This past weekend my boyfriend took me ice skating. We went to an indoor skating rink around Cherry Hill, NJ and had a great time. There were so many people out that day, and you could tell that everyone was having fun. As we were skating around the rink, there were a few figure skaters taking lessons in the middle of everyone.
Watching these individuals, I realized how amazing this sport is. I can only do the basics when it comes to skating (Skating forward, with no fancy tricks.) Watching these athletes skate backwards, spin, do leaps, and skate on one leg, had me in awe. The amount of time it took for them to practice their moves, the amount of core and leg strength they have, and their flexibility is impressive. There were young kids, I would say around the age of 7, showing us up as well while we skated in circles around the rink. I wasn't mad though, just astonished by the talent these people had.
Ice Skating is a really fun activity to do with close friends. It’s something different, and a great winter activity to get you off the couch and moving. If you’ve never been before, I would suggest trying it out. You don’t need to be a figure skater to go out and enjoy time on the ice.
What is working?
If you are like me and are not a figure skater, don't worry, we are still putting our bodies through work while we skate around in circles. The main muscles that are working during ice skating are the core and lower extremity muscles.
With the core muscles, we have our abs and back muscles being strengthened as we keep ourselves up and balance.
With the lower extremity muscles, we are working our quads and thighs the same way as we would when walking (these muscles are used during knee flexion and extension.) Our calf muscles (specifically the gastrocnemius) is working as we push through the glide for an explosive movement forward.
[If you are standing properly on your skates (avoiding ankle inversion and/or eversion) you are also strengthening the muscles around the ankle joint whiling maintaining balance.]