Usually, the first thing we think of when we hear cardio workout is running. But running is not the only form of aerobic workout available. If you look for a change from traditional jogs, roller skating is what you should definitely try. Why is skating a great form of workout? Can we skate for fat loss? How is skating similar to and different from running in terms of workout? And finally, can everyone roller skate?

Which muscles work when we skate?

Probably, the first thing that comes to our mind is: the legs. Indeed, the slightly bent positioning of the knees works our quads and hamstrings. Additionally, the slightly diagonal thrusts of legs, are great workout for the inner and outer thighs. And last, but not least, the glutes are also working like crazy when we skate. But that’s not all.

As everyone who ever tried to roller skate knows, the key issue is balance. And when we hear balance, we can be sure that the muscles of core will be working: the abs, the obliques, and the back. So yes, surprisingly enough, when we skate not only the legs, but the belly and the back work, too. If we add some nice pace to it, the arms will be more involved as well.

Moreover, we positively pump our heart rate, boost our endurance, and improve our coordination.

Do we burn fat when we skate?

Roller skating, just like walking, running, jumping rope, or swimming is a physical activity that engages the muscles of the whole body. The muscles need energy to move, and to generate the energy, our body burns calories. The faster and the more intensively we skate, the more calories we burn.

So start with moderate skating pace, and gradually turn up the pace if you aim at burning fat. Skating up a hill will also involve more energy, so if you have a slight hill in your neighborhood with asphalt on it to skate upon, definitely give it a try more than once.

Roller skating vs. running

According to International Roller Skating Association,

“Roller skating is equivalent to jogging in terms of health benefits and caloric consumption, reduction of body fat, and leg strength development.”

In fact, roller skating is more beneficial to the joints of the legs. Since skating we kind of glide, the impact on the knees is much lesser than in the case of jogging.

The requirement for skating is hard and moderately even surface, like asphalt. So, where we shouldn’t run, we can roller skate. If you usually run in the city, think of switching to roller skating from time to time, for the sake of your knees.

It does not mean that you should skate instead of running. Make it an occasional alternative for some variety in your cardio workout. Make it a new challenge if you never tried it before. Roller skating is fun, and in terms of workout, you can benefit from it as well as from traditional jogging.

Can everyone roller skate?

Considering the fun one can have skating plus the minor pressure on the joints – everyone can skate. Make sure you’ve got some safe and comfortable environment to learn, and some equipment protecting your head, elbows, knees, and hands from injuries. If you’re a beginner, it would be great to have an instructor, or at least a person who can roller skate, to give you some hints on the technique and correct basic mistakes.

What about the costs? Yes, you need roller skates. But those for beginner level does not cost more than a good pair of jogging shoes. The elbow and knee patches are not obligatory, yet they may make you feel more secure. You can use a cycling helmet and gloves.

Final words

Try roller skating as a new challenging and joyful form of cardio workout. You don’t have to run all the time – even if you love running, from time to time a change may bring some new motivation.

About Cathy Patalas

The sports soul and the alleged specialist in words of 52Challenges.com. The main 52C Blog writer. A diligent student at the English Department of the University of Wroclaw, majoring in applied linguistics. An ex-acrobat and aerobic gymnast with the 13-year long experience in „training for winning”. A multiple medallist of Poland nationals in acrobatic gymnastics, and academic nationals in aerobic gymnastics. A fan of gymnastics of every existing type. Personally, finds making everyday choices in a healthy lifestyle even more demanding a challenge than making everyday sacrifices in the athlete’s lifestyle.