Here is Part 2 of Optimizing Your Skating Technique. If you missed Part 1 you can read that HERE.
5. Use a 45° Stride Angle
When skating the goal is to push on a 45° angle. Any stride angle greater than 45° causes increased friction on the ice limiting power. On the other hand any stride angle inside of 45° causes the blade to lose contact with the ice also leading to decreased power. A 45° stride angle increases propulsion and blade contact time.
6. Swing Your Arms Diagonally
Use your arms to create balance in your skating. Your arms are meant to create a counterbalance. The stride angle of your legs is 45° and your arms should mimic that angle. Swinging your arms side to side causes your momentum to go sideways this causes the athlete to waste energy trying to resist lateral movement.
7. Learn To Master Your Edges
To become a great skater you must learn to control your edges. The best skaters demonstrate great balance, agility, and control because they have learned to master their body position and the use of their edges.
Hockey players need to feel comfortable riding their inside and outside edge on one skate and two. This can be practiced by marking “C” shapes on the ice forward and backward on one stake and two. Start with making large “C” shapes and progress to tighter ones.
8. Get To Know Your Rocker
Skate blades are sharpened in a front-to-back arch. Meaning only a portion of your blade is in contact with the ice during skating. Hockey players need to learn to balance and feel comfortable in a centered position on their blade. Players should focus on keeping themselves centered over the middle of their feet.
Practicing forward and backward swivels is a great way to get comfortable in this position.
The bottom line is if you want to get faster on the ice you need to be a great skater. Spend time learning and dialing in your technique. Seek out the help of experts and perfect your stride.