How to gain balance and skate better on inline skates
Inline skating is a really fun sport but it takes some time to learn how to do it properly. Some people need only a couple of days to learn to balance but it usually takes a month or so to get the grip. Having a sence of where your body parts are in relation to one another is called proprioception. This can be improved with balance exercises which can be beneficial for both beginners and more advanced players. You cna do both on-skate and off-skate exercises.
Why is balance important?
Having good balance on the skates is often misinterpreded for being able to prevent falling. Even though it is mainly true, balance plays an important role in other spheres of skating, which some advanced players take for granted.
First, balance can greatly affect the speed you achieve. The goal of skating is to be able to skate with only one foot on the ground at all times. Not being able to do so means that you lose a lot of energy trying to re-balance yourself. That’s why even the more experienced players need to do some exercises before proclaiming themselves as good skaters.
There are many different exercises for improving your balance and be a better skater. These are just some that might be helpful.
- If you are a beginner first thing you need to know is to never stand up straight do keep the balance. This will onlly cause that you get your center of gravity higher thus making it easier for you to fall. Best way to get your balance is to bend your knees until your shin touches the tongue of the skate. When your body is positioned this way your center of gravity is lowered and it is much easier to keep your balance.
- T-stopping – this is very useful exercise both for gaining balance and for stoping. It is important to learn how to t-stop on both sides. Only then you will improve your balance.
- Skating on one foot – lift one foot while skating and try do keep it in the air as long as possible. Switch legs to get your muscles working. Most players find that it is easier to maintain balance on one of their feet, but it is no excuse for not doing this exercise on the other. When you start feeling more confident on one foot you can try moving the other foot around while skating and putting it in different positions.
- Toe roll – this is similar to previous exercise, you skate on one foot but the other is touching the ground with one wheel. It helps with keeping the balance for longer that skating only on one foot.
- Be on your skates as often as possible
Off skate exercises are equally improtant as on-skate. Whith these exercises you can do some things that you might not be able to on your skates. You build your muscless so that they are ready when you get on your skates. Most of these exercises are basically yoga postures because yoga is mostly about balance.
- Standing on one foot – that’s it! Stand on one foot while doing things like brushing your teeth. Try to stand on one foot for 2-3 minutes. Switch legs and repeat on other. You will notice that in the begining your leg will shake and you even might need to hold on to something, but as the time goes by your muscles will get stronger and your balance improved so you will be able to stand for longer that 5 minutes without even noticing. If you are more advanced you can try bending your knee while standing.
- Wobble board – stand on the balance board and try to keep the sides from touching the ground. Do this every day for 10 minutes and you will notici significant improvement in your balance while skating.
- Warm up – as with any other sport, skating also requires some warm up exercises. Simple light jogiing in place for 10 minutes will be enough to get your muscles to warm up. This way you will do a little cardio, get your muscles warm and ready for skating and prevent some injuries.
Gaining balance and therefore having better skating skills is not too difficult. Like any sport, it takes time and exercise and it is always better to have a partner while doing so. You will see progres each and every day and at one point you will have pro level skating skills. Just don’t forget about safety and you are good to go!