Muscles used for inline skating and exercises to strengthen them
Inline skating is one of the best exercises for your entire body. It burns almost as many calories as jogging (inline skating at 20 MPH burns 360 calories in one hour) but is less stressful for the joints. Studies have shown that inline skating develops leg, hip, and lower back muscles in a more natural way than cycling and running. This happens because while skating you use your whole body.
To be a better skater and to gain more strength you need to do specific exercises for all muscles you use while skating.
These muscles – gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus – are mostly used while you move your thigh backward and push your foot off the ground. By having stronger glutes you can have stronger push which means greater speed. Some of the exercises that give your glutes more strength are:
- Butt lift – lay flat on the floor with your knees bent with your feet placed at the shoulder width. Lift your hips off the floor and hold for a few seconds. Slowly go back and repeat.
- Glute kickback – kneel on the floor with your arms in front of you. Lift your leg until your hamstrings get in line with your back. Keep your knee bent at 90 degrees. Slowly go back to the initial position.
- Leg lift – stand up straight while holding onto something. Lift one leg behind while keeping it straight. Go back to starting position.
- Squats – stand straight with your feet hip-width apart. Lower down while keeping your back straight, as if you are sitting, until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly go back to starting position. It is important to keep your back straight while doing entire exercise to avoid injury!
These exercises also engage the muscle on your hip called Iliacus, which also works while you push your foot off the ground.
These muscles are placed on the front of the thighs and are engaged when you extend your knee and flex your hip. The quadriceps are composed of rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis and vastus intermedius. They are mostly used at the moment you extend your knee when you push off. Most common exercises for quads are different types of squats:
- Box squat – you need a box which has a height that brings you to a parallel squat. When you get down, sit on the box and pause. Slowly go back to starting position.
- Narrow-stance squat – same as usual squat, only with your feet placed narrower than in a regular squat.
- Lunge – stand straight, step forward with one leg and lower your hips until your both knees are bent at 90-degree angle. Your front knee should be directly above your ankle. Get up slowly and alternate the legs.
By doing this type of workout you also engage the glutes, so you double the result!
The hamstrings are positioned on the back of the thigh, below the glutes and include biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus. These muscles work when you extend your hip and flex your knee. This occurs every time you bend your knee to take a stride forward or kick your foot back. The best way to get your hamstrings working is by doing these exercises:
- Deadlift – you can use a barbell or simple weights for this exercise. Your feet should be shoulder width apart. Bend your knees as if you are about to sit back and reach down to grab the barbell. Keep your back straight and slowly stand up and bring the bar up. Return the bar down the same way.
- Glute-ham raise (or floor glute-ham raise) – this requires using a machine but can be done at home with some help from a friend. Start by locking your feet between the footplates. This exercise starts from the bottom. Keep your back arched as you flex your knees, keep your body straight and flex until your body is upright. Slowly go back to your starting position.
- Lying leg curls – this one also requires using a machine. Lay on your stomach on the leg curling machine, make sure your legs are fully stretched and start curling your legs up. Try to get them up as far as possible without moving your upper legs.
Some of these exercises can be harmful if not done properly, so always consult professionals before doing the workout.
These are the muscles on your inner thighs, and they consist of adductor longus, magnus, brevis, and gracilis and pectineus. They are activated every time you move your thigh inward. In order to strengthen these muscles you need to do some of these exercises:
Butterfly stretch – this is a nice stretching exercise that is
- used in yoga. Sit on the floor with your back straight. Bend your knees, open them to the side and let your soles touch. Slightly push your thighs with your elbows until you feel the stretch. Don’t push yourself too hard because you can cause injury.
- Band hip adduction – this can be done both at the gym and at home. Get a band and attach it to a solid post. Stand up straight and get the band around your ankle. Your leg should be as far as you can stretch it. Pull on the band as you bring your leg closer.
- Thigh adductor – you can use a machine or a pilates ball for this exercise. Sith down with your back straight. Put the ball between your knees and press until you can get them as close as possible.
You can do all of these exercises at home, by using a ball as a replacement for the machine.
Abs are separated into two groups – rectus abdominis and obliques. Their most important function in inline skating is keeping balance and stabilizing the spine. This is even more noticeable when you want to go speedskating. You wouldn’t be
able to do the proper speedskating techniques if your core muscles are not strong enough. To get them to be in the perfect form try some of these exercises:
- Crunches – lay flat on an exercise mat and bend your knees. Place your hands behind your head and begin to roll your shoulders off the floor. Do not help yourself with the hands. Your lower back should remain on the floor. Pause for one second and slowly go back.
- Alternate heel touchers – lay on the floor with your knees bent. Extend your arms by your side and crunch your torso until you can touch your right heel. Stay there for a second and go back to neutral position. Now do the same on the left side.
- Leg pull-in – lay on the exercise mat and extend your legs. Keep your palms under your glutes or facing the floor. Bend your knees and pull your legs up until your knees touch your chest. Go back slowly.
When having stronger abs you will get a better posture and will have much better control over your body while skating.
Becoming a better skater requires more than just skating all the time. In order to reach your full body potential, you need to do offroad exercises too. Hopefully, these will help, but remember, always consult professionals before starting new exercises. Always try to do them correctly, because a correct form is more effective than repetitions.