Figure Skating Off-Ice Training – Agility Ladder (Kristina Anderson)

In this video, NSCA certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Kristina Anderson shares some agility ladder drills for off-ice training.  General athleticism, good coordination, and quickness are important for anyone aspiring to be a better figure skater.  Kristina demonstrates several different off-ice drills specific to figure skaters.  In the video, she uses an agility ladder, but gives several options for those without access to one.

The first movement pattern is a simple forward step with both feet in each box.  She has skaters do this drill forward, backward and laterally both ways.  It is important to have athletes move not only forward, but also backward and laterally to strengthen the muscles that allow the body to move in all directions, not just forward. Strengthening from all angles is not only important for improving athletic performance, but also crucial in injury prevention. Training certain groups of muscles too much, and neglecting to train other muscles leads to muscular imbalances and increased risk of injury.

Kristina demonstrates another drill which is similar to the first, with 3 steps in each box to focus on quickness.  One tip she gives to skaters when doing agility drills is to stay low in the knees.  The next few exercises involve more complicated movements with “in and out” steps and a “dance step” involving a cross over with an added “twist.”  With the more complicated exercises, she encourages the use of arms to counterbalance the movement.  For more advanced athletes, she encourages both backward and forward completion of the drills for an added challenge. The focus of all the drills is on building coordination and quickness, both very important in the sport of figure skating.

For some addition but similar exercises, see the off-ice training that Eun Hee Lee has her skaters do as a daily warm-up.


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