Roller skating isn't just a way to play -- it can burn more than 400 calories per hour, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A 1997 study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts, demonstrated that in-line skating places less stress on your joints than running, making it a smart choice for low-impact exercise. While regular roller skating tones and strengthens your legs, don’t limit yourself to the obvious. Strap on your helmet, put on some safety pads and get ready to skate.
Sprinting on your skates is an effective cardio workout that tones the thighs, hamstrings and glutes. Straighten your back, tighten your abs and relax your shoulders. Skate leisurely for a few minutes, warming up your muscles and lungs. Cycle between sprinting and skating at a moderate pace. For example, sprint for 20 seconds, then skate at a lower pace for 40 seconds. Swing your arms by your sides for additional momentum. Try doing this for 10 minutes. Decrease your duration if this is too challenging; increase it if it is too easy.
Low skating tones the quadriceps while strengthening the hamstrings, lower back and glutes. Skate normally for a few minutes, then stick your hips out behind you and lower them about 45 degrees. Stand higher if 45 degrees affects your balance. Rotate skating in the squat position and skating normally. For example, skate low for 30 seconds and normally for 30 seconds. Try this for 10 minutes, increasing your time if this is too easy and decreasing your time if it is too hard.
One at a Time
This exercise strengthens the quads and improves balance. Proper balance increases speed and endurance, which influence muscle tone and development in your legs. Stand up straight, bend your knees slightly and pull your shoulder blades down and together. Lift your right foot off the ground and stick your hips out behind you. Lower your hips about 2 inches, stopping sooner if 2 inches disrupts your balance. Hold for 30 to 60 seconds, and then switch legs. Lower further after you build strength and see improvements in balance.
Glide to Your Side
This exercise challenges the hamstrings and builds muscles in the quads and glutes. Skate normally for a few minutes, then bend your knees and lower your hips about 2 inches. Glide your right foot 45 degrees to your right. Follow with your left foot, then glide your left foot 45 degrees to your left. Follow with your right. Continue this pattern, stopping when your legs fatigue. Lower your hips further to increase intensity.
- U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Impact Shock and Attenuation During In-line Skating
- Centers for Disease Control: General Physical Activities Defined by Level of Intensity
- ACE Personal Trainer Manual; American Council on Exercise
- National Council on Strength and Fitness: Benefits of Sprint Training vs. Traditional Aerobic Training