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Author Topic: Cross-Training  (Read 1712 times)

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Offline Isk8NYC

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Cross-Training
« on: August 30, 2010, 08:15:33 AM »
In the northeast, it was very common for kids to skate all fall/winter then swim in the spring/summer.

I had a student do just that this year - she stopped skating in early June, then swam on a rec team from June to August.

She just came back and I've noticed a few things:
. Her core strength is much better; she's not breaking at the waist or bending forward.
. Her stamina is better and she's skating stronger with more power.
. She's less leery of spins and jumps, but spirals are tentative.

Some of this can also be attributed to her growing two sizes.  Her parents bought a pair of good, used skates (Jackson Freestyles) and the blade is the Ultima Mark IV.  The rocker and toepick is substantially different from the stock blade on her old Jackson Mystiques.  That explains the spins and the spirals.
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Offline rsk8d

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2010, 07:42:56 PM »
Swimming is always the hot topic.  I was interviewed for www.icemom.net and one of the questions addressed skaters who swim.  I have no qualms if skaters swim in the summer, or even do it competitively.  The only exception is right before practice or competition, because it tends to make the muscles too loose.  Anyone interested in the interview (about various off-ice training related topics) can go to the 'ask the expert' section to find it!

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Offline Sierra

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2010, 08:02:55 PM »
After reading this I decided to swim today (I'm not skating again till Thursday, so it's okay). It hurt my wrist to just swim back and forth (I twisted it in a flip fall today), so I was trying to do jumps in the pool, focusing on technique rather than playing around. Waltz/axel/salchow were really hard cause of swinging leg through water. Loop was easiest, tried to do double loop, kept dunking myself though. I was in waist-high water.

Is it a really good leg workout to do jumps in the pool?

Another cross trainer is anything to do with horses/pigs:
.Carrying 50 pound bags of feed (core)
.Running after pig, or trying to avoid being ran over by pig (leg, cardiovascular, agility)
.Mucking out stall or pen (core)
.Pushing wheelbarrow (core)
.Actually riding (core, leg)
.Attempting to mount bareback (jumping skills)
.Great way to become immune to pain (like being stepped on or bucked off)

Offline Kim to the Max

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2010, 08:08:08 PM »
I am currently working with a trainer to help me drop some weight (doctor would like me to get down to 150  :o ) and to help with strength and endurance. We have been doing a lot of running (which I hate, but I know it's good, so I do it), and a lot of pylometrics. We do a lot of bodyweight resistance work as well. Today we did pushup crawls, handstand pushups, forward jumps (with 10#'s of weights), and other shoulder work (weights and such...I'm going to hurt tomorrow :) ).

We also do a lot of core work (planks, sit-ups, etc.).

It's intense, but it's helpful. I was having issues with my knees since May...was working hard on junior moves and wasn't jumping a lot, and after a test session had a lesson with my coach where were jumped a lot and my knees have been really stiff and sore ever since. But, since working with my trainer (and this may be a coincidence), the pain has gone away and the stiffness is slowly getting better as well.

I am looking forward to being able to skate my intermediate program without getting out of breath at the end :)

Offline kayskate

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #4 on: September 01, 2010, 12:15:34 PM »
I did water aerobics when rehabing from my ankle injury. It is a good low-impact exercise. Then I swam afterward.

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Offline flyingcupcake

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 02:43:04 PM »
Swimming's an awesome cross-training sport for skating.  It's low-impact and works different muscles than skating, and I think that's a good thing to keep from getting muscle imbalance. I grew up in SoCal, so it was normal to swim and skate year-round. There were about 2-3 days a week when I'd do one in the morning and one in the afternoon.  I didn't notice anything bad, and swimming made a lot leaner and tanner. ;) The only reason I think you shouldn't swim right before skating is because a 2-hour swim practice is going to drain you. I usually went home after swimming and passed out before homework/skating later on.

My non-scientific belief is that swimming prevented skating from giving me muscle imbalance/knee joint issues from overuse when I was a teen. Plus it does wonders for endurance since most practices are done in intervals on the clock.  My childhood coach liked that I swam, and my current coach said it'd be a great idea to start again. So if you're on the fence about it, my non-scientific opinion is that swim training is great for skaters.  The only injury I ever got from it was swimmer's ear.  :P

I do pilates now for the muscle imbalance/knee pain issue as an adult (no more issues now thanks to pilates), but I'd choose swimming in a heartbeat if I can find a 25-yard lap pool in NYC that's actually affordable...

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2010, 08:12:10 AM »
cycling on a good quality well geared exercycle was part of the rehab for DS's knee, and it had the added benefit of strengthening the muscles around both knees for added stability, plus improving cardio. Still using it for cross training.

Offline AgnesNitt

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #7 on: September 04, 2010, 08:25:24 AM »
I do what many on this board would consider 'old lady' stuff. That's a class of Jazzercise 4 days a week (somedays I squeeze in 2), two weight lifting 30 min classes a week, and 3 hours of low impact aerobics a week in addition to the Jazzercise. I aim for 1.5 hours a day, sometimes due to scheduling overlaps it goes to 2.5. I'm not including skating in here--this week it goes to 3 sessions a week, but not long ones.

Unfortunately, due to thyroid surgery last year I've discovered that  thyroid replacement is not as good as the stuff nature makes inside you. Without the level of exercise I do a week, I'd balloon up. As it is I can barely hold my weight where it is now.
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Offline Kim to the Max

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #8 on: September 04, 2010, 10:15:59 AM »
Unfortunately, due to thyroid surgery last year I've discovered that  thyroid replacement is not as good as the stuff nature makes inside you. Without the level of exercise I do a week, I'd balloon up. As it is I can barely hold my weight where it is now.


