Forward Outside Edge and Ankle Questions

mercybuckets

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Hi!

I've been skating for about 2 months (or since I learned to walk but only seriously for 2 months) and I'm currently in adult LTS 3 (though the way my rink does it, we learn some skills from LTS 4 too).

I have a question about edges and my ankles. I've sprained my right ankle literally 9 times (thankfully the last one was over a year ago knock on wood) and I know that's my weak side. I do strengthening exercises regularly (like every day regularly) but I have a big mental block on clockwise forward outside edges because my brain is like, no leaning, you'll sprain your ankle again. I wouldn't say my edges are fantastic on the other side but they are definitely better and it feels like I'm making progress there too.

I know part of it is just that I need to get over this mental block but it doesn't help that with the way my practice time works out, I get a lot less time to practice on that side which is already my weak side. Aside from that, I also have to be careful because it's way easier to overdo it on that side and if it starts hurting, it takes a while to stop.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips about maximizing my practice time for edges (I feel like a lot of times I'm just skating in circles and failing to lean in enough) as well as any off ice exercises specifically focused on that aspect.

Thanks!
 

treblemakerem

On the Ice
Joined
Dec 24, 2014
Do you have proper skates? I have sprained my ankle many times dancing but in my skates I feel completely supported so I am not worried about reinjuring it. I am a lot more worried about off ice jumps than anything when I have my skates on. If your skates are supportive enough you should definitely be able to do edges without any worries.
 

WednesdayMarch

On the Ice
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Country
United-Kingdom
Hi!

I've been skating for about 2 months (or since I learned to walk but only seriously for 2 months) and I'm currently in adult LTS 3 (though the way my rink does it, we learn some skills from LTS 4 too).

I have a question about edges and my ankles. I've sprained my right ankle literally 9 times (thankfully the last one was over a year ago knock on wood) and I know that's my weak side. I do strengthening exercises regularly (like every day regularly) but I have a big mental block on clockwise forward outside edges because my brain is like, no leaning, you'll sprain your ankle again. I wouldn't say my edges are fantastic on the other side but they are definitely better and it feels like I'm making progress there too.

I know part of it is just that I need to get over this mental block but it doesn't help that with the way my practice time works out, I get a lot less time to practice on that side which is already my weak side. Aside from that, I also have to be careful because it's way easier to overdo it on that side and if it starts hurting, it takes a while to stop.

I was wondering if anyone had any tips about maximizing my practice time for edges (I feel like a lot of times I'm just skating in circles and failing to lean in enough) as well as any off ice exercises specifically focused on that aspect.

Thanks!

My first thought is, "Are you boots strong/supportive enough?" You can do horrible things to your ankles if they're not. (Although if you look at the boots skaters used to wear it's a wonder Sonja Henie et al ever survived to walk again, let alone skate!) And bear in mind that one person's "strong and supportive" is another person's "ankle vice/coffin"... ;)

My second thought is, "Why do so many people talk about "leaning in enough". I think I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've ever told anyone to lean more, and that's in 40 years of skating! Concentrate on getting a good knee bend and feeling yourself comfortably centred over the middle of your blade, with your head over your hips and hips over that middle part of the skate. Once your weight is over the correct part of the skate, you can glide and hold your edge much more comfortably. Once you get any part of your body out of that alignment, it's a lot more difficult and likely to go wrong. Tuck your bottom underneath you, with your hips forward and remember that your head is also the heaviest part, so don't be tempted to look at your feet as that immediately puts it in the wrong place and everything else goes wrong from there. Do NOT think about leaning or any exaggerated movement.

