If you want to enjoy a heart-healthy cardio workout outdoors that targets both upper and lower body muscles, why not try wearing inline skates? Many people might think of this activity as “roller skating.” The technical term, however, is “inline skates,” with a slight difference in the position of the wheels.

Inline skates have one vertical row of wheels next to each other (hence the term inline = one row), while roller skates have two vertical rows of wheels,” says Marissa Miller, ACE certified personal trainer. But despite the name, there is no difference in the many benefits to physical and mental health that inline skating offers.

Inline skating is an optimal cardio workout because of its ability to raise the heart rate. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that adults get 150 minutes of moderate exercise (plus two days of muscle-strengthening exercise) per week.

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图Inline Skating Strengthens Lower Body Muscles

Says AFAA-certified personal trainer and ASAA-certified Pilates instructor, “Like other types of aerobic exercise, inline skating works the abdominal muscles in conjunction with the lower body muscles, including the calf muscles, quads, hamstring muscles, and glutes.” Stephanie Mansour, who also hosts the PBS show Step It Up with Steph.

In a 2015 article published in Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, she wrote that because aerobic exercise can increase skeletal muscle mass (conventional theory suggests that this type of exercise has a minimal effect on muscle), it is possible to prevent muscle loss due to aging by It points out that it should be considered as an effective way to prevent this problem.

It should also be noted that inline skating is considered a low impact exercise because the pressure on the joints is minimized. Says Mansour, “Unlike jumping or running with your feet lifted high off the ground, skating focuses on gliding.”

“Inline skating falls into the low impact category. Inline skating falls into the low impact category because when you kick lightly with one foot to start skating, the other foot stays on the ground,” says Miller. The skating motion functions much like when you hold a yoga pose where you maintain balance on one foot. This is great for people who have joint or ligament problems and need a low impact workout,” she continues.

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图1

Inline Skating Improves Balance

“An added benefit of inline skating,” says Mansour, “is that it improves balance because there is less area for the feet to touch the ground”.

This is because the repetitive motion of the feet on wheels strengthens the lower back muscles and core, improves posture, and provides stability and coordination in muscle movement. A 2021 review published in the Orthopedic Research Online Journal found that exercises targeting the trunk (the muscles inside the abdomen that connect to the spine, pelvis, and both shoulders) improve functional movement and balance in older adults.

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图2Inline Skating Strengthens Stability Muscles

Inline skating wheels line up like a “balance beam” structure,” Miller says, “so you have to engage your torso and other stabilizing muscles to keep your posture straight. These stabilizing muscles refer to muscle groups such as the rotator cuff and lumbar spine (i.e., the lumbar back), which support the body but are not involved in movement.

According to a 2013 article in Sports Health magazine, strengthening the stabilizing muscles in conjunction with the core muscles and the mobilizing muscles involved in larger movements of the body reduces the risk of injury during workouts and daily activities.

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图3Inline Skating Benefits Heart Health

The American Heart Association has put skating on its list of heart-healthy activities. A 2019 review published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine examines multiple reasons why exercise reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and analyzes the mechanisms. According to the authors, aerobic exercise improves glucose tolerance and glucose sensitivity, increases physiological cardiac hypertrophy (normal heart function), and lowers resting heart rate, blood pressure levels, and atherosclerosis markers (indicators of fat and cholesterol inside the artery walls).

Weight and speed are key to identifying the number of calories burned by inline skating. As a personal trainer, I would recommend that you do 20 minutes of aerobic exercise on inline skates. This will burn about 200 calories,” says Mansour. Miller adds, “Try replacing one of your workouts on the elliptical machine or treadmill with a session on inline skates.

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图4Inline Skating Makes You Feel Better

According to a 2017 review published in Brain Plasticity, just one session of fun aerobic training can have an immeasurable impact on emotions. The New York University study authors found that just one session of aerobic exercise significantly increases energy levels, promotes increases in neurochemicals (such as dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the reward system and motivation for pleasure, according to the Cleveland Clinic), and lowers stress levels The Cleveland Clinic found that the increase in neurochemicals (such as dopamine, a neurotransmitter involved in the reward system and motivation to feel pleasure) is enhanced and stress levels are reduced. Some evidence also suggests that the exercises that boost mood the most are those that are most enjoyable to you.

Thinking along these lines, the focus should not be on data during inline skating. Says Miller, “I encourage clients to become familiar with a particular exercise before focusing on the calories burned.” If you sweat a lot and breathe heavily, you’ve done an exercise that is very beneficial to your cardiovascular, muscular, and mental health.”

Does Inline Skating Build Muscle?插图5

When using inline skates for the first time, it is better to do the exercises in an enclosed area with a solid object (such as a railing) to help support your body. It is a good idea to grab a friend who is not wearing shoes and ask them to back off until you get used to the feeling of inline skating. And inline skates are not for riding, but for wearing. Choose skates that are the right size. We recommend that you purchase from a store that offers size exchange. There are conditions for exchanges, so be sure to read the notes carefully and deal with them.

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