Nothing screams the 90s quite like a sweet pair of Rollerblades. If you were born after 2000, it’s hard to grasp the immense popularity of inline skating. Every park and walking trail and outdoor mall were swarmed with entire families on Rollerblades. “Aggressive” inline skating was so cool that the 1998 X Games featured four inline skating events. Old-fashioned quad skates were piled up and burned by angry mobs. (OK, not quite).
Inline skating—sometimes incorrectly generalized as Rollerblading, which is a brand of skates—had its heyday in the late 80s and early 90s, but it died out like bright blue eye shadow and teased hair. What’s curious about the sport—like the recent resurrection of choker necklaces and high-waist jeans—is that it may be the new cool thing again.
Rollerblading vs. Inline Skating? Does it really matter what it’s called? No
Rollerblade was a brand name, though actually the sport is called inline skating, some call it blading.
What we wanted to share though here is that inline skating is not only fun, it is great exercise. Was then and still is now!
It is not a surprise to most that inline skating is a great aerobic and cardiovascular workout. However, it is also a great way to build muscle. … Unlike cycling, inline skating develops the hamstring muscles. While inline skating also helps preserve your knees and joints, unlike running.
Whether on a crowded Eastern seaboard boardwalk, a sunny California ocean promenade or a meandering walkway in Des Moines, Iowa, if there are long stretches of smooth pavement, you will find in-line skaters. They make their way gracefully — their fast-moving, rhythmic motion leaving joggers and cyclists in the dust. The smooth gliding movement may appear effortless, yet rollerblading is one of the most challenging cardiovascular activities around.
Some facts about Inline Skating
Cardiovascular Exercise and Muscle Action
Cardiovascular exercise is marked by rhythmic aerobic muscle action that demands oxygen to regenerate adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, the source of muscular contraction. The ongoing demand for oxygen increases the speed and depth of respiration and makes your heart pump faster and harder to deliver oxygen-rich blood to your working muscles. The greater the size and number of muscles involved in an exercise, the greater the demand on your cardiovascular system.
Rollerblading gives the large muscles of the lower body an amazing workout; their perpetual contraction places a substantial demand on your cardiovascular system for a steady supply of oxygen. The abductors of your outer thigh, the adductors of your inner thigh, the quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus and the gastrocnemius of your calf are all active participants.
Exercises like rollerblading that require you to continually correct your balance require stabilizing action by your core muscles to reestablish your center of gravity, making in-line skating an excellent exercise or your abs. While the large muscles of your upper body are not directly involved in locomotion, they participate to a lesser extent as stabilizers.
Because rollerblading recruits so many large muscles in an ongoing rhythmic fashion, the oxygen and energy demands are high. According to Harvard Medical School, rollerblading burns between 400 to 700 calories per hour, depending on body weight. The smooth gliding motion of rollerblading reduces impact, placing less stress on joints than many other types of cardio.
Like any other sport, there is a learning curve to mastering in-line skating skills like starting, stopping, locomotion technique and balance. Getting a lesson or two before lacing up will help you master skills more quickly and may save you embarrassment and potential injury from falling.
High-quality skates with good fit and safety equipment including a helmet, elbow and knee pads, and wrist supports are all recommended.
To maximize the benefits of in-line skating, establish and maintain repetitive motion. Short sequences of skating interrupted by long periods of coasting will not have the same training effect as perpetual motion.
You burn nearly as many calories on skates as you do running (for a 125-pound person, that’s 210 calories inline skating for 30 minutes versus 240 calories running 12-minute miles for the same duration, according to Harvard Health Publications). But the workout itself is very different, says Ashley Borden, celeb personal trainer and author of Your Perfect Fit. Inline skating works your posterior muscles differently, she says. For example, you push your legs to the side instead of back, which strengthens the outside of your glutes more than running does. Skating also forces you to use your core differently than you do when running because you must balance and control your body more when you’re on wheels.
Borden says inline skating is a solid option for people who don’t want to put as much stress on their joints as they would running or want to add something new to their workout program. It just shouldn’t be your only source of cardio, she says—the repetitive motion of inline skating can be irritating if you have tight hips and the slightly bent over position isn’t ideal for your body’s alignment.
