If you are thinking of using rollerblading as a way to build your lower body muscle tone or lose weight, you need to pay attention to the muscles involved in rollerblading. It is very easy to assume that since people move their legs around when rollerblading that is all that is required for proper movement or forward propulsion. There is actually a lot more that is going on besides the things that you can see. While it is very easy to see the leg part because the legs are of course the main parts of your body that you use to push yourself forward, there are also a lot of things going on.
First of all, your butt muscles, and I am talking about the glutes, play a big role. These muscles are actually some of the toughest muscles in the human body. They are also comprised of some of the largest muscle groups. There are actually three groups of muscles that make up the glutes – the gluteus minimus, medius and maximus.
They work together to give you the power to push forward. They also work with your hips. Subsequently, your legs are properly positioned hence you can propel yourself forward. In fact, if you want to push yourself off so you can get going for skating, you need to use your glutes. These are important in the propulsion stage.
Accordingly, given the amount of weight needed because of inertia, your glutes actually get quite a bit of a workout, especially if you are going uphill. If you are going uphill, you are going to be pushing a bit more on your legs, and this gives your glutes a nice workout. If you are looking for a more toned backside, rollerblading is definitely one form of exercise you should absolutely explore. Not only does it give your glutes a tremendous workout; it does so in a fairly low-impact way. It definitely beats running.
When you are running, you would feel, in no uncertain terms, that you are running. In fact, if you run the wrong way, running can be murder on your joints. Not so with rollerblading. Furthermore, with rollerblading, you are looking around you; you are enjoying the sunshine; you are exploring. All these serve to distract your mind so instead of your mind focusing on the strenuous exercise that you are engaged in, you are focusing on something else, and you feel less tired. Accordingly, you are able to exercise for a longer period of time without burning out.
Your quad muscles are actually very long muscles that stretch all the way from the pelvis region to the length of your thigh to the kneecap. These are very important muscles because they work in opposition to each other to keep pushing you forward and also to move the knee. The knee acts as a hinge so the quadriceps enables you to move in a forward direction by working against each other.
The quads are also very important when it comes to propulsion. When you push off, they start contracting and expanding and actually every time you move, they work against each other either contracting or expanding. The big difference between quads and regular muscles is not their operation. All muscles actually work in opposition to each other, but the big difference with quads is the length of the muscles involved.
Another group of muscles that you work out are your hamstrings. Unlike the quads which are at the front of your thighs, hamstrings are at the back side of your thighs. Again, they work in conjunction with your quads to help you propel yourself forward whether you are kicking, pushing off or moving your hips forward or sideways, they enable you to achieve forward movement.
Hip flexors are actually made up of two big muscles, the psoas major and the iliacus. These muscles start from your lower spine and proceed all the way to your thighs moving through your pelvis. The big thing about these muscles is that they provide lift to your thighs and when you move your thighs, they expand and contract. These act as stabilizing units that work in opposition. Another pair of muscles that work the same way is the abductors and adductors. Again, these work with your legs in a contracting and expanding manner.
Muscle Movement when Rollerblading
The interesting thing about rollerblading is that a lot of people think that you are just basically working out your lower body when rollerblading. Depending on how you move while rollerblading, you are actually working out your whole body. Yeah, it is crazy. You may have thought that rollerblading is just for your legs but depending on how you move, depending on how intensely you work out, you can actually work out your whole body.
You have probably seen intensive or high-speed rollerbladers in the park. Pay attention to how they move. In many cases, you see them pump their arms sideways. This, of course, works out their upper body. In addition, when they are going on inclines, or they are going on a slight tilt, this actually works out their abs or abdominal muscles. When they are pushing off, a lot of their lower regions are being worked out, but they are also moving their arms, which provide a tremendous workout for the chest and the shoulders as well as the arms. Again, it all depends on how intensively you rollerblade.
Now, if you are rollerblading basically just by pushing off occasionally and leisurely spinning around and also picking prime spots where there is a deeper incline so gravity does most of the work, you are probably not working out that much. If anything, the only thing that you are working out is your lower body and even in that situation, your lower body is not getting an intensive workout. It all depends on your skating style.
It also depends on where you skate. If you are skating in places that have an incline, and you have to go back to the incline, you may have a great workout on the way back up because you are going to push a bit more to work against gravity. On the other hand, if you are just going to go one way on a fairly steep hill, you are just basically coasting so you are not really going to work your muscles all that much.