You can practice this in your forward stroking, which should be on slightly outside edges.
 

mercybuckets

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
My first thought is, "Are you boots strong/supportive enough?" You can do horrible things to your ankles if they're not. (Although if you look at the boots skaters used to wear it's a wonder Sonja Henie et al ever survived to walk again, let alone skate!) And bear in mind that one person's "strong and supportive" is another person's "ankle vice/coffin"... ;)

My second thought is, "Why do so many people talk about "leaning in enough". I think I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I've ever told anyone to lean more, and that's in 40 years of skating! Concentrate on getting a good knee bend and feeling yourself comfortably centred over the middle of your blade, with your head over your hips and hips over that middle part of the skate. Once your weight is over the correct part of the skate, you can glide and hold your edge much more comfortably. Once you get any part of your body out of that alignment, it's a lot more difficult and likely to go wrong. Tuck your bottom underneath you, with your hips forward and remember that your head is also the heaviest part, so don't be tempted to look at your feet as that immediately puts it in the wrong place and everything else goes wrong from there. Do NOT think about leaning or any exaggerated movement.

You can practice this in your forward stroking, which should be on slightly outside edges.

That's so interesting, I've definitely been told to lean in more than once! I totally agree with you about alignment. Keeping myself from looking at my feet is a constant struggle lol. Luckily I have a dance/gymnastics background so the importance of alignment is familiar. I will try to concentrate on that because I agree that what gets me in trouble is trying to consciously lean in, which then takes me out of alignment and things go wrong from there.

Thank you for this thoughtful answer! I really appreciate it.
 

mercybuckets

Rinkside
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Treblemakerem:

I would say I definitely feel supported in my skates, that was one of my biggest concerns when I started skating again (and the reason I dropped dance in college)

The worry, I think, is totally in my head. Just one more thing to work on along with edges and proper alignment. I find the mental stuff is the hardest part about coming back from an injury.
 

daniiltimin

Rinkside
Joined
Dec 7, 2015
I feel like you need to focus not on leaning in but on working more with your knees. It is how your get deeper edges by adding pressure on your knees not on your ankles.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
If your skates are supportive, you might think of getting a sleeve type ankle brace to wear on that side that you keep injuring yourself.

Also, adjust your practice time to focus on your weaker side instead of always strong side. And IDK why you are talking about leaning? That's counterproductive, you need to get down into your needs to push with proper posture and pressure on the edge.


Good luck!
 

Ducky

On the Ice
Joined
Feb 14, 2018
If your skates are supportive, you might think of getting a sleeve type ankle brace to wear on that side that you keep injuring yourself.

Also, adjust your practice time to focus on your weaker side instead of always strong side. And IDK why you are talking about leaning? That's counterproductive, you need to get down into your needs to push with proper posture and pressure on the edge.


Good luck!

Do you have a recommendation for a sleeve type ankle brace? I keep two footing my jumps and think it's probably because I'm afraid of twisting my ankle/breaking my ankle. My boots are very supportive but I think having something like that would help my brain stop freaking out.
 

cl2

Final Flight
Joined
Nov 9, 2014
Coming back from a broken leg myself, I can say that your body instincts are completely normal!

One thing to consider is your ankle stability. Stability is different from strength. Stability is the ability to maintain an upright posture, related to proprioception and how your brain perceives your body movement and corrects for instability. If you had to do PT to rehab your ankle, you'd probably have been give some exercises to recuperate your ankle stability.

I, unfortunately, quit PT too soon and never properly stabilized my weak hip, and I'm now feeling the repercussions in my skating, especially my camel spins.

The important thing I learnt is to work your weak side, both on and off the ice, and in a targeted way. Off ice, try training with gym equipment like Bosu balls, squishy mats. E.g., stand on one foot to balance, close your eyes and balance on one foot, have someone throw basketballs at you and catch it while balancing on one foot, one legged squats, etc. (Disclaimer, I'm not a physical therapist, please consult a real physical therapist.)

Stabilizing your ankle should eventually translate into better control of your edges, lean, and overall skating.
 

Ic3Rabbit

Le professionnel d'élite
Record Breaker
Joined
Jan 9, 2017
Country
Canada
Do you have a recommendation for a sleeve type ankle brace? I keep two footing my jumps and think it's probably because I'm afraid of twisting my ankle/breaking my ankle. My boots are very supportive but I think having something like that would help my brain stop freaking out.

I wear one like this.


Make sure from time to time you hand wash it with mild soap and water and allow it to air dry. Otherwise you risk a foot infection from sweating in your boot.
 
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