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This week's tip:
Stretch for Success!

By Kim Perkins
(January 19, 2007)

I'm not sure why but us skaters tend to avoid stretching as strenuously as we avoid potholes. That's too bad because the added flexibility that comes with stretching is invaluable. Not only can it help us avoid injuries (by making our muscles and joints more limber), but it can help us improve our technique by making our bodies more compliant with those hard to maintain skating positions (e.g.: the low sitting position used when striding.)

You can find many excellent books and websites devoted to stretching. But here's a couple of good stretches to get you started:

Quad stretch

Standing up, raise your right foot back behind your leg. Grab it with your right hand and pull it toward your bottom. Hold for 30-60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.


Kneel on your right knee. Place your left foot in front of you with your knee bent. For stability, place your left hand on your left knee.

With your back straight (up and down) and your abdominal muscles tight, lean forward, shifting more weight to your left leg.

Keep your torso aligned straight ahead (no twisting).

You'll feel a stretch in the front of the hip and thigh of your right leg. Hold the stretch for 30 to 60 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Remember: Never stretch cold! Start your workout with a few minutes of running to get your blood flowing before you stretch. Or better yet, save your stretching until you're done skating.


Kim Perkins didn't start skating competitively until her mid-thirties. But what she lacked in experience, she made Kim Perkins (headshot)up with hard work, smarts and a big dose of raw talent. During her racing career, she won the Athens to Atlanta Road Skate three times and earned victories in several marathons, including the Cactus Classic (2003), Disney Inline Marathon (2004) and Texas Road Rash (2004). Since retiring from competition, she has continued to coach privately while pursuing an advanced degree at San Francisco State University.


Kim's web site.
Skate Tip of the Week Archive.
Beginners Guide to Outdoor Racing.




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