Not your Grandma’s Roller Blading

Does the phrase “roller blading” evoke the Quad City DJs and twirling laser light displays? The chicken dance and hokey pokey? Inline skating isn’t just for roller derby fanatics or tweeny boppers. If the last time you roller bladed included gear like braces, cargo pants and limbo sticks, it’s time to grow up and revisit those dusty skates. Roller blading should be added to your workout rotation. Why?

Benefits of roller blading

Burn serious calories. According to, inline skaters cruising at 20mph burn 6 calories an minute which equals 360 an hour, which is conservative compared to the Mayo Clinic’s estimate of 584 calories for a 160-lb person. Studies demonstrate that anaerobically, inline skating has a greater impact on building muscle than running or cycling. See how roller blading stacks up against other sports here.

No beating the pavement. Inline skating reduces impact on your joints by half while providing the same cardiovascular benefits, if not better, as suggested by a University of Massachusetts study. When the knees start to protest the pounding, start gliding instead.

Increase balance and flexibility. Rollerblading works the lower back and core, the key muscles for stabilizing your body. The motion forces your body to use major muscle fibers to stay in an upright position that running or cycling miss. If you’re desk bound all day, roller blading is just the activity to engage and loosen those hip flexors and constricted lower body muscles.

It’s just fun. Forget the rink and get outside. Whizzing down a paved trail to whirring rhythm of the wheels is exhilarating. Add your favorite Chumbawamba jam and you’ve got a workout. Impress those beefy cyclists by making them work to pass.

Forget just running or cycling. Dust off the skates and feel muscles ache that haven’t been used in a while. Just remember the safety gear and do practice stopping techniques before heading out.


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