Can very fast skaters get faster?
The answer is YES, they can be much faster and much more efficient allowing them to have more energy and speed at the end of their games. Skating at top speed... is all about applying pressure to the ice, using the right body positioning, making sure you have correct rhythm, timing and sequence of your movement, and moving your weigh in the right direction.
Today I am going to be speaking about “ankle bend” this topic is seldom given any thought to, but is very important. To allow your weight to shift forward you must bend your ankle. Without the ankle bend you will have missed the compression factor of the ankle joint as well as the principal of recreating all the joints that can be used to create force.
Of all the joints that must compress or close to create force the ankle joint is the most important to compress. People think this is pretty strange as we all know that the muscles around the hips and thighs are larger and stronger than those around the ankle, but we have already used them to exert maximum pressure in the ice, we need to shift the weight first, and to shift the weight forward the ankle must be bent.
Have you ever walked out of a rink, restaurant, or your house, to a foot or more of freshly fallen snow and needed to push your car out of a snow bank? You need all of your weight ahead of your pushing foot to be able to move the car. You so get down real low bend your ankles and knees and lean forward and push against the car with everything you have. Your push is the strongest when your ankle angle was closed to the max and you were leaning forward towards the car. Even though the muscles groups in the ankle and foot are smaller than the upper muscles of the leg, they still need to be recruited to create the maximum force. Closing the ankle angle creates a stronger, more stable joint by recruiting more muscle fiber. By closing or compressing the ankle you will not only allow the weight to shift forward, you will also create stability and improved balance.
The ankle bend in skating is a continuous motion starting from when the skate first contacts the ice and the angle is open to 75-85 degrees or to its maximum compression, and then closing to about 45 degrees or to its maximum compression.
The point of maximum compression is called the power position. It is the point where maximum pressure is being applied to the ice through a combination of shifting weight forward to create momentum and closing the ankle to maximum recruitment of muscles fibers.
So don’t forget to bend and use everything you have in those ankles. It helps a lot with your skating.
Scary Mary says I will see you all at the rink………