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Fitness Skating and Training Forum Discussions about on-skate and off-skate training, hydration, sports nutrition, weight loss, injuries, sports medicine, and other topics related to training and physical fitness for skaters.

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Old August 18th, 2013, 12:35 AM   #1
hype2120
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Default Ankles - Adjusting to 100mm Hybrid Skates

Hi, all. This is my first post in the forum. Woo-hoo! I've been inline staking for about 25 years. I wouldn't say I'm an expert but am fairly advanced. Had been skating on 85Amm wheels for 5-6 years. A couple months ago, I finally took the plunge into a 100mm skate. First purchase was a Rollerblade Tempest. Returned them quickly...a tad too advanced for me. Then purchased the Rollerblade RB 100, which is more of a hybrid skate. The first few days were difficult. I felt a bit unstable and the lower cut boot was causing blisters. I kept increasing my training time, (longer intervals at higher speeds) and used a lot of band-aids for the blisters. Almost magically, I adapted to the larger wheel in about 5-6 days. And not a single fall: )

Cut to: two months later. I've had a pesky issue lately. As I improved on the 100mm wheel, I could skate farther distances, at faster speeds, with better technique, and for a longer duration. Great, right? For the most part, yes, great.

With increased speed, distance, and skating duration (about 85 minutes/daily), I've noticed a nagging ankle pain that I never experienced with my higher cut skates. This pain occurs during skating and after skating. The pain makes total sense. A lower cut boot, that forces better technique, requires more ankle strength and stability.

So...we finally get to my question. Does anyone know of good ankle strengthening or ankle stabilizing exercises? Or a link to a web site? I'm a fairly 'in-shape' girl, extremely athletic, played sports all my life and in college. Note: my body has taken quite the beating in my 30+ years of competitive sports. You name it: I've broken, torn, or sprained it multiple times. Yep, this includes tearing ligaments in both ankles and a couple fractures.

The easy thing would be to wear braces or tape my ankles before skating. But I've been in too many Orthopedic Surgeon's offices and too many PT centers in my lifetime. I know that is an easy fix that will not help my ankles in the long run. A brace or taping will not help me improve my ankle strength. I'm wary of tearing ligaments again or developing stress fractures. The goal is to strengthen the ankles -- not merely enable me to continue skating with less pain.

I know the basics...balance on one foot, calf raises, one foot balance on trampoline and throw ball, inversion/eversion with bands, dorsi flexion. I do them all. I'm just wondering if there are any 'specific to inline skating' exercises that would better help me. If anyone knows a few or has a link, my ankles and I would greatly appreciate your input.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. Hope it wasn't too long. I wanted to give a decent overview, plus quasi-introduce myself (since this is my first post.)
Heidi
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #2
PBLsQuad450
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Hi Heidi, welcome to the forum!! I'm no expert and better, more experienced skaters will chime in I'm sure... The easiest thing? Back off a little, take a day off here here and there. You will develop strength while resting, after demanding strength and performance. Do you have an off season where you live? I think training the ankles and skating will be a bit much unless you plan enough rest in the schedule. Develop strength in the off season if you have one. Nothing will do a better job of skating specific ankle development than skating. And... are your frames aligned properly? Getting that right can take some stress off. You have been skating a long time. Even in higher cuffed boots you probably have strong enough ankles... With a little rest and patience...
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Old August 18th, 2013, 03:15 AM   #3
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I agree that rest is important. Frame adjustment will also help. My thought for ankle strength was to use a balance board. I moved to speed skates and this was helpful for getting foot stability in lower cut boots for me.
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Old August 18th, 2013, 01:33 PM   #4
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I agree that the best workout for skating, is skating. I'm probably the lone voice on this next issue though - I think Rollerblade and K2 skates are trash, at every price point. I highly recommend that you take a close look at Seba skates. They specialize in slalom where ankle support is key. I took a pair of Seba Trix and added an Adams Inline 100mm wheel frame. Total stability. It's a dual mount - 165mm and 195mm so pay attention to the mount when mixing boots an frames.

PS - I can't say enough bad things about the Rollerblade Tempest - it's a total trash piece of equipment. Don't let that bad experience with that skate dissuade you. It's not you, it's the crap skate. I owned a pair and gladly sold them at a loss on eBay.

My skates:

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Old August 18th, 2013, 09:51 PM   #5
Code Monkey
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My right ankle has always had issues due to it being seriously broken. There are a number of things to do which I found work for me. One is a low cut shoe is the way to go, I know sounds contrary to logic. The next thing is you need to skate unlaced in a parking lot for a bit and spend time adjusting your frames. You should be able to skate comfortably unlaced. Once you have achieved that you are balanced on your skates.

Next thing I do is wear five pound ankle weights as much as possible but not skating. Also seems odd but the weight causes your body to adjust and strengthen plus step lightly otherwise you will feel it.

Massage and stretch your ankles, legs and hips.

Sounds like you do balancing and all that so I didn't mention it.

Cado Motus makes great skates at good price.

Also there is a double push tutorial on nettracing.com.... don't do it! He advocates cocking your ankle over to wear you feel the shoe hit your ankle. That may work fine for people with no ankle issues or past damage but for me who has had damage it just will cause you more problems. Don't do it. Instead stay with the classic style. Pay close attention to your "fall" and weight transfer. Hit your edges on your skates but do so in slow increments, start by staying on top of your wheels until your ankles get strong and they will, it just takes time.

Enjoy skating, welcome to the skating world.
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Old September 12th, 2013, 02:48 PM   #6
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Hey Hype, so how's it going?

Thoughts I had while skating. Ankle strengthening. A couple of things. One is to just get on your skates as much as possible. You don't need to skate just get the skates on your feet and balance yourself. Feel where the frame is on your feet. Hold onto something and balance on one leg. Try to hold less and less and try to just balance on your skates.

Get back to holding onto something and do squats. Slowly. Gradually try to do it without holding onto anything.

Do dryland exercises with skates on. Just little ten to fifteen minute practice sessions.

Afterwards rub your ankles hard. Press on tendons you feel are sensitive. Massage deeply.

With skates off, when you stand up from your desk or taking a brief break, stand up on your toes, lifting your heels up in the air, like your wearing pumps, then back down again. Do a bunch.

I do these things all the time and I can tell you it will help you tremendously.
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Old September 13th, 2013, 02:54 AM   #7
2old2sk8t
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PBLsQuad450 View Post
Hi Heidi, welcome to the forum!! I'm no expert and better, more experienced skaters will chime in I'm sure... The easiest thing? Back off a little, take a day off here here and there. You will develop strength while resting, after demanding strength and performance. Do you have an off season where you live? I think training the ankles and skating will be a bit much unless you plan enough rest in the schedule. Develop strength in the off season if you have one. Nothing will do a better job of skating specific ankle development than skating. And... are your frames aligned properly? Getting that right can take some stress off. You have been skating a long time. Even in higher cuffed boots you probably have strong enough ankles... With a little rest and patience...
+1. I think you're overdoing it in terms of duration and frequency.
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