When we think of fitness or weight loss or muscle toning, we often switch to the more usual methods such as joining a gym, regular brisk walking, swimming, cycling, running, or mindful yoga sessions. However, we miss out on one of the popular yet often overlooked sports that is roller skating.
So, can roller skating help toning up your legs? The answer is affirmative. Roller skating is not only a fun sport but also a highly recommended cardiovascular exercise. Further, including roller skating to your regular exercise program can offer several health benefits. The sport not only serves as an effective cardiovascular workout but also helps in building muscle strength and provides endurance training. Regular skating can improve your balance and coordination, and build strong muscles in your pelvis and legs.
As per a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a one-hour session of roller skating can help you burn over 400 calories per hour. Another study conducted by the esteemed researchers at the University of Massachusetts in the year 1997 demonstrates that inline skating sessions are far less stressful on your joints in comparison to running. These fundings certainly make roller skating as a smart, low-impact exercise. Regular roller skating can help strengthen and tone your legs.
Making the Most of Your Skating Workout for Toning Your Legs
Roller skating offers surprising health benefits. However, to get the most of your roller skating sessions and tone your legs[source], you should consider the following points:
- Go Fast – Rolling and sprinting on the skates gives your body an effective cardio workout. It tones the muscles of your thighs, glutes, and hamstrings, straightens your back, relaxes your shoulders, and tightens your abs. A few minutes of leisure skating fill your lungs with fresh air and quickly warm up your muscles.
However, to make the most of your skating session, you should periodically cycle between skating at a moderate pace and sprinting at high speeds. For example, you can skate for about 40 seconds at a low pace and then sprint for the next 20 seconds; again switching back to a moderate pace. You can add additional momentum to your streak by swinging your arms back and forth.
Continue the skating session for about 10 minutes, periodically altering the speed. You may adjust the duration according to your comfort. If you find it challenging, consider decreasing your duration. Alternately, if you are comfortable with the current pace, try increasing the duration to push your limits.
- Get Down – The lower you skate, the better you strengthen and tone the muscles of your quadriceps, hamstrings, glute, and lower back. Skate in a normal posture for a few minutes. Then gradually move your hips outward behind you, slowly lowering your back at an angle of 45-degrees. The idea is to get as lower as possible without losing balance. If 45-degree compromises your balance, you should stand a little higher.
Rotate your skates in the squat position and continue skating normally for a while. For example, you can start your skating normally for 30 seconds and then switch to skating low for another 30 seconds. Continue the exercise for 10 minutes. You can increase your time according to your comfort and balancing skills.
- Take One at a Time – This skating exercise helps in strengthening the quads and improving overall balance. You should remember that proper balance not only increases your speed and endurance but also influences the tone and development of the muscles in your legs.
Stand straight, slightly bend your knees, and pull your shoulder down together. Gradually lift the right foot off the ground while keeping your hips outwards behind you. Try lowering your hips to about 2 inches. Stop sooner if lowering down to 2 inches disrupts the balance. You should hold the position for at least 30-60 seconds.
Then, come back to the starting position, switch your legs, and repeat for another 30-60 seconds. Once you develop ample strength and witness improvements in your balancing skill, you can try the exercise by lowering further than 2 inches.
- Glide to Your Side – You can challenge and build the muscles of your quads, hamstrings, and glutes with this very effective exercise. For this, skate normally for the initial few minutes. Then, gradually bend your knees by lowering your hips to about 2 inches. Slowly glide the right foot at an angle of 45-degrees towards the right. Repeat with the left foot by gliding it at 45-degrees towards the left. Continue the pattern and come to a halt when your legs feel fatigued. You can increase the intensity of the exercise by lowering your hips further.
Reconsidering the Benefits of Roller Skating for Fitness and Leg Toning
Skating primarily and actively involves the muscles of your abs, thighs, calves, and glutes. The glute area itself is made up of a muscular complex involving the gluteus maximus, minus, and medius. Every skating session twists and turns these muscles when you bend to navigate turns. Every action engages your legs and backside, making it firm and well-toned. Here are some more benefits of roller skating [source]:
- Aerobic Benefits – A usual roller skating session at a moderate speed provides an aerobic workout that eventually improves your cardiovascular health. As per a report by the Roller Skating International, the benefits of the aerobic workout facilitated by roller-skating are similar to those provided by running at a speed of 10 mph or more. Roller skating is a low-stress exercise for your joints in comparison to running, swimming, or cycling. In a nutshell, roller skating allows you to enjoy a low-impact, high-quality, aerobic workout without causing any cardiac joint issues or severe joint injuries.
- Develop Strength – GetRolling.com suggests that roller skating can help build muscle strength, especially in your lower body and legs. The muscles of your thighs, hips, butts, and calf work together when you skate. The muscle group helps you propel forward and maintain balance. A bunch of well-coordinated strong muscles works together to help you limber, keep you active, and prevent injuries.
- Build Endurance – GetRolling.com suggests that roller skating increases muscle endurance. You can train your muscles by adding several uphill climbs to your skating sessions. This moderation will help your body and your cardiovascular system utilize the stored energy more efficiently. As a result, you will be skating longer distances without getting exhausted in no time.
- Promote Weight Loss – A study by the Roller Skating International reveals that roller skating can promote weight loss by actively burning more calories and toning muscles. Even a 25-minutes session of roller skating thrice a week can help burn additional 750 calories for a week.
- Get an Adaptable Workout – You can switch to roller skating if you are new to exercise or recurring after a period of inactivity. Roller skating allows you to workout at your own pace. Surprisingly, a slow skating session activates multiple muscle groups and increases the heart rate. You can gradually increase the duration and speed of your skating. Further, you can try roller skating indoors or outdoors.
Kindly suggest a fully-active roller skating workout for toning the legs. Combine skating with squats for a full-fledged roller skating leg workout [source]. For this, skate forward in full speed, slowly extend your hands forward in front of you, keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and slowly bend your knees to a comfortable squatting position. Repeat for 15-20 times. Take a 2-minute break in-between. Even three sets of squats with skates give a great workout to your thighs, quads, glutes, and hips. You can elevate the challenge by adding some weight to your ankles. The extra weight will exert more pressure on your quadriceps when you lift the skates.
Kindly provide some tips for toning muscles while skating. Here are some pro tips to tone up your muscle as you skate:
- Skate fast – The faster you skate, the better you warm up the muscles of thighs, glutes, and hamstrings. Skate at your top speed for at least 20 seconds. Switch back to a normal pace for the next 40 seconds. Repeat the alternate speed skating for around 10 minutes. This exercise will help you tone your muscles and develop endurance.
- Get low – The lower you get, the better you engage the muscles of your glutes, lower back, and hamstrings. Squat while you skate. Simply lean forward, bend your knees to 45-degrees, and balance your torso. Alternate skating straight and skating in a squat position. Eventually, you will feel your muscles being toned.
- Weave – Weaving around the rink is an effective and fun move to include in your roller skating workout session. You can use obstacles like cones and weave in and out of them as you skate forward. This simple exercise will help in developing the muscles of your legs, thighs, obliques, and hips.
- Stretch your legs – A repetitive sideways thurst puts extra pressure on your legs and helps to tone your inner thighs. The exercise activates your core musculature and helps maintain the balance on wheels.