Friday, November 23, 2012

Fitness Skate

Not everyone wants to compete or be in shows, or test. Some people (more than you know) skate for fitness. You see them every week, the men and women who drill around and around, just stroking. They're the invisible skaters; they don't test, they don't have private coaches, and they don't show any interest in the ice show. They live in a world completely ignored by ISI and USFSA.

Sadly, there's no ice skating program for fitness skaters; either beginner skaters who need to build up stamina, or skaters who simply like to burn off some calories. And during the winter months when you're stuck in a crowded rink, you might not be able to do anything more than skate around. So how do we make this interesting? Especially if the rink declares "Canadian Public Skate Rules!" in the interest of safety.
It's too crowded! No jumping! No spinning!
No skating backward!
You can do all sorts of things for fitness skate. But the most important rule is "No Stopping!'

1.  Swizzles round the rink to start with. Then 'helicopters'. That's a two foot edge move where you do a deep edged swizzle in semi circular shapes.

2. Stroking around the rink. How far can you go on three pushes, then two, then one?

3. Stroking with crossovers along the short boards.

4. Alternating forward crossovers. Then outside and inside swingrolls.

5. Big 8s. Anyone can skate eights (either just stroking or crossovers) on the hockey circles, but what about skating an 8 that takes up the entire rink. This gives you a lot of space to maneuver around traffic since there's no need to worry about the hockey circles. (And since all the winter LTS students are going to be on the hockey circles working on crossovers, you'll want to avoid them).  It's usually easy to avoid the ice tourists doing this as well.

6.  Preliminary Dances. Even if you can't do the Evil Step Behinds in the Rhythm Blues, and you don't have any music, you can do the dance steps. Mix and match say the Canasta Tango on one side and the Dutch Waltz on the other.

7.  Got enough space on the ice?  Mohawks down the side. Alternating back crosses down the side. If you've got 'em: threes in a circle (this wows the ice tourists even if you don't do them perfectly), power threes, step behinds, crossrolls, and (very careful lookin' behind you for little kids) backward stroking/back swizzles.

Rule of the road: Don't stop. This is fitness skate not training skate. And if you want to challenge yourself, get one of those heart monitors that tells you how many calories you've burned.  You can always compare routines and determine which ones use more calories, or get your heart into the target zone fastest.

Have fun everyone! Even if you can't jump or spin!

1 comment:

  1. That's right! In the Season of the Ice Tourists, when the ice is chewed up and there's a real possibility of collision with said Ice Tourist, fitness skate instead. I just completed my Turkey Burn on Ice about an hour ago. Yes, the rink was packed and practicing was impossible and downright dangerous. Nevertheless, I stayed on for two hours and just kept moving, to be sure yesterday's feast stays off me.