PHASE 4 of Skate to Ski by Rollerblade: Power Up Your Skills! (Part5)

PHASE 4 of Skate to Ski by Rollerblade: Power Up Your Skills! (Part5)
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Welcome back to the Skate to Ski blog series by Rollerblade! We've reached Phase 4, where the intensity of ski-specific cross-training takes a leap. Get ready to challenge yourself and take your skills to new heights. In this phase, we will focus on developing your balance, strength, coordination, and explosive power. Mastering these drills will undoubtedly pay off when you hit the slopes next time. So, let's dive into Phase 4 and power up your skating skills! 💪⛷️

Power Carve - Unleash Your Leg Strength!

Terrain: Begin on a smooth, flat, paved surface with no slope, then progress to slightly uphill terrain.

Objective: Pump down and out through each parallel turn to generate momentum, using leg strength and power instead of striding. Eventually, apply this skill to climb slight inclines.

If Done Correctly:

  • Momentum is solely created and maintained through pump turns.
  • The pump starts from the toes and flows to the heel.
  • Legs contract at the top of the turn and extend into the bottom of the turn.
  • Isolate the explosive movement in the lower body with a relatively quiet upper body.

Common Challenges:

  • Loss of momentum.
  • Insufficient flexion to "load the spring" at the top of the turn.
  • Excessive upper body motions used to maintain momentum.

Power Carve is primarily a strength and conditioning exercise. It aims to build the muscles necessary to load a ski and generate explosive power. Master this skill on flat terrain before attempting it on an incline. As you progress, challenge yourself by increasing the degree of incline. The higher the slope, the greater the momentum you can maintain! 🏔️⚡

Hop Turn Warm-ups - Prepare for the Air!

Terrain: Begin on a flat to slightly sloped grassy area, then progress to a flat to slightly sloped paved area.

Objective: Develop balance, coordination, and body movements required for performing hop turns on skates.

If Done Correctly:

  • Knees and ankles are deeply flexed, hands out front.
  • The upper body remains squared off, facing the fall line.
  • Compression and extension are done with the legs, with minimal motion with the upper body during the jump.
  • Land softly, minimizing impact.

Common Challenges:

  • Upper body rotation during the jump, landing facing across the hill.
  • Out-of-balance landings, rolling instead of across the fall line.
  • Overly hard landings due to insufficient impact absorption by the legs.

Hop Turn Warm-ups create a platform to launch you into a rolling version of this movement. Ensure you're solid with this exercise before progressing to rolling hop turns. Repeating this drill on grass is also an excellent way to develop leg strength and power. Consider incorporating it as an interval exercise on its own. Get ready to elevate your hops and conquer the slopes with finesse! 🦘🛹

Hop Turns - Soar Through the Turns!

Terrain: A road or trail free of traffic or other paved surface with a slight to moderate slope. Ensure cone placement does not create hazards.

Objective: Perform a turn transition in the air, leaving the ground at the bottom of a turn and landing at the top of a new turn.

If Done Correctly:

  • Both feet remain parallel and leave the ground simultaneously.
  • The upper body remains quiet.
  • Shoulders stay level.
  • Feet land in a position that immediately initiates the next turn.

Common Challenges:

  • Loss of balance and control during jumps or landings.
  • Rigid body, unable to absorb landings effectively.
  • Hops are too small or lateral to land effectively in the next turn.
  • Difficulty maintaining the tempo of the set course.

Hop Turns combines many of the skills learned in previous exercises. Leave and land on the ground in a strong, balanced position with a parallel stance. Carve a quick turn immediately using your knees and ankles. Start on a flat surface with momentum before attempting this skill on a slope. Remember, finding the right slope is key. While challenging, this exercise doesn't need to be mastered before progressing to the next drills. Embrace the fluidity and dynamism of the Hop Turns! 🔄🛹

Single Skate Turns - Master the Inside and Outside Edges!

Terrain: Begin on a smooth, flat, paved surface. A very slight slope may be helpful to fully develop this skill.

Objective: Develop balance, coordination, and agility necessary for inside and outside edge control on one foot. Perform short radius turns in a straight line.

If Done Correctly:

  • Maintain deep ankle and knee flexion throughout the turn.
  • Perform the turning skate pitches laterally from the pinky toe edge (outside) to the big toe edge (inside) equally through each turn.
  • Both inside and outside edge turns have the same turn shape.
  • Place cones far enough apart to allow adequate space for turns.

Common Challenges:

  • Loss of momentum during turns.
  • Setting the course on too steep a decline, resulting in excessive momentum.
  • Unbalanced body position, especially on pinky toe (outside) edge turns.
  • Overuse of upper body motions for balance.

Similar to one-leg ski turns, this drill challenges you to make turns on your outside edge. Flex, stack yourself over your turning foot, and drive your knee in the direction of the turn for successful outside edge turns. Ensure your skates are securely tightened for better balance. This exercise is easier with moulded shell skates due to the support they provide. Mastering Single Skate Turns will set you up for successful carving on your uphill ski! ⛷️🎿

Outside Leg Turns - Embrace the Downhill!

Terrain: A wide road free of traffic or another paved surface with a mild to moderate slope. Set cones or markers without creating hazards.

Objective: Develop the ability to turn and balance solely on the outside/downhill skate while performing medium to long radius turns.

If Done Correctly:

  • Maintain deep ankle and knee flexion throughout the turn.
  • Achieve an even turn shape with both left and right turns.
  • Finish each turn across the fall line.
  • Keep the upper body facing down the fall line throughout the turns.

Common Challenges:

  • Inability to keep the uphill leg off the ground.
  • Overuse of upper body motions for balance.
  • The imbalance between left and right turns.
  • Course set on too steep a decline, leading to excessive momentum.

Outside Leg Turns mark one of the most challenging drills in the Skate Ski Training System. It requires the balance, strength, and coordination developed in previous exercises. Be patient and review the Stomp Turns drill from Phase 3 if needed. Keep the raised skate with the front wheel slightly down for initial attempts. Once you've mastered Outside Leg Turns, increase the slope and challenge yourself further. You can also incorporate Hourglass Turns and Lane Changes, using only Outside Leg Turns. Embrace the challenge and conquer the slopes like a pro! 🌟⛷️

Before we wrap up, remember the Rules of the Road for safe and enjoyable skating:

  • Familiarize yourself with skating and traffic regulations in your area.
  • Always wear protective gear.
  • Learn basic inline skating skills before venturing out.
  • Stay alert and skate under control.
  • Avoid using headphones that limit your awareness of the surroundings.
  • Inspect your skates if you hear unusual sounds while skating.
  • Carry an Allen key for tightening bolts and ensure it's in a safe location.
  • Avoid debris, rocks, oil, sand, water, and uneven pavement.
  • Stay away from areas with heavy traffic.
  • Do not hold onto moving motorized vehicles.
  • Be mindful of your speed, especially when going downhill.
Skate to Ski -
Skate to Ski is an initiative by Rollerblade that allows skiers to attach a ski binding to their inline skates, enabling them to practice their ski techniques during the off-season or in areas without snow. With Skate to Ski, skiers can simulate the movements and balance required for skiing while us…

That wraps up Phase 4 of Skate to Ski by Rollerblade! Congratulations on reaching this advanced stage of training. By mastering the Power Carve, Hop Turns, Single Skate Turns, and Outside Skate Turns, you'll enhance your skiing skills and dominate the slopes like never before. Stay tuned for the next and final phase of our series, where we'll cover the ultimate techniques to take your ski-inspired skating to the next level.

Happy skating and skiing! 🎿🛹