Speed = Stride Length x Stride Frequency
The above equation tells us everything we need to know on how to improve speed on the ice. Stride length refers to the total distance you can travel in a single push. Stride frequency is the number of pushes you take in a given period.
To improve your skating and speed you need to increase stride length and stride frequency!
In my last post, I talked about how improving ankle dorsiflexion can improve your ability to sit lower in your staking stance (if you missed it you can read it HERE).
Besides the ankle, the hips also play a role in your ability to get lower in your skating stance.
The hips get gunked up and tight due to the repetitive nature of the sport. Assuming your anatomical hip structure will allow you to get low in your skating stance (anatomical hip differences in hockey players is a totally different article) we are going to address the posterior hip muscles especially the hip external rotators and adductors.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
As you can see from the image above there is a lot going on in the posterior hip and it is easy to see how these muscles can become stiff.
Here is how we address hip mobility on a daily basis:
- Reflexive Performance Reset: We begin every training and mobility session with a nervous system reset to make sure everything is firing as optimal as possible
- Address the soft tissue of the posterior hip: Check out this great video by Physical Therapist Kelly Starrett of Mobility WOD and The Ready State: Hip Opening
- Perform Skating Stride Movements in a lower position: I got this next drill from Strength Kevin Neeld. 2 Way Skaters
For more mobility tips for hockey, you can download our At-Home 15 Minute Mobility Program HERE.