Explosive leg power is one of the key components in hockey player development (4). However, if that power cannot be harnessed on to the 0.001” of the skate blade used by hockey players to carve across the ice (6), the power output increases produced during dry land training may not be reproduced on the ice at game time. Proper foot mechanics are essential in distributing the force more evenly, thereby having increased edge control (2).
An orthotic is used to control the foot and ankle, helping keeping them in a neutral position. This will allow the forces produced in the legs to travel down through the foot and on to the skate blade in the most efficient manor. The blades of a hockey skate are place where the manufacturers believe the centre of gravity should pass through (where all the force is going through) (2). However, often times our feet are not aligned in a neutral position, therefore not allowing your body to perform to optimal levels in the skate you wear (3). Using orthotic inserts will allow the foot to work in the skate in the most favourable position therefore allowing your body to work in the most efficient and effective way possible. The use of orthotics will also lead to a decrease in “hot spots”(2), an increase in stride length and therefore increase performance (4). It will also help lower fatigue in musculature throughout the body (4).
Indications Orthotics in Your Skates may Benefit You
– Difficulty turning in one direction
– Struggling to hold either an outside or inside edge
– Weak crossovers
– Chronic knee pain
– Low back pain
– Repeated groin pulls
Fatigue and injury are some of the biggest limiting factors in hockey. Preventing or reducing those issues from the feet up can not only protect your body, but also improve your game. The institute for hockey research states that either the static contractions of the quadriceps or high muscle forces contributed to restricted blood flow and oxygen delivery therefore causing fatigue (1). Skins, is a product which can be worn to increase oxygen flow to working muscles (7). Skins, has been shown to increase time to exhaustion by 30% (7). Wearing Skins long tight in combination with orthotics may just be the wining combination needed to take you to the next level in your competition.
Visit us at www.miltonorthoticwellness.com
1. Bracko M., High Performance Skating for Hockey. Sport Medicine Council of Alberta. Retrieved November 17, 2009. www.hockeyinstitute.org.
2. Bradley, Mahon A., (2006), Prevention and Treatment of Foot and Ankle Injuries in Figure Skaters. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 5 258-261.
3. Francey P., You Can Skate Faster…Don’t Let Your Skates Hold You Back!. Retrieved November 17, 2009. www.carolinaarticles.com.
4. Noble S., Ice Hockey Skate Buying Demystified. Retrieved November 17, 2009. www.Epinions.com.
5. Twist P., Leg Power Key to Explosive Skating. Retrieved November 17, 2009. www.ontariohockey.com.