If you want to increase the speed at which you skate, listen up. Whether you are doing ice skating, rollerblading, roller skating, or any other variation of skating, squatting can help you get the burst of power and speed you need. If you’re looking to improve any aspect of your skating game, squatting is the exercise for you.
Squatting, of course, means applying weight using weight lifting equipment to your thigh muscles and your knees, as well as your lower legs and calves. Squatting is a very powerful exercise that directly engages and offers resistance to the most important muscle groups for skating. If you’re a professional skater that needs speed or you’re just a regular skater that would like to step up your speed, you can’t go wrong by doing area targeted exercises like squats.
Strengthening the Most Important Muscles for Skating
Regardless of what type of skating you do, you are going to rely on your glutes or butt muscles and quads. The best exercise for this is squats. When you do squats, you put a lot of pressure on these muscle groups and they increase in strength and resistance. They are able to put up with a lot of pressure. They are also able to expand a lot more energy when needed.
You need these strong muscle groups because if you want to skate at a high level, you need to direct a tremendous amount of focus and energy to a certain direction. When you are crouched down and you spring up as you start skating competitively, your quads and glutes are the ones that provide that speed and impact. You need to do serious resistance exercise on these muscle groups so you can spring up with a lot of power and a tremendous amount of speed.
The Essence of the Right Squat
It’s easy to rely on machines at the gym to do a squat exercises. It really is. You feel that as long as you’re using the right machine, then you can’t go wrong. Well, while this is true to a certain degree, if you really want to take your squats to the next level, you really have to use free weights.
Now, this can get a little dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. This is why it’s really important to start with machines first. The machine is an enclosed unit so if you, for some reason or other, mess up on the squat, the weight will be stopped by the machine. Using a machine at first also enables you to master the range of motion.
As you migrate to free weights, you at least know what to do. You at least know what to expect as far as range of motion and as far as the process goes. There is no mystery. It’s all spelled out and it’s very easy to follow.
The next step is to migrate to a semi machine based squat. What I mean by this is you use a free weight system that has a rack. This way, even if you drop the weights, the racks will still catch it. It’s not a self-enclosed unit like a standardized squat machine that actually has a resisting weight.
In other words, when you are doing resistance exercises on a machine, you can set up the machine to take up some of the weight for you. Your legs and glutes are not taking 100% of the weight. You can then dial it down or dial it up.
With guided free weights or rack based free weights on the other hand, there is no counter weight. Whatever weight you put on there will be applied to your glutes and quads. The final step is to go to a completely free weight system. This is a little bit risky because if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can injure yourself. This is why it’s not recommended to go straight to this type of squat set up.
Ideally, you first start with a machine and get used to it. Once you have mastered the process, you then move on to a guided rack. Finally, you end up with free weights.
Why Free Weights?
The reason why a lot of people, skaters included, like free weights when exercising their squats is that they get a tremendous range of motion. They also get tremendous amount of freedom. You also are able to direct the pressure where it needs to go, as far as your muscle building needs go.
You’re the person in the best position to know which part of your anatomy needs more resistance and free weights enable you to deliver that higher level of targeting. However, you are paying quite a high price for this because if you have a lifting accident, it can be very bad for you. You are in a very vulnerable position.
This is why it’s really important to make sure that the side bars that catch the weight are set up properly. You also need to make sure that you are working out with a partner that can catch the weight if you drop it or if there is some sort of mistake or accident. Make no mistake about it, squats can take your quads and glutes to the next level if you want to become a power skater.
Remember What’s at Stake
When you work out your quads, you are really investing in making sure the parts of your body most responsible for your movement, propulsion, and braking while rollerblading remain in tiptop shape. Considering all the things that can go wrong (ranging from broken bones to scrapes and cuts to bruised egos), this is an investment that is on the small side. Yes, really.
Sure, it’s a bit inconvenient. Sure, you probably would rather be doing something else elsewhere but working on your quads and glutes go a long way in ensuring you will be able to control your movement the right way even if you are hurtling along at a high rate of speed. This is a great investment of your time-squatting not only helps you build up your physique it might well be instrumental in ensuring that you stay in one piece.