Thursday, February 16, 2012

Off-Ice Edge Trainer

I've had a few comments on the Off-Ice Edge training device. I'd like to provide some information. First, a caveat ...I have no connection to this company other than owning and using their product. I do feel that this training device helps simulate some of the core training taught by figures/patch in years past. While actually skating figures would accomplish the same thing better and faster, most skaters don't have access to regular and frequent patch ice and instruction.

I wrote the following about my experience with the OIE for the Oregon Skating Council.

When my husband presented me with an OIE unit for my birthday I was skeptical, and didn’t “find the time” to try it out. It sat in my basement gathering dust.

Meanwhile I was struggling to rehab and re-learn how to skate after surgery. On the ice I no longer had the muscle strength or fine motor coordination to hold decent edges. I was frustrated and considered quitting skating.

Finally, I hauled out the OIE unit and DVD and decided to give it a try. I put on my skates, climbed on the OIE, and watched myself “skate” in the mirror.

I am a visual learner and had no idea what I looked like on the ice. It was kind of gruesome the first time I looked at my posture and alignment in the mirror. I could clearly see where I was out of alignment and what was causing me to have problems on the ice. I was able to experiment with different ways to make the corrections in my body and instantly see what happened in the mirror. I could feel the edge happening on the OIE platform. I got on the ice the next day and although I was still weak and uncoordinated, I could actually hold a true forward outside edge for the first time since my surgery.

I started using the platform a couple of times a week. Within a month, my coach (who I didn’t tell about my off-ice activities) noticed much improvement. I wasn’t spending more time on the ice but the time I did spend was much more productive since I was training off the ice and using visual reinforcement of correct alignment which translated to muscle memory on the ice. Off the ice I was training my core, hips and pelvis (the parts that were damaged by my surgery) to work correctly so that they responded more automatically on the ice.

I still have a long way to go, but I will continue to use the off ice trainer to speed my improvement. I see the changes in the mirror and I feel them on the ice. I am bringing this to OSC because if it can help an out of shape grandmother to regain some function, it can certainly help take our young athletes to the next level.


George A said...

Terry: Is your OIE trainer the entry version or the advanced version? It sounds like a good idea. I'm going to see if of my local ice rinks have one as part of their off ice training programs. I just got rid of a solo-flex machine and our old Nordic-Trak and I doubt if my wife wants to see more space gobbling exercise junque come through the front door!

Gordon said...

That's really cool!

Mary @ Fit and Fed said...

I also have an off-ice edge, I got it to help with patellofemoral pain and I used it with my PT for a few months and by myself for a long time after. It was a useful tool.