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Core Body Stability Principles 

      The principles of stability are used to develop training programs designed to improve an athlete's control of positions both for static and dynamic balance.

      By definition, an athlete's center of gravity is the exact center of the body around which the body can rotate freely in any direction and where the weight is equal on all opposite sides. Typically this point exists at a point along the vertical mid-line of the body at approximately 55% of the athlete's height.

Core Body Stability
      To perform balance skills, skaters must have adequate strength to support the body, and they must be able to shift the weight quickly into the correct position at the right time.

      A skater must instinctively know their position in space (kinesthetic awareness) in order to perform quick turns with complete coordination, agility, and flexibility. See Fitness Components

      The goal of coaches is to develop their students core body positions as this enhances their ability to acquire and master figure skating skills. The following is a partial list of objectives coaches emphasize:
  • To maintain a perfectly balanced static position when still, the skater's center of gravity must remain over the base of support.  Core body stability is critical in centering a spin.

  • To recover any loss of balance, an athlete can expand the base of support and reposition the center of gravity over it.  In a two footed position, spreading the feet wider will help stabilized the athletes balance. This is very helpful when a man is lifting the girl overhead in a rotating lift.

  • In lifts or carries, the man must shift his body positions to compensate for the body weight of his partner in the three phases of the lift (entry, over head, and exit) in order to maintain balance and control.

  • For maximum stability in all directions, the center of gravity should be over the center of the base of support. Example: Performing a fully extended spiral position.

  • An athlete becomes more stable by lowering the center of gravity. Example: Bending the landing knee of multi-revolution jumps.

  • The greater the friction between the blade's curvature (hollow grind) and the ice surface; the greater the ability to maintain balance. Example:

  1. Ice that is freshly resurfaced allows the blade to move over the ice with less effort;
  2. ice that is cut up provides more drag (friction) and also allows deeper edges to be skated and a greater sense of security.
  • A skater can lose balance easier and more quickly when their center of gravity is closest to the edge of the base of support. Example: When the skater's weight is shifted too far backwards towards the heel of the blade or too far forward towards the toe pick.

Recommended Reading:

Core Stability Exercise Principles
By Akuthota, Venu; Ferreiro, Andrea; Moore, Tamara; Fredericson, Michael

Abstract -  Core stability is essential for proper load balance within the spine, pelvis, and kinetic chain. The core is the group of trunk muscles that surround the spine and abdominal viscera. Abdominal, gluteal, hip girdle, paraspinal, and other muscles work in concert to provide spinal stability. Core stability and its motor control have been shown to be imperative for initiation of functional limb movements, as needed in athletics.

Sports medicine practitioners use core strengthening techniques to improve performance and prevent injury. Core strengthening, often called lumbar stabilization, also has been used as a therapeutic exercise treatment regimen for low back pain conditions. This article summarizes the anatomy of the core, the progression of core strengthening, the available evidence for its theoretical construct, and its efficacy in musculoskeletal conditions.

Core Stability Exercise Principles  Core stability is essential for proper load balance within the spine, pelvis, and kinetic chain. Broad benefits of core stabilization have been achieved in collegiate basketball and track athletes.

Basic Principles Underlying Krate Techniques   All parts of the body must harmonize to provide the stability necessary to sustain the shock. Thus, balance is of prime importance. Also, the rhythm evident in the movements of athletes

References:

Importance of Balance and Stability to Mastery of Sport Skills  The ability to control one's physical self is a major issue for athletes. They must control their sports skills and execute them properly, despite numerous obstacles that are very physical in nature.

Body Balance   Unable and often unwilling to take time off of training, most athletes trained through their injuries.  In these situations, their bodies made compensatory movements,” which not only aggravated the original injury, but also stressed other parts of the body and lead to further injuries. The bottom line was clear: injuries became chronic, and greatly impaired the athletes ability to perform their activity to their potential.

Balance Training and Proprioception  Proprioception is that of the human kinesthetic senses, the related notions of muscle memory and hand-eye coordination. The kinesthetic sense is similar to proprioception, in that it is an internal mechanism, but distinct by virtue of the role of proprioception in coordinating joint motion and acceleration.

Biomechanical Principles and Applications   Examples of Rotation Principles.  Seven Principles of Biomechanical Analysis.

How Can Biomechanical Principles Help Us   Jan. 14, 2009 ... There are seven biomechanical principles* that can help us analyze skating skills: ... of support and the greater the mass, the more stability increases.

Connecting Steps The Figure Skating / Ballet Relationship   Does ballet really enhance the skater's performance or on-ice technique? The “skating experts” say Changements: Same jumping principles as sautés. Pas de Bourre: For ankle stability and agile footwork.

Back Stability-2nd Edition   Establishing Stability Chapter 5. Posture Optimal Postural Alignment Postural Stability and Body Sway Basic Postural Assessment.

Core Body Strength Training  Agility, coordination and balance (stability) all come from the core of the body . ... In skating, it is important to strive for proper body ... Choose a variety of exercises and mix them up. © U.S. Figure Skating. Page 3. Overload Training Principle.

Physical and Mental Training Considerations

Sports Information

Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

 

Sports Training
PDF  USFS Stretching Training
PDF  Strength Training Exercises
PDF  Cool Down Exercises
PDF  Warm Up Exercises
PDF  Power Skating Classes
PDF  Core Body Training
PDF  Endurance Training Plan
  

All materials are copy protected. 
The limited use of the materials for education purposes is allowed providing
credit is given for the source of the materials.


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