Yeah, so I wasn’t kidding when I said I was going to use the cheesiest pictures I could possibly find.
Rollerblading is an AWESOME workout. I bought a pair last fall on a whim (mostly because I love anything related to the 1980s) and have fallen in love. I recently moved to a new apartment, just a few houses in from an awesome beach and boardwalk (well.. it’s kind of a faux boardwalk.. but whatever) and it’s a great spot to go blading (did I really just say “blading”?).
Finding your balance and getting into a groove is difficult at first, but once you get going, it’s a lot of fun and a great workout. It’s like doing hundreds of skater lunges, only not as torturous. In addition to getting uber sexy legs, I’ve found that rollerblading is a great way to unwind and clear your head while getting some fresh air. This is also a good alternative for people who hate running (me) but also like to exercise outdoors.
Here are some tips on rollerblading for beginners from Livestrong (with my own commentary)
Stretch a few times a week to get in shape for roller blading and to reduce the risk of getting hurt. According to the website Inline Skate Resource, you should focus on flexing your ankles and stretching your quads. A simple way to work your ankles is to sit in a chair with your feet dangling, then circle your ankles a few times in each direction. You also can lie on your back, point your toes up, and perform the circles. To stretch your quads, stand up and hold onto a chair. Reach back to grab your ankle, and pull your foot up until you feel tension in the quad.
Wear protective gear when you skate. Inline Planet recommends helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards, because you probably will use your hands to catch yourself when you fall. Crash pads, or padded shorts that go under your clothes, are also helpful for beginners. According to Inline Planet, novices tend to arch their backs and fall on their bottoms when they lose their balance, and a little padding can prevent a lot of pain.
Umm padded shorts? My ass is big enough as it is, so I’ll pass on that. Maybe if I fall on it enough it will get smaller…
Put on your skates, and stand and walk on grass before you graduate to the pavement. According to SkateLog, this helps you get used to your skates and improves your balance. For more balancing practice, head to a flat paved area, place your feet about shoulder width apart, bend your knees, and stand still.
Learn the mechanics of moving forward. To practice rolling, skater Simon Wrang suggests finding slightly slanted pavement with railing on each side. Roll down it, pull yourself back up along the rail, and repeat. When you’re comfortable rolling, it’s time to start skating. As you roll with skates parallel, lift one foot and place it in front of the other. Go back to parallel, and repeat with the other foot. This time, though, when you put one foot in front, push back with the other foot.
Learn how to stop. Most beginning inline skates have a heel brake that uses friction to help you halt. Put your braking foot forward, and raise that toe to engage the brake. According to the Central Park Skate Patrol, you should bend your knees and put your arms straight in front of you in case you fall.
My idea of braking is running onto the grass or going hands-first into a stop sign, but I’m working on it.
Something Lance didn’t mention was where to rollerblade. I strongly suggest finding a park, boardwalk, or anywhere that is wide open, especially for beginners. It’s less stressful not having to worry about traffic or pedestrians, and large open spaces tend to be evenly paved, which makes for easier blading.
Hope you guys get out there and try rollerblading while the weather’s still nice!