You get to a point in your progress of skating where just going to open skates and practice four or five days a week stops you advancing as quickly.
This is the point I am at right now. So along with all the fabulous skating, I am also doing a lot of conditioning off skates. I go to the gym 5-6 days a week working on skating related exercising.
I have terrible knees so I have to moderate everything to keep the pressure off them. And this is really cool because in the past month I haven't had a single problem with my knees.
On days that I have practice later on I focus on weight lifting. Which seems to surprise me on how much pain it causes the next day. Good, sore pain, but yes pain.
I start out with the treadmill. I crank it up to the highest incline it has, set it to 2 miles an hour and do a variety of squats. This lasts anywhere from 15-30 minutes depending on how much energy I have.
I set my limits based on how my body feels. Instead of using arbitrary numbers, I just go until it burns, go as long as I can in the burn and then slow down until my breathing and muscles are mostly recovered. Then I do it again!
I do the same with weights. I go as heavy as I can until I can barely do that last rep. Then I stretch forever!
Cardio days are on days where there is no practice later on. I do the same workout on the treadmill but start with the elliptical machine. I don't stand in a normal stance on the elliptical. I hold onto the bars and hang back so there is no pressure on my knees and all the burn is in the back of my legs and abs.
I do at least 5 minutes of toe walks and ball of my foot walks. Keeping my toes, feet and ankles strong is super important too.
Right now these workouts are detracting slightly from my skating. I'm tired and sore when I go to practice. But it's just a matter of time before my body catches up and does that slingshot improvement as it gets stronger.