We are fortunate here in Clark County to have many opportunities to Inline skate on paved trails away from traffic…. along the Columbia River Waterfront Trail, Salmon Creek Trail, Discovery Trail or Padden Parkway. Many people are nervous initially to inline skate because of a fear of falling. But if you spend some time working on your balance, you can feel confident strapping on a pair of Inline skates and cruising to an awesome workout for your hips and thighs. Get your leg and buttock muscles conditioned beforehand and you’ll be able to skate for miles before you fatigue and have to stop.

Here are a few activity-specific exercises and balance drills to help gain your confidence in an unstable sport.

One Legged Stance

Begin by standing on one foot.  Slowly bend your knee lowering your body a few inches and then back up again.  Make sure your knee points straight ahead and maintain proper, upright posture throughout the entire exercise.  If you balance isn’t very good to begin with, you may want to have something sturdy close by to hang onto in case you lose your balance.  Perform 13-20 reps each leg.  You can do this exercise while brushing your teeth, talking on the phone or making dinner – that way you’ll easily fit it into your day. As you get better, try this exercise with your eyes closed, which would display a more advanced level of balance (not while cooking though :))

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1legexercise2aUpper Body + One Legged Stance

It’s also easy to implement balance training while doing traditional upper body exercises.  Replace any exercise that you would generally do standing on both legs with standing on one leg.  For example, bicep curls or lateral shoulder raises on 1 leg.

_MG_97262 x 4 Training

Head down to your local hardware store and pick up a long piece of wood. You can walk across the board like you are on a tight-rope, then do it up on your toes and then try it walking backwards. You can shuffle side-to-side across the board. You can catch and throw a ball to a partner while maintaining balance on the 2 x 4.  Your options are endless.  You can also do this along a curb or a log at the beach or park.

SideStepaExercuff Side Steps

This is a great exercise to strengthen your hips and outer thigh – very important for the push off phase of inline skating.Wrap an exercuff or tube around your ankles. Step side by side not allowing your legs to cross the midline of your body. Repeat for 1-2 minutes.

1 Leg Airplane Hinge

_MG_9722This exercise is a great one to strengthen the entire posterior part of your body critical to help with the tucked position associated with inline skating. Start by standing on one leg while holding a medicine ball or hand-weight at your chest. Slowly bend forward at the hips while one leg extends backwards as you press the ball/weight towards the ground. Keep your abdominals contracted throughout the entire exercise. Your goal should be to achieve a horizontal body position.  Focus on lengthening your body – lengthen your legs, point your toes and hold for a few seconds and return to the starting position. Continue for 13-20 reps on each leg.

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Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan

Sherri McMillan, holds a master's degree in exercise physiology and has been inspiring the world to adopt a fitness lifestyle for more than 33 years. She has received numerous industry awards including 2010 CanFitPro International Presenter of the Year, 2006 IDEA Fitness Director of the Year, 1998 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, 1998 CanFitPro Fitness Presenter of the Year and 2005/2006 ACE Fitness Educator of the Year - Runner up. She is a fitness trainer, fitness columnist for various magazines and newspapers, author of five books and manuals including "Go For Fit - the Winning Way to Fat Loss" and "Fit over Forty" and the featured presenter in various fitness DVDs. She has presented hundreds of workshops to thousands of fitness leaders throughout Canada, Australia, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand, Germany, England, Spain, South America, Asia and the U.S. She is the owner of Northwest Personal Training in downtown Vancouver, the founder of WHY Racing Events & WHY Community, participates in various community fundraisers and can be found running, biking, or hiking around the community. Find more information at nwpersonaltraining.com.

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