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Skating Training Programs

Injury Prevention Survey conducted by USFS
      One of U.S. Figure Skating's top sports medicine and science initiatives is to reduce the rate of injury across all figure skating disciplines and competitive levels. This is no small task given the nature of our sport, but there are things we can do to support the effort.

Off Ice Training
      Great athletes make great skaters! Participate in S.T.A.R.S. (Skater Talent Identification and Recognition System) to prevent injury by keeping your athleticism curve ahead of your skills curve. Click here to learn more about S.T.A.R.S.

Downloadable Files
Posture and core strength (PDF)
Cross training (PDF)
Off-ice FAQs (PDF)
Selecting an off-ice specialist (PDF)
Nutrition
Boot Problems and Boot Solutions (PDF)
2007 Equipment Review (PDF)
Blades - Skates - Toes (PDF)
Pronation (PDF)
New Skates (PDF)
Ankles (PDF)
Adult Needs (PDF)

Skating in the Schools - Welcome to US Figure Skating An exciting, new skating program created by U.S. Figure Skating for use in schools. Rationale; Objectives; Teaching strategies and activities; Evaluation; Time allotment ... as well as promote improvement in fitness, health, academic achievement, social skills, ... Seven-year-old Arron E. asked, "Why do you like your job?

Synchronized Training Festival 

      The U.S. Figure Skating Synchronized Skating Training Festival is a two-day program for competitive synchronized skaters who competed in the juvenile, intermediate, novice, junior, senior or collegiate levels at the preceding Sectional Synchronized Skating Championships.

      Athletes participate in an intensive weekend long training camp. The faculty is led by the head coaches of the current year's U.S. Synchronized Skating Team. The curriculum consists of approximately 16 hours of instruction, including eight on-ice sessions with Team USA coaches. Every athlete has the opportunity to work with every coach.

      The on-ice sessions offer the opportunity to work with the most experienced and successful synchronized coaches in the U.S. Athletes learn valuable skills to improve their overall skating skills, power, style, edge quality, unison and Program Components Score - everything that is important to success under the IJS.

      Off-ice curriculum focuses on building a well rounded athlete: core body strength, balance and flexibility, team building and style / dance / artistry focused classes.

      Parents are welcome and encouraged to attend, as there is a full parents' education curriculum offered at no additional cost for one parent per athlete.

     The Synchronized Training Festival is also preceded with a National Coaches College, and the 2012 event will include a Team Managers' Workshop.

Contacts 
U.S. Synchronized Skating
P: 719.635.5200
F: 719.635.9548  email

Speed Skating
      Speed skating is a demanding sport. In order to succeed as a speed skater, you must participate in a strenuous and highly developed training program. You need to include strength training in your program to become as forceful as possible. You should also include plyometric exercises in order to improve power production. Aerobic and anaerobic work, as well as flexibility are also important elements to include in your training program.

Strength Training
      Speed skating requires a high level of force production, particularly in your lower body. The best way to improve force production is to get stronger. Lower body exercises, such as squats and hip extension movements, are helpful in this endeavor. As you increase your weight load, your muscles adapt and begin producing increased amounts of force, preparing you to propel yourself faster on the track. The more weight you are able to move while you are training, the harder you are able to push against the ice. Hamstring strength is important as well, as your hamstrings are essential in hip extension. By increasing the amount of force production you are able to recruit, you will increase the speed at which you are able to race.

Plyometrics
      While force production is essential in speed skating, power behind that force is equally important. One of the best ways to improve your power is to participate in plyometric training. Plyometrics consist of jumping exercises with an emphasis on stretching your muscles, then rapidly contracting them in order to jump as high as possible, similar to snapping a rubber band. Dan Kibler, a skater and contributor to the online skating website Get Rolling, recommends practicing skate-like movements, such as jumping from one foot to the other, while you are practicing plyometric exercises.

Aerobic Training
      Speed skating races tend to be long, even if you participate in short track racing. For this reason, you need to train your body to efficiently produce energy using oxygen. Tom Overend, a coach and contributor at the Ontario Speed skating Association, recommends performing exercises at about 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. You can use any form of aerobic training, including cycling, running, skating and swimming to train your body to bring in as much oxygen as possible with each breath. As long as you are working your heart, lungs, and vascular system for an extended period, several times per week, you will successfully improve your capacity to do aerobic work.

