beyond right angle knees, but be careful, and don't push the weight limits harder than you need to for that. Talk to your Sports PT or ATC first, because I think deep knee bends are part of what they worry about for knees.

Some books say that weights help because you can force yourself to use as much strength as you safely can, whereas body weight exercises are limited by body weight, and that doing some exercises that push your strength to its limits is important.

My PT/ATC said it is best to use all your muscles that you can. E.g., you can do leg presses with just your quads, but that is both inefficient, and bad for body alignment (including knees) when you do it off the machine. Conscript every possible core muscle you can - e.g., gluts, obliques, abdominals, thighs including psoas, lower back, etc., to keep knee motion centered right. A really good sports PT or ATC is extremely helpful - most people can't sense when all the muscles possible are in use. The Sports PTs and ATCs know how to tell.

Offline Hanca

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2011, 01:33:20 PM »
Thank you for your suggestions and advice.  :)

Offline lindafmb

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2011, 03:08:01 PM »
A lot of people say Sports Physical Therapists (Sports PTs) and Certified Athletic Trainers (ATCs) are better at sports needs better the normal PTs and uncertified Athletic Trainers. Many college athletic programs want people with double certifications - Sports PT/ATC, like the guy I went to, but there aren't many like that. A PT or ATC who was also a skating coach might be good too. Regardless, ask other athletes for someone good.

When I was working on my masters in kinesiology, our program required that we focus all of our classes (exercise physiology, biomechanics, strength and conditioning, etc) as they apply to a given sport. I chose figure skating (and wasn't a skater at the time), because from a sport science perspective, it's incredibly interesting, especially the biomechanics of spinning and jumping, which was my specialization--I'm developing an off-ice program for the Xbox Kinect as we speak, since my "other career" is in the high tech industry and I've always seen the value of online/computer-based learning =)

Anyway, before I ramble too much, my point is that I have read pretty much everything out there by everyone who does off-ice for figure skaters...I knew who Carl, Lauren, Kat, and Matt were well before I actually met any of them online or in person. Like all sports conditioning, there are basically two schools of thought--traditional, where the focus is on traditional periodization of endurance, then  strength, then power, then taper and usually involves machines, free weights and Olympic lifts; and functional, involving more sprot specific whole body movements and using body weight, tubing and weight lifiting usually lighter than a 5 rep max load. My approach is a hybrid, and I tailor all my programs to the specific skater I'm working with, their competitive level, training schedule, previous athletic experiences, and what they do for a living (besides skating), among other things.

As far as certs go, I mentioned that I have a masters in kinesiology, specializing in off-ice conditioning for skaters. In addition, I'm a NSCA-CSCS, and certified by ACE, AFAA, and the Yoga Alliance (e-RYT), and have worked in fitness and athletic training for over 27 years. I'm very confident in what I have to offer, but I'm also always open and willing to learn from others, including my clients. I've found that I've taught my PTs a LOT about figure skating when working with them while rehabbing from back surgery and other more minor injuries, but I've also learned a thing or two from them as well. That's why I got a total gym, and also would LOVE to have the vibration plates, if they ever become less cost prohibitive to have in a home gym.

I would look for similar experiences and educational background if I were to train off-ice with someone else.

Just my two cents.

Linda

Offline rsk8d

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Re: Strength exercises for one leg after not skating for a while
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2011, 02:17:04 PM »
Well said Linda.  The main thing a skater should look for when looking for an off-ice professional is a DEGREE, whether it be physical therapy, athletic training, exercise physiology, kinesiology, or strength and conditioning, and especially a masters degree.  Having a CSCS or NASM-PES certification in addition to these degrees is also beneficial.  You have to be careful with personal training certifications (and I mean no offense to some excellent personal trainers out there).  Some certifications don't require a person to have any type of degree to take a test to become a personal trainer, and all they do is study from some books to take the test. The CSCS requires you to have a 4 year college degree, but it doesn't have to be in a health related field.  Therefore the emphasis is on having a degree in the above mentioned fields, as these programs include in-depth study of anatomy, exercise physiology, and movement science.  These courses are imperative to becoming a good evaluator of the human body.

Also, being a physical therapist or athletic trainer does not mean that the professional is good at strength and conditioning with skaters.  When I graduated college, I knew little of functional training and proper strength and conditioning techniques.  I have learned he majority of what I apply to Sk8Strong programs from what I have learned through continuing education from some of the best in the field (Mike Boyle, etc.).  So a PT without that knowledge would not be the best to work with a skater.

The moral is: find out a person's qualifications, degrees, and continuing education experience.  That will lead you to the right person!
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