The Skater's Edge


Jun 1, 1998
Outside Magazine

Tony Meibock has legs that are bigger than most folks' waists. And he doesn't spend the bulk of his days fighting to keep them. Since his retirement after the '92 Games, the 31-year-old former Olympic speed skater has focused most of his energy designing in-line skates for K2 and refining the skating technique of professional hockey players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Calgary Flames — leaving him time for little more than the following routine. Though the rest of us may aspire to less gargantuan limbs, we can all make good use of Meibock's working stiff's leg plan. To power up your gams for everything from cycling to a pickup game of soccer, Meibock suggests adding this set of exercises to your normal weight regimen twice a week. Perform each move in succession for 30 seconds, followed by five minutes of running or walking, and then repeat the circuit. The routine will take under 20 minutes.

Dry Skate Stand in a skating position: feet together, legs bent as if you're about to sit down, lower back slightly bent, and hands resting on the small of your back. Now simulate skating in place: Leading with your hip, glide to the left until you're crouching over your left leg, right leg fully extended to the side. Drag your right foot in to meet your left foot — but don't stand upright. Think of your hips moving sideways along a lateral plane while you switch legs and continue.

Duck Walk On a grassy field or lawn, position yourself as if at the end of a lunge: back slightly bent, right foot forward, knee bent at 90 degrees, left knee grazing the ground. Fold one arm at the small of your back and leave the other free to swing like a speed skater's. Now simply walk forward, low to the ground, scuffing your toes to keep your balance.

Forward Leg Switch Start in a "scissor stance," with your right leg forward, knee bent 90 degrees, and your left leg back and bent slightly. Now jump straight up and switch legs, before landing in the mirror position. Explode up again as soon as you touch ground.

Single-Leg Squats With your upper body in the skating position, balance your weight on your left leg, holding your right foot just above the ground behind you. Drop into a squat position, bending your left leg until your thigh is parallel to the ground, and come all the way up. Go down and up in smooth, one-second repetitions.

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