Making Stridz Athlete Development Logo

Last night I sent out a tweet regarding the importance of ankle mobility in skating. When you sit down to watch a game over the weekend, pay careful attention to the lower half of the body in all of the top players in the game. If you watch very carefully, the one thing you should notice is that all of these players do an excellent job of going into a position of deep ankle dorsiflexion. Ankle dorsiflexion is bringing the toe closer to the shin by flexing the ankle. In terms of hockey skating, this position will result in the knee moving forwards while the skate blade stays flat on the ice. In doing this, the athlete moves their weight forwards (onto the balls of their feet) and puts them in a better position to apply force into the ice. An ideal position would be to get the middle of the knee joint directly over top of the front or toe of the skate. As we work our way up the kinetic chain, the athlete will gain significantly more knee flexion from this movement which will increase their balance, stability and stride length. It’s important to focus on building the hockey stride from the ground up in order to increase speed, power and performance! So next time you step on the ice, check to see how much ankle mobility you have when fully dressed!

Brian Shackel, MSc