While I do not have thyroid problems, I also would blow up if I didn't maintain my activity levels. I have PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), which screws with all of my hormones (long story short, I have elevated testosterone levels). One of the things is that it makes losing weight extremely difficult. Now get this...one of the best ways to keep the symptoms under control....is to lose weight! Ugh!!

My doctor wants me to get below 150 (if I can get there, I can probably go off of the prescriptions he has me on...and I hate taking pills). I have been stuck around 175 for about a little while now (down about 5 lbs from last doctors appointment, but the doctor said I probably lost about 15lbs of fat and gained muscle), but this morning I weighed myself and the scale said 171.5 :)

Working with the trainer has really helped, so I am hopefully going to continue with that...

Online davincisop

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #9 on: September 05, 2010, 08:15:12 PM »
I studied abroad in Italy for a month over the summer and we walked EVERYWHERE. I think the only time we ever didn't really walk anywhere was when we took the train from Rome to Naples and Rome to Florence, and then a small train out to Pompeii and Herculaneum. Oh, and then the bus to and from the airport. But that helped strengthen my legs a bit and when I came back I started skating EVERY day. Right before school started I got a part time job at the rink and had to cut back on skating for practice because of class. But I'm on the ice ALMOST every day because of my job, I'd say 5 out of 7 days. I recently started adding in yoga and walking/running (I'd rather wait for it to cool down a bit but it's florida and that's not happening anytime soon). I noticed last week my legs are almost all muscle (I say almost because I'm a little overweight and the muscle is still hidden). I realized also that my jumps are stronger and I have more power in my strokes. My coach actually has to make me make smaller lobes when I do my edges because I can clear the rink in 4 edges rather than the requisite six for testing. :)

I think cross training is super helpful, especially with skating. I love adding yoga into it because it's helping with my balance and flexibility. :) I love this article from the lululemon blog, it's about yoga for figure skating and I tend to look at it every day. :)
http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/yoga-for-figure-skating/

Offline sk8Joyful

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2010, 01:51:11 AM »
I studied abroad in Italy for a month over the summer and we walked EVERYWHERE.
But that helped strengthen my legs a bit and when I came back I started skating EVERY day.
I noticed last week my legs are almost all muscle. I realized also that my jumps are stronger and I have more power in my strokes.

I think cross training is super helpful, especially with skating. I love adding yoga into it because it's helping with my balance and flexibility. :) I love this article from the lululemon blog, it's about yoga for figure skating and I tend to look at it every day. :)
http://www.lululemon.com/community/blog/yoga-for-figure-skating/
re "walking EVERYWHERE" yuppers! - Until I was a teenager, I did too, as we had no cars where we lived, & I had no bike. And during our long Mountain-winters, we skied EVERYWHERE  :) 
Fast forward 46 yrs,
when I started stroking... (after 4 laps) the coach asked if my thighs were burning? - I said "No, why would they  ??? ", and she said
most adults would be way tired by now, and would need to rest! - Not me, so apparently all that walking did/does alot of Good! :) Thanks for sharing!


Offline sleepyhead

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2010, 06:53:20 AM »
What do we think of gymnastics as a cross-training option??
I've heard people say gymnasts backs get too bent to make good ice skaters.
I know ballet is recommended - but honestly how much fun is there in that?

Offline Sk8tmum

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2010, 08:49:13 AM »
Gymastic back is a problem for skaters; the landing position in gymnastics is horribly incorrect for skaters, and it's hard to eradicate. On the plus side, it does build core, flexibility and upper body strength, plus musicality, and general athleticism.  One of our competitive skaters is also a competitive gymnast, and you can definitely see the problem on the ice. 

Ballet CAN be fun!  My DD loves it, and it does build carriage and posture and musicality, leg strength, extension and balance. I think you simply have to find the right teacher and the right class.  Skating has certainly improved - and the focussed training has spilled over into other areas, as we've noticed more focus and persistence elsewhere, including school. We also enjoy the poise and gracefulness she has in general; and, naturally, the manners that a Russian ballet school insists upon are a good support to our expectations in that area.

Our ballet teacher does discuss skater's foot though ... apparently, back in the day, when skaters weren't put into stiff boots, they were able to achieve toe point and foot extension more easily; now, with stiff boots, she's finding more and more are struggling to get a properly flexed foot.

Offline sk8Joyful

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #13 on: September 06, 2010, 01:50:03 PM »
Gymastic back is a problem for skaters; the landing position in gymnastics is horribly incorrect for skaters, and it's hard to eradicate. On the plus side,
it does build core, flexibility and upper body strength, plus musicality, and general athleticism.  
One of our competitive skaters is also a competitive gymnast, and you can definitely see the problem on the ice.
Could my having been a little gymnast as a little child, be a contributing-factor? of why now, i forget to straighten-UP on the ice.

Here I thought that the flexability, say with Open-hips for eventual OSE's, & also getting the hips to bend, for a Biehlmann were an asset :)

Offline scootie12

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #14 on: September 21, 2010, 09:43:13 AM »
I want to work on my upper body since I really should workout outside of skating now that I'm working on some much harder elements.  I think it'll give me back some strength I'll need, especially if I break at the waist.

Gymnastics was great for me after I quit skating back in 2001, but I don't want to do it now even though I think it's a great workout.  I think it'll go against what I know as a skater...just as it was mentioned here in this thread.

Swimming sounds good.  I should try it because it's a total body workout, and should give me some more strength in my core.

Too bad there isn't an exercise to get rid of skater thighs....sigh :)
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Offline techskater

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Re: Cross-Training
« Reply #15 on: September 22, 2010, 06:22:50 PM »
Pilates, yoga, kickbox and weight lifting are all great.