Working With A Podiatrist To Improve Your Hockey Skating Skills

Hockey players know that proper conditioning can improve their performance on the ice and help them prevent injuries. While most players are aware of the need for regular gym sessions, chiropractic care, and other forms of preventative treatment, few take the time to realize what a vital role a foot doctor should play in the conditioning process. Without healthy feet, it can be challenging to skate comfortably.

If you are looking for a simple way to improve your ability to stop, turn, and accelerate, then visiting your podiatrist could be a great place to start. Here are two ways that a foot doctor can help you improve your skating in the future.

1. Your foot doctor can help you purchase the right skates.

Hockey skates are available from several different manufacturers, and it can be challenging to determine which pair of skates will be best suited to meet your needs. By taking the time to meet with your podiatrist, you will be able to gain some clear perspective when it comes to selecting a skate boot that is well-suited to the unique shape of your foot.

Your podiatrist will be able to tell you if you have wide feet that will need a wide boot or weak ankles that will require a boot with stiff supports in the ankle region. Knowing the unique physical characteristics of your feet (as identified by your foot doctor) will help make the skate selection process easier, resulting in the purchase of skates that can help improve your on-ice performance.

2. Your podiatrist can help you avoid injury through proper strength training.

Skating is a unique activity that requires the foot to perform in a way that isn't natural. Since the balance point while you are skating is a thin blade of steel, the small intrinsic muscles of the foot that may not get much use as you walk or run are activated when you skate.

These muscles can suffer fatigue strains or tears if they are not prepared to withstand the workload they will face during a game. You can work with your podiatrist to develop a program of stretches and strength training moves that will help you avoid overuse injuries to the intrinsic muscles in your foot.

Finding ways to improve your skating can help you take your hockey game to the next level. Be sure that you are scheduling regular appointments with your podiatrist, such as,  to discuss your the unique physical characteristics of your feet and any strength work that is needed to keep the small muscles in your foot healthy. Feet that are pain-free will allow you to skate with purpose and ease during your upcoming season.