Anaerobic Training
      While aerobic training consists of producing energy using oxygen, anaerobic training involves producing energy without the use of oxygen. This form of energy production is most useful at the start of the race because it is most efficient in the first 10 seconds of work. It is also useful at the end of a race, when you have depleted your body's oxygen stores. The most effective form of training for anaerobic fitness is to perform short, high intensity sprints. You should start out with a low number of sprints, building up each time you train. Rest periods should be at least as long as the amount of time it took you to perform your sprint.

Flexibility
      The most successful speed skaters are those who are able to stay as low to the skating surface as possible. Flexibility is an important aspect of your training in order to perform at your highest level. By including dynamic stretches during which you move smoothly between stretches without holding any one position in your warm-up, you will increase your training range of motion. You should practice static stretching by holding each stretch for approximately 20 seconds at the end of your workout as a cool-down in order to maintain an ideal level of flexibility and to shut your muscles down.

References

Dan Kibler: Plyometrics for Advanced Skating Performance

Tom Overend: Time For Aerobic Training!
Pettit National Ice Center! - U.S. Olympic ...
Through a variety of programs intended to develop skating skills, the Pettit Center's Figure Skating ... The Pettit Center's figure skate training program features:

Increasing Your Overall Fitness Level To increase your overall fitness level, you will be focusing on three different areas : cardiovascular ...times per week/activity duration based upon your current level of fitness (or your current activity level).

References:
  • Shattuck-St. Mary's Figure Skating Program  The SSM Figure Skating Program combines a college preparatory academic program with intensive figure skating training. this unique program is intended to serve competitive student athletes committed to a rigorous daily training schedule.  Shattuck-St. Mary's offers the only integrated elite figure skating program along with challenging academics in a boarding school environment. SSM is a college preparatory co-educational boarding and day school for students in grades 6-12. Our commitment is to help guide our student athletes to be better students, better athletes and better citizens.
  • High Performance Figure Skating Center - University of Delaware The High Performance Figure Skating Center (HPFSC) at the University of Delaware is one of the world's leading training sites. The center is a year-round training facility designed to meet the needs of first-time competitors and champions alike. Its primary mission is to assist athletes and coaches in reaching their maximum potential.
The HPFSC, which is housed in state-of-the-art facilities on the University of Delaware campus in Newark, provides the most complete training environment in the country. Skaters have access to two ice surfaces, at the Fred Rust Ice Arena and the Gold Ice Arena, as well as strength and aerobic training rooms and a dance studio. Professional strength and conditioning is provided as well as ballet instruction.

At the junior level, ice hockey can be characterized by intense bouts of on-ice play lasting up to 90 seconds in duration. Games are made up of three 20 minute periods with typically 12-15 minutes of rest in between periods. Developing muscular strength, power, and speed, in addition to training both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems have become crucial if players wish to advance to elite levels of hockey (Cox et al, 1995).

According to Montgomery (1988), a major difference between junior and professional players is their upper and lower body muscular strength and power. In addition, Greer et al (1992), reported that the fastest skating speeds are seen at the professional level. Therefore, developing muscular strength and speed should be emphasized in training programs for aspiring junior players. Plyometrics are explosive movement exercises which aim to improve both strength and speed abilities in athletes by training fast twitch muscle fibers and increasing movement power output (Chu,1983, Gambetta,
1989, McNaughton, 1988, McFarland, 1985).

  • S.T.A.R.S. - Welcome to US Figure Skating Program Exercise Guide (PDF); Injury Prevention Exercises (for Foot and ... Become a better athlete as you become a better skater-- participate in ... and to reduce the potential for injury typically sustained during the training of these
  1. S.T.A.R.S. Program Exercise Guide (PDF)
  2. Injury Prevention Exercises (for Foot and Ankle) (PDF)
  • PDF Specific Skating Training - Is Your plan Specific Enough? By Susan Ellis. For most of you in North America, your season of competition is finished, you will
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:

Skating Training Programs
USFS Learn To Skate Program
Summer Basic Skating Workshops
High School Skating Programs
Collegiate Figure Skating Programs
Summer Figure Skating Programs
High School Team Figure Skating
Test and Free Skating Track
PDF  Principles of Jumping
PDF  Theater On Ice Basic Skills

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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