Roller skating is a popular extreme sport that requires endurance, stability, and strength. Before you reach the level of a pro, you have to undergo a long journey of learning, practice, and preparation. It takes months of persistent practice to master every skill as a professional skater.
So, how can you prepare yourself off the rink and improve your skills as a skater? A regular roller skate fitness workout helps you learn the intricate skills of skating. The sport primarily works on your thighs and legs. Therefore, you need to develop muscle strength and maintain a strong core to improve stability. A workout session of several hours two-three times every week provides the necessary muscle toning [source].
Your workout session must include exercises like crunches, sit-ups, lunges, squats, and planks, which target every muscle of your thighs, legs, and core. Start small with one or two repetitions. Gradually elongate the workout duration and incorporate speed training once a week for at least 15-20 minutes to push your limits. You can also try complementary yoga to improve mental and physical endurance. Some simple yoga poses to develop thigh, legs, and core muscles include eagle, warrior, and boat. Here are some pro tips for your roller skates fitness workout.
Pro Tips to Make the Most of Your Skating Workout
Roller skating is an amazing exercise for cardiovascular health as per the American Heart Association. It burns over 600 calories in an hour and thereby helps in building muscle strength. However, you must prepare your core, legs, and thigh muscles accordingly to bear the stress posed by this fantastic sport. Following tips can help you improve your workout [source]:
- Warm-up before you begin your workout session. You can try aerobics, stationary jogging, or mild stretching. This initiative will help in loosening up your muscles, thereby preventing the risk of a major injury. Further, you can take maximum benefit from your workout session with muscles that are loose and warmed up.
- Initiate your workout session with squats. It will help you maintain a better squat position during skating. You are required to maintain a proper posture for better skating. The lower you maintain your body while skating, the better you engage your core or leg muscles. Swing your arms occasionally to ensure upper body workout. You can also try active squats to take your squat workout session to the next level.
- Get creative with your workout session. Gliding around the rink will not burn more calories or engage many muscles. Instead, creative fitness tricks like speed training, zig-zag movements, and interval training can give a better workout to most of the muscles.
- Add weight to your workout exercises. This small addition will not only elevate the level of difficulty but also require more physical strength and muscular engagement to maintain balance. You can wear a weight belt, put on ankle weights, or carry a backpack to maintain weight during skating.
- Enjoy your workout sessions. You can plan a fitness routine with friends or fellow skaters to increase the fun. Also, plan your workout sessions according to your physical limits and lifestyle. Do not push too hard too quickly as it may tire up your tendons.
- Skate on a light but not fully empty stomach. Roller skating may cause compression of your stomach. A full or completely empty stomach may make you feel nauseous during skating. Also, stay hydrated to avoid dehydration or cramps.
- Prefer skating in the cool or humid air. Skating near an area subjected to hot winds can dehydrate you fast.
- Avoid steep hills or wet surfaces. Although an inclination may help burn more calories, it may make you lose control and cause serious injury. Therefore, you should avoid gradual slopes. Also, wet surfaces are slippery and can pose a challenge until you are a pro with substantial skating experience.
- Avoid extreme bending. Excess bending may exert more pressure on your spine and knees, thereby causing a fall during sudden halt while moving fast.
- Learn to halt before you indulge in speed skating workouts. It is often difficult to immediately stop when you are skating at high speed. Learn to quickly apply the brakes to avoid a sudden crash or toppling over.
- Pick a pair of comfortable high-cut boots with a sturdy four-wheel arrangement, safety straps and lacing, for your skating workout sessions in place of attractive low-cut boots, which are not safe.
Basic Exercises for Roller Skating Workout
In order to counterbalance the intensity and vigor of roller skating, you need to develop cardiovascular endurance. Daily fitness regimen and regular skating workout can help you develop muscle strength. Workout sessions and exercises may vary for people with a different physical build and varying health factors. However, the workout session must include a balance of strength training, aerobics, and stretching exercises. Also, remember to take time off between workout sessions to allow muscular recovery. Here are some exercises to include in your roller skating workout [source]:
- Aerobics for cardiovascular endurance – Your exercise regimen should include 20-60 minutes sessions of aerobics at least 3-5 days every week to ensure cardiovascular endurance. The sport usually requires continuous skating for hours. Aerobics helps in maintaining the level of fitness required. Most skating enthusiasts recommend regular intervals of high-intensity cardio exercises. Ideally, you should take a break of 10 seconds to three minutes for recovery between 20 seconds to 2 minutes interval of aerobic exercises.
- Strength training exercises for muscle building – You can perform various off-skate and on-skate floor exercises to develop muscle strength. Exercises such as calf raise, toe press, leg press, and squats strengthen legs, abs, and core muscles. Remember to follow the appropriate technique and maintain correct posture. Maintain overall body balance for effective results. You should involve exercises that provide a full-body workout to keep a strong upper as well as sturdy lower body.
- Stretching for flexibility – Basic stretching is extremely important before or after a workout. It improves the flexibility of your muscles and avoids cramping. Professionals recommend to include stretching exercises in your everyday workout.
Kindly suggest some exercises for my roller skating workout? Different skaters often work out differently. However, the following exercises may help in your workout session:
- Squats – This exercise activates your core muscles, including quads and glutes. It helps in developing muscle memory, increasing strength, and improving balance.
- Tiptoe – In this exercise, skaters walk using only toe stops for a lap followed by alternate jogging on skates for another lap. You can gradually increase the number of laps before switching the exercises.
- Skating in the opposite direction – This exercise helps in eliminating right or left turn tendencies and evens out the muscular tissue. Some skaters also take up reverse skating as a warm-up exercise.
What exercises can I include in my on-skate warm-up session to improve muscular flexibility? Some on-skate warm-up exercises are side to side lunges, squats, squat touch left, squat touch right, toy soldiers, bum kicks, slaloms in the backward and forward direction, grapevine, jogging on skates, windmills, drunken crossover, arm swings, and torso circles.
How is pre-skate warming up beneficial? Pre-skate warming up has many benefits and is extremely important for an effective skating session. Warming up before skating increases blood circulation and helps the oxygen in the blood reach muscles and joints. This increased oxygenated blood flow lubricates the muscles, and increases muscular flexibility. As a result, you become less prone to injuries, strained ligament, or muscle tear.
What do I need to know before I get started with my skating session? Consider the following factors before starting your skating session:
- Identify your skating type – Once you know the type and intensity of skating you prefer; you can pick either inline boots or traditional quad roller skates. Quad skates are ideal for beginners as they have a large base surface, which provides better balance and stability. Inline skates have a series of wheels with an optional brake at the back heel. Advanced skaters usually prefer these skates.
- Choose a set of comfortable skate boots – Your skate boots must not snug in your toe or heel. Do not buy boots that are too large or too small as they may lead to blisters and inevitable injury.
- Carefully pick your wheels – Generally, the thinner and taller wheels move fast but are less stable than wider counterparts. Ideally, beginner’s quad skates have wide wheels to provide the utmost stability and comfort. You can switch to thinner speed boots once you master the skills.
- Get your safety gear ready – Never skate without your safety gear. Buy a pair of elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, a helmet, and mouth guards.
- Have some patience – You will not be a pro in single skating session. Patience and learning balance is the key to good skating. You do not need to be hard on yourself. Keep practicing, and you will master the skills in no time.