Roller skating is not only a great form of exercise but also a whole lot of fun. It gives a good workout to several muscles and keeps you in shape. But it is not limited to rolling on wheels. Once you are comfortable with basic moves, it is time to learn new tricks.
So, how does a beginner learn to jump on roller skates? Jumping on roller skates involves essential skills and the ability to leverage the power of your leg muscles. You need to push yourself up in the air, hop over the obstacles, and land back on your feet while your body is still in motion.
It may sound challenging in the beginning, but eventually, you will get a hold on the skill once you understand the tactic. Roller skating is indeed a challenging extreme sport that requires dedication, persistence, endurance and lots of practice.
Basic Jumping Tactics
In simple terms, jumping involves slightly bending your legs and re-focusing your center of gravity as you slowly hop and skate forward. Start small with baby jumps. Remember to touch both your skates together to the ground when you land. Keep your feet pointing towards the correct direction. It will keep you moving and save you from falling or spinning over during landing.
Once you are comfortable with small hops, push yourself towards jumping farther or higher. You can also use obstacles like cones to practice jumping over them. Here are the basic tips to jumping for beginners:
- Maintain a comfortable gliding speed – Start with a few initial strides until you reach a comfortable gliding speed. It is important to stay balanced and stable before you jump on your skates. Maintain the squat position. Do not try to jump when you are moving too fast or in a standing position because you may get unstable and injure yourself.
- Keep both skates together – Move your skates together in a parallel gliding position before you prepare to jump. This position will help you regain balance after the jump and prevent you from toppling over. Stay strong and tighten up your core to maintain stability. You can extend both your arms to either side to help regain balance.
- Squat and jump – Keep your feet together, slightly bend your knees into a squat position, and jump. Bending your knees helps your legs absorb the impact of the jump and keeps you stable as you land back after the jump. Remember to start with small jumps. You can jump higher and farther once you are comfortable with jumping on your skates.
- Jump far and high – Once you know the drill, rest is all about practicing. The more you practice, the better you get, and the early you can jump far and high over any obstacle. Go slow. Gradually increase your gliding speed and quickly make a high jump to travel farther. Practice jumping and landing on your skates to learn to maintain balance.
Helpful Advanced Skills
Jumping is a polymetric exercise that helps in building strength, developing agility, and maintaining endurance. Roller skating involves numerous tricks and maneuvers, which involve gliding, jumping, and reattaining stability. It is essential to learn about the tricks to grab a better understanding of the skills and prepare before you hit the rink. Here are some tricks that you should know:
- Barrel roll – It is one of the simplest tricks to be performed on flat ground. In this trick, you take a smooth 360-degree spin while skating. Put your left skate forward. Push your right skate across the left and turn your body in that direction. The idea is to shift your body weight from left to right foot. As you do so; drag the left side of your body in a backward motion. Move around with your right. You must be facing in the original direction for a smooth spin.
- Heel-toe movement – This skill requires a requisite amount of balance. It will not only improve your skating but will also help you master balancing while performing other tricks. In this trick, you move along your toe wheels of one skate and heel wheels of the other skate. Identify your stronger foot. Maintain medium speed and flick the toe of the skate up so that only rear wheels touch the ground. Slowly lift your trailing skates so that only front wheels touch the ground.
- Crossover turn – It is an impressive trick that you can use to accelerate your speed while skating. In this trick, you cross over your skates while you turn. In other words, lift your left skate over right when turning right and vice versa. You can use this trick to slalom smoothly.
All these tricks can help you learn to maintain balance while changing directions or quickly stabilize the center of gravity when jumping over obstacles.
Mastering the Art of Jumping on Roller Skates
Remember skating on the pavements and jumping on roller skates involve fortuitous hops over the unanticipated objects that may come into your path. Eventually, you may trip face down, land on your arse, break a few bones, and injure badly. Well, that’s part and parcel of the process of learning roller skating.
To avoid major mishaps; it is important to understand the skills, build strength, acquire flexibility, and boost confidence. The basic physics of jumping includes a perfect balance of speed, height, and distance. In other words, the faster you stride and the higher you jump, the more distance you cover.
Every time you try to jump forward, run fast, jump upward, and measure the distance covered. This analysis will give you an idea about how far you can jump when you move up. Just hop high and jump over.
Off Skate Exercises to Improve Jumping on Skates
Here are some exercises you can do off-skates that can eventually help you learn and improve jumping on the roller skates:
- Stretch – Your legs must be strong enough to absorb the impact of a jump. Also, your knee, ankle, and hip must be flexible enough to bend. Stretching helps in relaxing the hips and calf muscles so that you can flexibly bend your ankle and knee. It is advisable to stretch before any heavy strength exercise to warm up and prepare the body for the drill.
– Jumping off-skates helps you develop strength and endurance. Land
on soft knees to help absorb the impact. Beginners must focus on the
correct body form. Start with small jumps. Gradually add more
intensity and height. Do not hurry. Maintain pace. Try following
jumping exercises for better results:
- Total Body Extension – In this case, you jump without actually jumping. Keep your arms behind and maintain a squat position. Gradually move your arms up and your hips forward. Return to the previous position and repeat 10-12 times.
- Jump squats – Keep your arms back, squat down, and jump up using your arms. Gently get back to the squat position. Repeat 8-12 times.
- Tuck jumps – Use your core strength to pull your knees up towards your chest as you jump up from a squat. Softly get back to the squat position. Repeat 8-12 times.
- Box jumps – Use a park bench or workout step. Stand around two feet away from the bench. Squat down and jump up on the bench gently, landing back with soft knees. Step down and repeat 8-12 times.
- Single leg hops – Balance your weight on a single leg, bend your knee and hop side to side or back and forth. Land gently with a bent knee. Perform three sets of 30 seconds on both legs. This exercise strengthens the tendons and muscles of the ankles and legs.
- Hurdle leap – Use an imaginary or real object as a hurdle. The object must have a comfortable height to jump over. Take a run and leap when you are nearly two feet away from the object. Jump with your left foot and land on your right foot. Move your knees towards your chest when you leap. Repeat 5-10 times.
- Hurdle jump – Stand almost two feet away from a hurdle. Squat down, keeping your arms at the back. Move your knees up, make a jump and land softly on the other side. Repeat three rounds of 10 jumps.
Which off-skate exercises can help me develop core strength? Try following off-skate stretches to develop core strength and improve muscular flexibility:
- Hip flexor stretch – Sit into a half-kneeling position so that your knees are at right angles and your body straight upright. Extend the stretch by squeezing your butt, tilting your pelvis, and contracting your abs. Raise your hands and stretch backward.
- Calf stretch with straight leg – Rest your hands on a wall about 12 inches away. Extend a leg behind and lean towards the wall keeping your heel on the floor. Repeat three times for 20 seconds. You can repeat this exercise by slightly bending your stretched leg.