Skate Maps


Inline secrets from the world's top skaters and coaches

This week's tip:

How to Maintain Your Legs During the Off-Season

By Debbie Rice

Eddy Matzger skating

Debbie Rice (center) during a marathon.

During the chilly months of the off-season, many of us get lazy and lose sight of our fitness goals.

But remember this cruel math: laziness equals loss of legs.

It’s OK to take a break. But the longer the break, the harder it is to bring your legs back up to speed … and this only gets worse as we age.

I recently made the mistake of taking an entire month off my training. When I got back on skates, the first thing that I noticed was that I could no longer get low! My legs felt weak and wobbly, and I had no power in my stroke.

I was bending at the waist, but unable to get into a deep knee bend. As a result, I had no speed. In order to produce power, you MUST be in the low position so you can push with your glutes.

Bad weather may make it difficult to train during the off-season. But that’s no excuse. You can maintain your power and strength in the comfort of your home.

Plyos are the answer! (See box on right for plyos for skaters.)

Get on a set schedule, but mix it up a bit — and remember to stay low. Build up your glutes and quad muscles. This is the key to skating stronger, longer and faster.

And when you can get outside on your skates again, focus on technique rather than speed. Feel your skates under you. Find the balancing point where you generate the most power with each stroke. Push out with your heels directly to the side. (You must get low to do this!)

Take it slow at first and stay as low as you can. In time, you will feel your strength, speed and balance improve.

Work on the fundamentals — like the low body position and push to the side — during the off-season.

Then later, work on more advanced skills, like changing gears (e.g., speeding up for breakaways) and arm swing.

When spring arrives, you'll be ready to rock 'n' roll.




Debbie RiceDebbie Rice owns one of the most amazing resumes in inline skating. In 2010, she won the pro master division in the National Roller Cup and won seven gold medals at Indoor Nationals while notching three new records. In 2009, she won the Masters World Championship marathon in Italy. And the list goes on and on. She also holds a place in the Guinness Book of World Records: fastest woman on skates — 61 mph downhill. A former cast member of the Roller Jam television series, she now jams for Bont's roller derby team. She is a Bont sales representative and team manager. A Houston native, she recently moved to Tampa.

Debbie's Facebook page




Related reading:

Skate Tip of the Week Archive
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing
Beginners Guide to Inline Skating




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