Off-Ice Core Strength Training – Part 5 (Matthew Blair Davis)

Figure skating strength and conditioning expert Matthew Blair Davis continues his discussion of core strength training for figure skaters. In Part 1 of the series, Matthew described how to properly use a TRX Rip Trainer. In Part 2, he explained a ball slam exercise. In Part 3, he shared an excellent training exercise using a TRX suspension trainer. In Part 4 he used another unusual training tool called the ViPR (which stands for Vitality, Performance, and Reconditioning). In this video, Matthew explains how to use the Bodyblade.

To use the Bodyblade, the skater stands with a split stance. The arm on the behind leg side is forward and holding the Bodyblade. The hand on the forward leg side is placed on the skater’s hip. By holding the Bodyblade straight out and shaking from side to side as hard as possible, the skater’s core is challenged in a dramatic way. Matthew shows and advanced version of the exercise where the split stance is replaced by a one-leg stance, where the leg that was previously behind is now held up. This tool is excellent for helping figure skaters learn to “stop rotation” which is critical for landings. The goal is for the skater to maintain stability of the hips throughout.

At the end of the video, iCoachSkating Founder Trevor Laak steps in front of the camera as Matthew explains more ways to use the Bodyblade. Just prior to this part of the video, Trevor had used the Bodyblade as explained earlier. What looks like nervous twitching of Trevor’s fingers is really his attempt to relax the forearms after using this tool. As Matthew notes, this is a great tool and a big challenge for most skaters.


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