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.