A Skater’s Exercise
Here’s a great exercise for those athletes that participate in a skating sport. This exercise focuses on the muscles that give an athlete the power during their push off while working the other leg’s balance and stability. The key is to keep your core engaged to keep your pelvis level and not allow your back muscles to kick while you extend you leg back as if skating (you should feel your hip and butt muscles engage). As you “push off” against the resistance of a band, your other leg is staying stationary with your knee slightly bent (you should feel your quad and butt muscles on this side).
Often times my patients have a difficult time finding their glut muscles. If this happens to you, make sure you have equal weight from the ball of your foot, including the ball of your big toe, through your heel. Also make sure your back is flat, not arched (this is controlled by keeping your low abs engaged – think about tightening those muscles, pulling your belly button towards your spine, and when you do this feel you tailbone tuck under).
I would recommend doing this exercise slow and controlled to start and as you get better about engaging the correct muscles, try increasing the speed of the movement, making it more like how quickly you would be moving your leg as if you were actually skating. Hope you like this challenge – good luck!