If you’ve been drawn into the addictive world of TikTok, you’ll know roller skating has gone viral over the past few months, mostly thanks to co-ordinated pro-skater users sharing videos of themselves effortlessly gliding in sun-drenched locations.
While the stars of TikTok make zooming around on the pavement look pretty easy, roller skating is actually a really challenging sport that requires core strength, flexibility and balance – not to mention the mental determination to skate at speed across tarmac…
It’s a full-body exercise
It’s easy to think roller skating only challenges the legs, but those who practice regularly know it’s a full-body burn.
The hamstrings, hips, calves, quadriceps, and core muscles like the pelvic floor, back muscles and glutes, are strengthened and toned as you propel yourself forward. Plus, you’re trying to stay balanced too. Elite roller skaters have to have an incredible amount of core strength to keep the body perfectly aligned when nailing more complicated moves like waltz jumps and twists.
It can improve posture and coordination
Much like any dance skill, roller skating requires coordination to move the whole body in unison. As you’re on several wheels though, the brain is concentrating on spinning different plates, which can challenge your mental agility and balance.
Posture plays a vital role in maintaining your balance on the skates, so regular skating can help you straighten up and correct any bad habits you’ve picked up while hunching over a laptop.
It can boost your mood
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed in roller skating, it’s that it will put a smile on your face. Exercise releases feel-good chemicals called endorphins, which can improve mood and even help with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Unlike gym sports, roller skating gets you out into fresh air, sunlight and nature, which can have further benefits for your mental health too.
It’s good cardiovascular training
Heart disease is a major cause of death, and experts say we should all take part in cardiovascular exercise each week to keep our hearts in good nick.
Don’t let the chilled out videos on TikTok fool you, roller skating isn’t as low intensity as it looks, and an hour’s session can spike your heart rate and burn a decent amount of calories.
It’s low impact
Providing you don’t take a topple, roller skating is a fantastic cross-training discipline for people like marathon runners, because it doesn’t put any extra pressure on your joints.
Not only is it a fun way to feel like a kid again, switching out your recovery runs for a couple of roller skating sessions can give your joints a well-deserved rest.