The following are a few reminders to help you get the most out of your skating workout. The highlighted skills have a video link attached.

Getting Started

  • Be sure to bike or walk a potential new skating route before putting on you skates.  Being aware of potentially dangerous or challenging skating surfaces will allow you to evaluate your level of proficiency beforehand and make an informed decision accordingly.
  • Most new skates come with the brake already attached to the right skate.  If you feel uncomfortable doing the heel brake stop with your right leg remember that the brake can be switched to the left by using an Allen wretch.*  If you are uncertain if you should switch your brake to the left skate try answering the following questions:  Do you feel that you would naturally put out your left skate?  Would you kick a soccer ball into score a goal using your left foot?  If you stood if front of a step, would you use your left foot first to go up?  If you answered yes to anyone of these, you might want to try changing the brake.  At the very  least you will know what it feels like to use both legs to brake and make a well informed decision..For better balance as a beginner skater, it is best to keep your hands still and in full view out in front of the body.  This will help you concentrate on your stride rather then trying to combat an out of control upper body.
  • Give stopping a try BEFORE you head out to the streets, paths, or trails for your skate.  Practice all steps of the stop from a standing position.  Lacking the ability to stop quickly and completely hinders speed control and keeps many people from having a  pleasant experience on skates.  Mobile Yoga Heel Stop Video

Basic Forward Skating

  • Are you doing the “moon walk” when trying to skate? To keep all eight wheels in contact with the skating surface, push down through the heels. The added pressure through the heels will keep them on the ground throughout the stroke and allow for a more powerful push.Knee bend is your friend.  Soft knees are more forgiving then locked knees while skating.  For balance and maneuverability remember to keep your knees slightly bent while skating. Striding Stage 1 Striding Stage 2
  • Two increase the power of stroke and the length of your stride lower your skating stance.  Deeper the knee bend more power in the push.
  • Want more power in your push?  Bend you knees.  Increasing knee bend will result in a more powerful stroke, which in turn, will increase the length and efficiency of the stride.
  • When skating forward or backward, it is important to keep your head up and looking in the direction of travel.
  • Avoid water, oil and sand while skating.  Your wheels will thank you.
  • To add a blast to your  skate throw in a few forward swizzles along the way.
  • To increase the power and intensity of a swizzle, push down through your heels while remaining on the inside edges of your skates.
  • Use the forward swizzle to spice up a workout. Vary  the size and frequency of the swizzle for additional  muscular benefits. Your quads, abductor, adductors and glutes will definitely let you know they are working

*Some older model skates have brakes that can not be changed to the left side.

Next Week…Turns and Cross-overs