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 Medical School), but the workout itself is very different, says Ashley Borden, celeb personal trainer and author of Your Perfect Fit.
You see those women out on bike paths and sidewalks cruising along on inline skates. It looks effortless—but is it really? Can you work up a sweat and heavy breathing while gliding on skates? If you loved skating as a kid, or still love to hit the road on eight wheels, you'll be happy to know that yes, it can be a great cardio and strength-building workout.
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 . 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 have to balance and control your body more when you're on wheels.
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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 you 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.
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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.
Looking for more ways to sculpt your bod this summer? Check out these five water sports that get you total-body toned.
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