Want to use inline skating as a way spice up your routine and work your muscles in a new way? Here, three ways to safely and effectively add some skating to your sweat sessions:
Use the Right Form
Your weight should be centered back on your heels, and your power should come from pushing your legs out to the side, says Ricci Porter, sport director of USA Roller Sports and several-time national champion of roller speed skating. Swing your arms forward and backward at a slight angle. Your front arm should come up slightly in front of your body, and your back arm should be away from your body behind you. Your arms should cross to the other sides of your body a bit more than they do when you run. The lower you get, the more you will engage your leg muscles and core, says Porter.
Crank Up the Fitness Factor
To really reap the fitness benefits of inline skating, it’s all about getting low and going fast, says Porter. Increase the burn in your legs by bending your knees and dropping your upper body lower while skating. You can also do intervals by skating as fast as you can, and then rolling to a stop or going back to a maintainable pace, she says. Another option: Include hills in your route to challenge your muscles even more, says Porter. Just be careful that the hills aren’t so steep that you can’t control your body on the way back down, says Borden.
Rock Protective Gear
Since you’re moving quickly on wheels, it’s important to wear workout gear that’ll protect you from an injury, says Porter. You’ll want to slap on wrist guards, elbow pads, kneepads, and a helmet.
Some Health Benefits of Inline Skating
Let’s sum it up:
Inline skating is a great way to participate in a fitness activity that benefits both your body and your mind. So, if you have a pair of inline skates, get them out of the closet. If you need inline skates find some starter options and strap them on for healthy fun. Regardless of your personal fitness needs, inline skating is a great way to fulfill them. You can even develop your own complete inline skating fitness program and make a game or challenge out of getting fit.
Inline skating an excellent aerobic activity for people of all ages. Six important health benefits will result from a regular program of inline skating activities.
Your muscle endurance and strength will improve
With a little help, your flexibility and range of motion (ROM) will increase.
Your body composition will change due to the calories burned.
Cardio and respiratory endurance will improve for you.
Your balance and coordination will improve.
Mental clarity and connectivity will get better.
These improvements from regular skating activities will carry over to other activities in your life, too.
Inline skating provides aerobic benefits that compare to running and biking and delivers a better cardiovascular workout than stair-stepping equipment.
The anaerobic benefits are better than running or biking because it provides a natural and smooth side-to-side movement that exercises adductor (inner thigh) and abductor (buttocks) muscles that may be ignored by other activities. Just 20 to 30 minutes of additional inline skating activity each day will help your body become physically stronger and lower the risk of heart disease. It also has low impact advantages and generates up to half the impact shock to joints, ligaments, and tendons that running creates.
You can skate your way to improved mental health, too. Consider your skating exercise activities as an opportunity for a much-needed mental quiet time. Choose scenic skating locations or good company to help brighten your mood, and let your workout shift your body’s chemical balance for a naturally induced feeling of well-being.
Since it’s fun and provides opportunities for socialization and networking, most fitness and recreational inline skaters roll for longer periods of time than participants in other similar activities. This extra skating time will increase the effectiveness of all the fitness and mental health benefits.
Does Inline Skating help you lose weight?
To lose weight, you need to make some adjustments to how many calories you’re burning and how many you’re consuming. For every pound of fat loss, you must burn 3,500 more calories than you receive from food and drink over a period. You burn more calories by participating in consistent exercise.
Rollerblading as Exercise
Cardiovascular activities like rollerblading require you to continuously move over a period and therefore cause you to burn a significant number of calories. Every rollerblading workout you complete contributes to the total amount of calories that you burn and therefore helps you build a caloric deficit, promoting weight loss.
Rollerblading is one of the most efficient cardiovascular activities you can do in terms of burning the most calories per unit of time. A 155-lb. person will burn about 260 calories in 30 minutes of rollerblading. If you’re larger, you’ll burn more calories, and if you’re smaller, you’ll burn less.
For your rollerblading workouts to be effective in helping you burn calories and thus lose weight, each session should last at least 30 minutes. The Department of Health and Human Services recommends that adults receive at least 2 ½ hours of moderate cardiovascular activity, or 1 ¼ hours of vigorous cardiovascular activity per week. Therefore, complete four to five workouts lasting at least 30 minutes per week.
Consideration needs to be made towards your nutritional habits. While rollerblading will contribute to creating a caloric deficit and thus help you lose weight, the other half of the equation consists of how many calories you’re consuming. It’s not difficult to quickly cancel out the number of calories you’ve burned through rollerblading by eating a high-calorie meal. Make healthy food and drink choices to facilitate your weight loss.
As you can see, Roller Blading or as some say Inline Skating is awesome exercise and a great way to keep fit! Still