I have recently started rollerskating so I thought it would be great to share some rollerskating tips for beginners that I wish somebody has given me before I started doing it! Rollerskating is super fun, but it can be a bit terrifying to start and painful if you miss some basic info. It is important to try out some new hobbies, so why not try rollerskating?
When the first lockdown came, my idea was to buy a bike, but guess what? Everyone else have thought about that. So before people realise that there are other sports with wheels, I have decided to get myself a pair of rollerskates. It was a great decision! I had a moment where I was considering between quads and blades but I thought that quads will be much easier to get used to (as they have wheels on both sides of the feet).
I was sorely mistaken.
As a kid I used to have rollerblades and unfortunately this has given me some bad habits, like trying to stop with the back of my foot (rollerskates have their ‘breaks’ in the front). I have fell down more times that I care to admit, including the time when I grabbed a fence and pushed a sharp part of the fence into my hand (ouch!).
That was the moment when I realised that maybe I need some protective gear…
Regardless of the pain that I caused myself at the beginning, I kept pushing as this was such a great way to pass time and to feel that I am doing the right amount of exercise each day. Even 20 min on rollerskates was making my muscles sore, my heart beating fast and generally feeling more alive than when sitting at home, binging another series on Netflix.
When I first started to rollerskate, I have decided to do it for fun and to have something new to do during the lockdown, but I have quickly realised that there is more to it than just having fun. Here is a list of some of the benefits of rollerskating.
Rollerskating is a great exercise to increase your heartrate
Rollerskating even for 15-20 min increases your heartbeat – research conducted at the Universitat Konstantx concluded that moderate roller skating will increase the skater’s heartbeat to 140-160 beats per minute and if you pick it up a bit more, it is likely to go up to 180 beats per minute. Doing so regularly will strengthen the heart muscle and improve the blood circulation.
Rollerskating is a full aerobic exercise
Rollerskating involves all muscles in your body, it is a complete aerobic workout. You will soon realise it when after just few sessions each muscle in your body will be sore ( but the good sore!). If you worried about how many times I said so far words ‘pain’ and ‘sore’, don’t be! I have very low fitness level and any exercise involving my muscles would have the same effect, as I just don’t exercise usually. If you’re in the same boat as I am… Honestly it feels surprisingly good to be sore after rollerskates. They are super fun and I feel extremely proud feeling the sore muscles the next day.
Rollerskating builds muscles
You have probably realise by now that rollerskating builds muscles in the legs, but as this is a full body workout, it does build muscles in other body parts as well. After just a few rollerskating sessions you will be able to feel more muscle strength in your arms and abs and probably some other surprising muscles that I haven’t thought about yet.
You can burn up to 600 kcal an hour
This is of course the higher range of calorie burning and it will depend on your weight as well, but on average you can burn 300 kcal. You can easily burn a whole Snickers or 3 KitKats (I didn’t realise before that KitKat has only 106 kcal!).
Rollerskating is a great activity to socialise
Now that we are again allowed to socialise with people outside, you can pick up a pair of rollerskates and invite your friend for a learn-together-session in the park. Spend time together, practice and once you learn how to move on rollerskates from A to B, you can go together on rollerskating adventure or join your local rollerskating club.
Rollerskating is satisfying
Rollerskating is a very satisfying activity. Especially when you struggle at the beginning and look like a newly born antelope trying to learn to stand on her feet and then suddenly realise how to shift your weight and move forwards. Or that moment when you do your first jump and don’t end up falling on your bottom… It gives you a great boost of self-confidence and pride.
Rollerskating is pure fun
There, I said it. It is just simply fun. If you don’t care about any other of the benefits of rollerskating, just try it out for the pure pleasure of doing so.
I have gotten my skates almost a year ago (but still consider myself a beginner as I don’t skate regularly). I think my progress would be much faster if someone gave me the below tips before I started rollerskating.
Check your wheels before you skate
Choosing rollerskates is a long process and I might write a separate article to help you with the choice. But once the brand new shiny skates arrive, make sure your wheels spin. Try rolling them with your hand and see if they keep spinning. If they don’t, you might need to loosen up the bolts on the side. make sure they all spin similar and do not loosen to bolts too much (you don’t want your rollerskate to fall apart while you skate).
Get the protective gear
You might feel brave and think you don’t need to look like a 5-year old with overprotective parents, but honestly, falling without the protective gear hurts like hell.
I have fallen on my knees, hands and butt (I’ll give you a tip how to protect that last one in a minute) with and without the gear and usually when I had the gear on I didn’t feel anything afterwards, so make sure you gear up. I would recommend knee pads, wrist and palm pads and a helmet. Do not worry that this is too much, after first few drops, you will be thankful you had these on.
Learn to squat in skates
Squatting in skates is a great ability and you should learn this on day 1. Whenever you feel like you’re loosing your balance, you can then just squat. You will either regain your balance or fall from a much lower height and the impact will be way less painful (trust me!). You can practice squatting on the grass or at home on the carpet, so your wheels won’t roll and then try it out on the pavement once you feel comfortable.
If you squat while skating, expect some falling at the beginning before you figure out how to place your body weight. This is very quick to learn though.
Start slow and use your skates on the carpet or grass
The first day just practice standing and walking in your skates on grass or carpet. Do not try to be brave and skate straight away, as if you loose your balance and fall, you will be much more scared to do it again. Make sure you feel comfortable in skates and leave rolling to day 2.
If you got one thing from this article, I hope it is the fact that rollerskating is fun. Let me know what other information about rollerskating would you like to read? Would you like some help choosing the right rollerskate, see some beginners moves or just get some shiny pictures of new skates? Let me know below!
Is rollerskating not an activity for you? Why not try some other new activities and give a go to yoga for beginners instead?