How To Skate Faster: 3 Skating Hacks To Instantly Boost Your Speed
Updated: Jul 16, 2019
How to Skate Faster
You’re probably a bit like me and you want to know how to skate faster. And even though we’re willing to do the research, put in the work and improve our game – wouldn’t it be nice to get some hacks that work instantly?
One reason that players take too long to improve their speed is that there is a disconnect between common skating advice and what the top skaters do. That gap is your hidden advantage. (Don’t tell anyone!)
As a professional hockey player and kinesiologist, I found 5 ways to instantly boost your speed. A few are uncommon – but the fun part is that they work. Ready?
1. Don’t Bend Your Knees…
Sidney Crosby Hip Hinge for Stability and Power in hockey
Bending your knees is hard. It usually involves a lot of tension.
What we found was that the best players don’t bend their knees. They bend their ankles. This naturally forces knee bend. The advantage is that when you let your ankles bend, they rest on the tongue of your skates. So there’s no effort required!
As soon as you move away from bending your knees and towards letting your ankles go soft, you reduce the amount of effort required to stay low. And when you’re lower, you get a longer stride. And when you get a longer stride: you skate faster! Hack #1 of how to skate faster…check!
2. Don’t Swing Your Arms Forward…
Swing your arms side to side. Your arms swing is NOT meant to propel you forward. Your arm swing is actually meant to offset your lower body movement.
As you know, ice is slippery. So we don’t actually push straight back when we skate. Rather, we push to the side. So to offset our sideways leg pushes, we need to swing our arms side to side.
Strange as it sounds, swinging your arms side to side will immediately give you a boost in speed. Second how to skate faster hack…check!
3. Don’t Push With Your Legs…
Skating seems like running. Except on slippery ice.
But skating is more like skiing. Each stride is like an arc cut into the ice instead of a push and step.
The way that you skate on an arc is by twisting your hips. We call this the hip engine.
Most skaters hold their hips square. As if they are stuck facing forward. But top skaters like McDavid and MacKinnon twist their pelvis when they stride. This allows you to extend into a longer stride with more power.
What Is Next?
There are a lot of great articles on how to improve your skating speed. You’ve probably heard some of the common explanations. And if you’re wanting a little extra juice, you might want to try these hacks out.
Skater like McDavid, MacKinnon, and Barzal are not made of “Magic Mystery Dust.” The same laws of physics that apply to us apply to them. But they’ve learned to leverage physics and their biomechanics better than anyone else. As a professional hockey player and kinesiologist, I uncovered some of these uncommon mechanics and began teaching them to players. It’s something we call the Downhill Skating System. If you’d like to learn more about it, you might want to check out:
Thanks for reading today!