Saturday, February 16, 2013

Skating Again after Kneemageddon!

I went to freestyle today at my old rink and skated for 30 minutes.  Honestly, that last minute was torture. I've lost so much muscle tone in my right leg, and my balance was all over the place, that when I cautiously got on the ice I looked like this....

Slip, Slidin' Away
 This is one of the things I anticipated. As you get older,  the body loses muscle and flexibility at a rate that's positively depressing. Even though I continued my weight lifting and stretching exercises over the last 3 months, there was nothing I could do to keep my legs strong. I had to let them rest and recover. Now I have to rebuild them.

I started out with some simple stroking, the lack of practice showed, It took me a few minutes to get my posture and upper body back in alignment. I knew I looked like a Basic 3 skater, but the kids knew me and avoided me (the sweethearts). I was able to do forward and backwards crossovers by the end of my half hour; three turns and mohawks were where I was a year ago.

So what's a good thing for an elderly  mature woman to do to recover?

I did some research and everyone agrees that the four fitness goals for a 'mature' adult are the following:

Endurance. What's a good exercise for this on ice? Swizzles. I found that swizzles were very demanding on my weaker leg, and I had to work hard to make the swizzles symmetric.  Also I wouldn't let myself do 'lazy swizzles'. I did them so I touched my feet together then out again which I find harder than 'lazy swizzles'.

I've been doing strength training of upper body during kneemageddon, and just started rebuilding my leg muscles. Pnysical Therapy starts Monday. When  I look at the strength exercises for the 'mature' online, the weights are at the 3 and 5 pound level. I'm using 15 and 20's and have a personal trainer. I guess I'm not the traditional little old lady.

Balance. Believe it or not I've been working on my off ice balance during Kneemageddon.  It's not the same as real skating. Cross fingers my skating balance comes back quickly. And what, you ask, is a balance exercise? Stand on one foot--working up to standing on one foot with eyes closed, on a Bosu Ball.  Still at standing on one foot with my eyes open. Man, the whole one foot on the Bosu ball, not happening.
I'm on the left....sigh.
Flexibility. Use it or lose it, baby. I do 30 minutes of flexibility work every weekday. My DVDs for this are here. I also have a knee rehabilitation DVD and a few others. My orthopedic surgeon was amazed. If I had one thing I would unreservedly recommend to 'mature' adult skaters, it's regular stretching training, and these DVD's are really good.

Now you're wondering how I was skating after the half hour of practice.

Ta Da!
(I am this cute!)


  1. Get thee to a Pilates studio!

  2. Get thee also to a swimming pool!

    Aqua aerobics and/or swimming laps. Keep your legs straight. So don't do breaststroke, butterfly or sidestroke. Stick to freestyle or backstroke. Controlled and considered squats are useful too. Lastly to make the balance exercise more fun try doing while watching the TV. The aim is to understand the TV content while subconsciously balancing.

    All the best!