The Canadian hockey players who train at Next Generation HKY in the video above might look familiar on the Blade Skating Treadmill. For those who are unaware, the Blade is a 3,000-pound treadmill made especially for hockey trainers. It’s for commercial use only, so you won’t find one of these in your friend’s garage.
Slats of synthetic ice are attached to the machine’s moving belt with an adjustable incline. A harness is recommended for use because, well, taking a spill on a treadmill is no fun for anybody. The Blade allows skaters to train in a controlled atmosphere, making it ideal for beginners and professionals. Hockey players are able to develop stride techniques and speed while receiving direction from coaches who can easily evaluate players close up.
Players can practice crossovers and, through simulations, skate backwards, into a corner or continuously. The Blade offers positive and negative elevation options to develop a user’s speed and power. It can even be used to enhance hand-eye coordination. With more than 50 square feet of surface area, the treadmill allows players to even learn lateral moves.
The unique treadmill’s slat belt running surface is able to reduce friction and wear, compared to other treadmills, by using bearings. According to sports equipment company Treck America, the slats are literally built like a tank.
“With 316 ball bearings, the belt glides, [resulting] in years of life with very little maintenance and up to 50 [percent] in electrical savings,” the treadmill’s description on the company’s website states. “There is no need to adjust and tension the belt, our design utilizes 32 tracking rollers and a toothed pulley.”
Watch hockey players train on the Blade in the above clip. You’ll see people of all ages, including small children, and players of all levels skating on the training tool. It might look a little intimidating, but that’s what makes it so fun to watch.
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