Roller skating is without a doubt a fun sport. But it is also a sport that uses most of the muscles throughout your legs and your core.
If you are just getting started, you will need to know beginning roller skating drills to help get your body in the right shape to benefit from the sport and protect your body form injury.
One you are in good shape to really begin roller skating, then you will need to work on the beginning roller skating drills themselves.
We have broken down for you both the exercises you should do to get into shape and the drills you need to perform to really learn how to control yourself on the skates.
The ultimate goal of these drills is to both ensure that you can effectively roller skate and to teach you the skills that you need to be safe. Here is how to do it.
Exercises For Strength And Endurance
To begin with, there are some exercises that you can do while you are not skating, a part of a regular exercise routine.
The purpose of these exercises I to build up the muscles in your legs and core, so most of the focus is on the lower body.
The number of reps that that you will do depends on the fitness level that you are starting from. Aim to do between 10 and 20 reps at a time and repeat 3 to 5 times.
These exercises can be performed at home, at the gym, or even on your roller skates if you want to give it a try.
To perform leg lifts, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your toes forward. Then, push your hips back and lower into a half-squat.
Keeping your knees at a 45-degree angle, gradually extend one leg to the side before returning it to the squat. Do the same on the other side. This will work on your hips and glutes.
The glute bridge is a classic strength-building exercise that will build up the muscles in your legs. To do this lay on your back.
Then, with your knees in a 45-degree angle, lift your hips up off of the floor to the sky.
Keep your shoulders down on the ground the whole time. Hold your hips up for a moment before lowering them down again and lifting back up.
To do a single-leg squat, stand on one leg with your hands on your hips. Extend your right leg forward by bending the other leg’s knee and lowering down.
Your base leg needs to keep the knee at 45- degrees. Hold for a moment before pushing up. Repeat on the other leg.
Calf raises are performed by standing straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees to a 45-degree angle.
In this position, rise on your feet. Lower your heels back down before raising them up again. If the bent knees are making it too hard, you can do the same moment with straight legs.
Lunges are a classic exercise that targets many muscles in the lower body. Stand straight and take a step forward.
Bend your forward knee down to a 90-degree angle. Hold the position then stand and repeat on the other leg.
You can also step backward into a lunge. Alternating between front lunges and back lunges will work different sets of muscles at the same time.
Skate Position Training
Another exercise that you can do to help strengthen your body is to work on your skate position. To do this, stand up straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
Bend your knees to a 45-degree angle. With your toes pointed forward, extend a leg to the side.
The difference between this exercise and the leg lift is that you do not lift your leg up in this exercise. You just slide it to the side and back and do not need to lift it off of the ground.
Lower-Back Strength Training
Keeping your back strong will make your skating skills all the more improved.
If you can strengthen your back, it will take the pressure and stress off of your body, keeping your posture up. Stand with your hangs on your hips and bend your knees to a 45-degree angle.
Then, lower your torso and bend at your hips. Keep your torso parallel to the floor. Hold the position and then raise your torso back to the starting point.
Exercises To Do While On Your Skates
There are a few different exercises that you can do on your skates that will really help beginners home in on their skills.
The first exercise to try is interval training. This is where you alternate with high intensity skating with moderate skating.
You should warm up first to make sure your muscles will not get hurt. After a 5-minute warm up, you can alternate high speed with moderate speed every 30 seconds.
Long Distance Skating
Next, you can skate continuously over long distances. You should do this steadily for 30 minutes. These can help you build muscle and increase your endurance.
It would be good to do this on a paved path that is not overly crowded. Once you get the hang of it, you can increase the challenge of terrain, going with hills and obstacles.
Speaking of obstacles, cone skating is just that. You use cones in your skating environment that you will need to work on getting around.
This will not only improve your muscles but your coordination too. Just work with a few cones that are four feet apart. Try swerving in between the cones at varying speeds.
Roller skating with a buddy is also extremely helpful. You can do this in a competitive manner, aiming to race to improve your pace.
But you could also just have a companion to skate with, improving your enjoyment and also having someone to help you work on improving your skating skills.
It is easier to not think as hard about it when there is someone else with you doing the same thing.
You can also work on some basic and simple cardio. 30 minutes of cardio is the objective.
It is best to start at a slow speed so you don’t burn yourself out too quickly and can maintain the same pace the whole time.
A warm-up of 5 to 10 minutes is the best way to begin. You will need to allow your body to come back to a relaxing position and slow down your skating for around 10 minutes before finishing skating.
This is the best protection for your joints and muscles, so you don’t stop abruptly and put yourself up for a serious injury.
Injuries will definitely stall all of your roller-skating progress very quickly, and when this happens, you have to rest until you have recovered.
Drills To Do While On Your Skates
Let’s now look at the beginning roller skating drills that you can practice to not just improve your fitness, but to improve your skills in general. Here are some basic drills to get you started.
1. Switching Weight
One drill that you can practice is switching the weight between your legs. You can do this while practicing controlled turns.
When you switch the weight between your legs, you can use your fingers to point which way you want to go to trick you brain into automatically turning that way.
Your toes will follow your fingers. Once you get used to the movement, you won’t need to point any longer.
2. Side Stepping
Start by bending your knees and step to the right, then to the left. Pick up your feet all the way off of the ground.
This beginning roller-skating drill will help you improve your balance on the skates. The lower you bend your knees, the easier it is.
Another balance move is simply balancing on one foot. You do not need to lift your skate very far off of the ground to do this, but place one skate under you and lift the other.
See how long you can do it and aim to go for longer each time. Make sure to do it on both legs.
To do the bubble beginning roller skating drill, you will practice drawing a circle, or a bubble, with your skates.
You can do this by moving forward starting with your heels together and make a wide bubble to end up with your toes together.
This drill will work the inner part of your thigh as you use it to control your movement. Just make the circle forward and backward repeatedly.
5. Rolling Spins
You have one foot in the lead and move your feet heel to heel to begin to turn. Your turns at first should only make a “c” shape until you get more control over it.
It will eventually move onto you turning all the way around. This movement in general will give you a lot more control over your skates and movement.
6. Front Crossovers
You’re going to pick up one foot and cross it in front of the other. It can be tricky to do at first, so instead of alternating which foot goes in front of the other, just choose one foot to keep crossing over the other.
Make sure that you lift your skate completely off of the ground when you do the crossover.
Some sports do take a little longer to learn than others, so if you are feeling frustrated at first, do not worry.
All of the beginning roller skating drills that we have mentioned above can be done at your skill level.
Start small so that you can build on your abilities to the point that you can really enjoy the sport.
Remember that the ultimate goal of roller skating should be to have fun. If it feels like torture, then it is time to loosen up and work out what is preventing you from enjoying.
The solution could be as simple as listening to music while you skate or simply moving on from the drill that you are hung up on.
Hey there, my name is Tommy and I have to admit that rollerblading and roller skating are in my blood. I have been skating since I was seven years old and I have tried many different roller skates during my skating career.
I hope my knowledge and passion for rollerblading and skating comes across and that you’ll find the product reviews insightful.