Unless you’re new to my blog, you’ll know that earlier this year I joined the Fresh Meat programme for my local roller derby team.
It’s been such great fun! I’m really enjoying learning roller derby and just skating in general – and not just for the game element of it. It’s like secret exercise in disguise! It’s really fun and it’s been so exciting to see actual muscles starting to appear and tone up over the weeks and to see the dial on the bathroom scales going down as I lose weight (I’m not putting this purely down to skating alone but it definitely helps).
I try to skate twice a week – for one hour on a weekday and two hours on Sundays.
Brighton Rockers Fresh Meat 2015; photo by Kim Kapow
So what’s so great about skating?
Rollerskating offers a good cardiovascular workout and endurance training. It uses nearly all the body’s muscles but it particularly good for toning up your legs and your bum and also builds core strength. This means it also burns lots of calories!
It works for anyone – whether you prefer exercising on your own or in a group. You can rollerskate on your own either indoors (many leisure centres run rollerskating sessions or roller discos) or outdoors (look for flat surfaces in parks or empty car parks) or in a group if you do something like roller derby. There are a few street skating groups here too, which as the name suggests, involves a group of people get together for a group skate along flat pavements (normally along the seafront here).
It’s also really fun to do – which is the most important thing for me when it comes to exercise. If it ain’t fun, I ain’t dragging myself out of bed to do it.
What supporting exercise can you do?
There are a number of additional exercises you can do to support rollerskating and tone your body even further.
Pilates is one of the best exercises to improve core strength which will really help with endurance and stamina when skating. It can improve posture, strength, flexibility and balance.
Squats and lunges are great for building body muscle. When playing roller derby you skate with your knees bent so you’re essentially in a constant squatting position. It still kills my lower back and thighs but the more I do it the easier it’ll get!
Wall balls, although I hear are amazingly tough (I’ve never had the pleasure) would be brilliant too as they work on conditioning your entire body. Similarly, planks help to develop strength in the core, arms, shoulders and bum.
There are also specific exercises that will help if you’re playing roller derby. These are some of the YouTube videos I regularly refer to:
Roller Derby Athletics
This channel features roller derby-specific training advice, workouts, injury prevention and nutrition tips.
Booty Quake, who runs the blog also just put together this really great list of the top 10 exercises for roller derby athletes.
Treble Maker plays roller derby for Hereford Roller Girls’ Horror Bulls and offers exercises specifically for Fresh Meat.