How the skating treadmill changed hockey practice forever

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February 13, 2024
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How the skating treadmill changed hockey practice forever

The skating treadmill has transformed the world of ice hockey training in a variety of ways. From grassroots hockey all the way to the National Hockey League (NHL), it’s a form of exercise that caters for different skill levels of players to really improve their game on the ice.

Skating treadmills or ‘skatemills’ are quite like running treadmills you’d find in a gym but have been designed to be wider and longer with a surface that simulates being on ice.

The big pros in North America rely on training centres with skating treadmills to up their game. People who are into NHL might want to check out as it offers news, insights and tips for sports betting in Canada

But whether you play hockey professionally or you are just an avid amateur, here is how using a treadmill could be useful for you…

blog-ice-hockey-playersStarting out

If you’re taking your first steps in the skating world, it starts with learning how to control a puck with a hockey stick.

Skating treadmills can be very costly and more difficult to find in the UK – so a normal running treadmill can work really well when someone starts learning the basics. 

Most commonly, beginners may find it useful to put a number of pucks on the treadmill and react as they come back at you. Start on a slower setting until you get used to things! Treadmills can reach a good speed so this is great practice to test control and reaction times. 

An advantage of a treadmill used for ice hockey training is that it’s versatile. Stopping or dodging the puck as well as dribbling are just some of the drills to think about. Check out how this hockey fan got super creative with her workout.

blog-ice-hockey-stadiumWays to elevate your game with a skating treadmill

Improving reaction time is a key component for any player who is looking to get into the greatest sport on ice. From an in-game perspective, those split-second moments could be the difference between scoring a goal or getting in a defensive tackle. 

If you’re a novice skater, treadmills have the added appeal that they’re not affected by the weather or need other conditions or specialist equipment.

Access to ice rinks - particularly in the UK - can be limited so training at home or at a gym with a treadmill is ideal.

blog-ice-hockey-puck-and-flagAside from learning how to play the rules of hockey, this useful machine can also allow you to become a better skater. Controlling your movement and skate speed on the treadmill allows you to feel as if the ice is below your feet in a safe environment.

A top-tip - try and have a mirror positioned in front to view your body position and technique as you skate.

Seeing your arm swing and leg extensions means you can modify how you move. If you’re being coached, it’s a useful visual prompt to see where you’re skating well or should correct angles or position.

So, could it be time for ice hockey treadmill centres to take off in the UK? The players and the UK ice hockey scene could certainly benefit from it!

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