Did you know that skating is one of the best forms of exercise? In fact, it is one of the few activities that target all your core muscle groups at once, making it the perfect hobby for those who want to keep in shape.
For those who are just starting out with roller skates, building strength, stamina and endurance is key. Thankfully, there are a wide variety of exercises that can help improve your technique and skills over time. Today, we have a look at five key exercises that every skater should add to their personal exercise repertoire, so read on to find out more!
The ubiquitous lunge
Lunges are an exercise that you probably had to do during your high school physical education classes. As basic as they may seem, the lunge is one of the most important exercises for anyone who is a fan of skating. This is an exercise that targets almost every single muscle in the lower body, including calves, glutes, hamstrings and quads.
How to perform a lunge
Stand straight and take a step forward with your left leg. Slowly lower your so that your knees bend at a 90-degree angle. Maintain the position for five seconds and then quickly return to your initial position. Repeat the exercise with your other leg and finish your desired number of repetitions.
Balance is key
As you probably already imagined, skating of any kind is going to require you to really brush up on those balancing skills. Oftentimes, falls and injuries are the consequences of losing balance when skating, which makes it all that more important to perform balancing exercises such as leg swings and one-legged squats that are a great way of both keeping balance and training your core.
How to perform a leg swing
Stand with your feet apart and lift one foot slightly off of the ground. Hold your foot up and gain your balance with the foot you are standing on. Alternate this with your other leg for a series of reps. Don’t forget to keep your spine straight and hips facing forward!
The deadly deadlift
Deadlifts are a fantastic exercise that may seem scary at first but are actually incredibly easy to perform and riddled with a ton of benefits for your overall health, strength and endurance levels.
The traditional deadlift gives you a ‘posterior chain’, also known as the muscles that run up the back of your legs and body, a killer workout that aids in developing full-body strength and power. This can be really useful for those who skate as deadlifting helps to develop unilateral strength for a more powerful skating stride.
How to perform a deadlift
Stand with your glutes and core engaged, ensuring you are assuming proper form. Keeping your feet hip-width apart, hinge from your hips. Bend forward and bend your knees slightly, grab the bar and lift.
Say goodbye to the dreaded crunch, and hello to the much friendlier bicycle situp. This form of sit-up is perfect for skaters as the rotation aspect of the exercise activates your obliques, while the leg pedalling stimulates the hips. It is also a great exercise for developing core strength and is great for promoting balance and length at the same time—all things that will help improve your skating abilities tenfold!
How to perform a bicycle sit up
Lie flat on an exercise mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly cupping it with your fingers and palms. Bend your knees up at a 90-degree angle. Once your knees are bent, lift your feet up and extend your legs. Keep in mind to avoid straightening your legs. Bring your right knee to your chest and touch it with your left elbow. Repeat with the other leg and elbow. Perform the number of reps required for your workout.
You may not be aware, but many skaters actually under-utilise their glute muscles due to the focus on core and leg strength. In actuality, developing those glutes by performing glute bridges is a fantastic way to reduce the chances of your other muscles overcompensating. Glute bridges help to activate your gluteus maximus, minimus and medius, allowing your skating stride and push to be much more powerful.
How to perform a glute bridge
Lie face-up on an exercise mat with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Secure your arms at the side of your body, keeping your palms down. Slowly lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze those glute muscles and be sure to use your core strength to support your back. Hold your bridge for a couple of seconds and then ease back down and repeat.
And there you have it…five core exercises that will almost instantly help you refine your skating technique. We hope that these exercise tips come in handy in helping you become a better skater!