Ice hockey player on the ice, outdoors

Skating Balance and Stability Training

Skating is a technique that is learned and practiced starting at a very young age. As you progress through your hockey career, don’t forget off ice training. To become a better skater you must train your bodies 3 feedback systems: vestibular, proprioception, and visual.

Vestibular System:

The vestibular system is made up of 3 semi-circular canals inside you ears that are filled with fluid. The combination of fluid movement is what keeps us feeling “level”.  After a concussion this system is usually compromised and typically requires appropriate intervention to return to normal.

Proprioception:

Our body has receptors in our muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints. These receptors give us feedback of where our body is in space.

Visual System:

The visual systems plays a LARGE role in our stability and balance and we rely on it heavily with all daily activities and during sports. For example, stand on one leg…..EASY. Now, perform that same task with your eyes closed. Not as easy! Ours eyes constantly track and respond to our ever-changing environment.  When training, the more we challenge this system the more adaptable it can be when we need it during quick direction changes during sports.  This is the system we typically over-rely on.

Put it all together:
All 3 of our systems (vestibular, proprioception, visual system) work in a delicate balance to keep us balanced and stable.

If you would like a balance assessment to improve your daily life or sports performance contact me at Katie@toledophysicaltherapy.com.

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