In celebration of Adult Nationals week, today's topic is off-ice training for the adult skater. Adult figure skating has taken off in the US and many countries in the last ten years, and will only continue to grow. For those of you who haven't seen the high levels of adult competition, you would be in for a surprise. In the highest level, championship masters, the men have completed triple jumps, and the women double axels in the past few years. And the competition should only get better in the years to come.
Adult skaters have a greater need for off-ice training because, as a skater gets older, he or she is more susceptible to injury. Muscles get tighter, joints break down, bones get weaker, and the body requires more strengthening and stretching to keep it healthy. The problem for adult skaters is the lack of time to skate, balance a family, work, and do off-ice training! I have met some amazing adult skaters over the years who have managed to fit it all in. Completing an off-ice program, whether it be 30 or 60 minutes, one to three days per week, will help to keep an adult skater injury free and risk losing precious training time. Appropriate functional exercises will increase stability of the lower extremities and help to prevent osteoporosis, increase joint nutrition, and best of all- improve your balance, strength, and stability to better your skating! A good training program will create a balance of flexibility and strength in a skater's body, to avoid imbalances that can occur by skating too much. (For example, the ITB muscle and hip flexors can become tight, leading to knee or hip problems).
Sk8Strong created "Adult Training" because many adults complained of products or seminars not being targeted towards adults. I follow the Adult exercise program 2-3 times per week, and I assure you it is not easy if you challenge yourself with the exercise progressions. When most people hear the word 'Adult', they think the exercise program is simplified, but that is not the case. The main difference between "Adult Training" and "The Competitive Skater" is the reduced number of plyometric exercises for adults, as adults don't need to pound on their lower extremities with plyos. The difficulty of the majority of the exercises is the same, just catered to adults to prevent injury.
Good luck to all adult competitors this week, and congrats for all of your accomplishments, whether you are a bronze, silver, gold, or masters skater!