“If you want to improve your performance in kickboxing, put on a pair of ice skates.”
- Coach Marko
Those are words you’d never expect to hear from an MMA coach, right?
Ice skating develops all the necessary factors involved in proprioception and core stability. The brain interprets various stimuli which give it information about acceleration, rotation, balance, body position and hand-eye coordination. These are all put together by the brain to create a sensation of movement and orientation in one's own body. The same neurological processes are employed while training in mixed martial arts.
Here are some awesome benefits of ice skating:
Ice skating is low impact, meaning at least one foot is in contact with the ice at all times. Ice skating is safe on your joints and connective tissue, and will strengthen both. Just don’t fall on your face. *The author is not responsible for any damage that might occur; do not take this as professional medical advice.*
This is an obvious one. You’re literally wearing two thin steel blades while moving on a giant sheet of ice. Learning how to balance on unstable surfaces while moving in a safe manner transfers to moving while in a martial art settings.
This is great way to develop all the stabilizer muscles in your feet, ankles, around your knees, around your hips, and lower back. This all leads to improved neuromuscular control, which leads to an improvement in overall movement.
Use it or lose it. Train it and gain it!
Coordination and flow
Creating an efficient movement flow on the ice and causing acceleration requires all of the above, as well as mental focus on a specific task. This develops your proprioception, which is your internal sense of body position.
Ice skating is a fun activity for the whole family, and a great way to get a quick workout while enjoying the winter season! It will also improve your footwork, balance, and striking in mixed martial arts! So kickboxers, take note––get out there and start skating!