It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it!
By Westy Bell
Step-ups are another simple lift that provide lots of benefits for skaters. Not only do they strengthen the quads, glutes and hamstrings (making them a great exercise for shaping the butt), but they also do wonders for balance and coordination.
As with the other lifts I've talked about, step-ups can be done with or without weights or dumbbells.
The only requirement is a sturdy step or bench high enough so your your knee reaches an angle of about 100 degrees when you step onto it.
Once you've found the right step, here's what you do:
1.) Stand with both feet on the floor.
2.) Step up with one foot.
3.) Put your weight on the elevated foot and raise yourself up and over the step. Straighten your leg fully
or come to a half raised position with your knee forming an angle of about 140 degrees.
4.) Alternate legs or do repetitions, first with one leg, then with the other.
Try step-ups for a few weeks and take note of how it affects your skating. You may find yourself with a stronger push. If not, take solace in the fact that you should be looking really awesome in your tight skinsuit.
Westy Bell is an ACE certified personal trainer, speed skater, weightlifter and mom. A native of central Pennsylvania and former Air Force meteorologist, she came late to skating, starting at age 27. But she learned fast and became a national champion in 2002 when she and teammate Jane Carey won the classic (over 30) two woman relay at Indoor Nationals. A resident of Asheville, NC, she skates with the Rolling Warriors.