5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life


July 8, 2013 by alinedecat

1.  Stairs

This is a very simple but still great occasion to improve your crossovers, both concerning balance and power. Instead of putting your feet perpendicularly to the stair, put them in parallel with it, both in the same direction. And now push to go up sideways!

Try to do this on every stairs you need to climb, and try to switch sides, there is no great skater who can’t handle clockwise skating too.

If it feels all right, put some difficulty into it: try to switch direction on the same stairs, go 5 up, then 2 down and start over, take the stairs 2 by 2, go faster, carry a bottle of water in each hand…

2. Sloping Street

Make a stop every 5 steps. Sounds easy, right? But on a sloping street, you can use the same muscles as onskates. Going uphill? Good for your sprints. Going downhill? Awesome for your brakings!

How is that? The slope replaces the speed (downhill) or the weight of your skates (uphill), and you’ll see that after a few trials, you will start to use exactly the same moves as on skates. Never thought you would need to plow offskates? There you go.

Of course you can make it a real offskate practice, by going faster, braking harder, carrying your grand’ma while doing it, but even just walking will already help.

3. Toilets

Don’t sit. Squat. Do I really need to say more?

4. At the coffee machine/In the elevator

Well, there you go for a few minuts to wait… Use that time to practice your one-foot balance.

Lift one foot against your opposite calf, then put it in the front, behind, cross it over the other leg, and uncross it to the side, then come back to initial position, all of this without losing balance, having your arms swinging around, or having your toes or heel go off the floor.


Easy? Go higher and faster.

Bonus: If you have high heels (please don’t try it out with suicidal high heels at first, be reasonnable), it’s even more efficient.

Bonus for weak ankles/injured skaters: Do this on a pillow, or anything that feels a bit unstable, this is one of the best exercises to strengthen and muscle your ankles.

5. Doors

The frontdoor, the car’s door, the washing machine’s door, that door you want to keep open for the old lady, the fridge’s door when you’ve got your hands full with that huge cake that was cooling down… Well any door. Don’t touch it, just handle it with your butt. Your hips. Even maybe your waist and chest. Actually, anything you’re allowed to use on the track.

Even if this sounds like a blocking drill, it is not (only). The actual exercise here, is about keeping your balance before, and especially gaining it back afterwards, no matter what kind of hit you gave or position you had to take to achieve it.

Of course if you stumble, use your arms, end up on the floor or break your washing machine, it was probably not that good and under control.

Do you guys have any other everyday life tricks? Come on, let’s share these!


19 thoughts on “5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life

  1. Misty says:

    Sitting at the computer… don’t rest your legs on the ground. Hold them up in the air as long as you can.

  2. Enni says:

    When I sit on a chair and if i have to get up regularly i do it on one leg and without using my Hands.
    If im just Standing around i do it on one leg and do some light squatting exercises. You get used to the Looks by People youre talkin to.
    Brushing tooth or cleaning dishes…squat.

  3. Coleen d'shotz says:

    I found that getting to the bar in a crowded pub without pushing through anyone is great practice for jamming 🙂 also I sit on a gym ball instead of a chair when I’m at home, I’ve found that sitting upright on it really helps the core

  4. Bossy says:

    Wear your skates around the house. Cook dinner in them, do dishes, switch laundry, vacuum etc… the more everyday things you do wearing skates the more they will feel natural on your feet… just like shoes! I also try doing some of these tasks on one foot. Dishes, laundry or standing in line at the store. When I am in the dark room developing xrays at work I do squats waiting for the last film to run through before putting the next in. Use your imagination!

  5. Shannon says:

    I do some wall sits while waiting for the microwave to cook my lunch, while brushing my teeth, or while I’m doing anything that just requires me to stand and wait.

  6. Do one foot calf raises while brushing your teeth! (or waiting for the coffee/microwave/etc.). Another good ankle strengthener is tracing the alphabet with your toe while sitting at your desk/on the bus/on a long phone call, etc.
    Damn, I love that stairs suggestion! thanks!

  7. Do the eccentric version of one foot calf raises – lift up with both feet on to the balls of your feet, lift one foot off the floor, and slowly lower your heel (of the foot on the ground) to the ground. Build up to being able to do it without having to hold on to anything. This is definitely a great rehab exercise for sprained ankles or legs broken at the ankle.

  8. Voldeloxx says:

    I juke around in weird patterns whenever I’m in the house or trying to avoid crowd related stoppages in public spaces. I look a little weird, but I’ve definitely noticed the benefits in my skating. I also try to avoid holding on in the subway and instead use the seat rails near the door as a leaning exercise.

  9. Stand one footed with EYES CLOSED. Strengthens stabilizer muscles in your feet and ankles. Toe raises in lines and queues. I used to squat to rock my baby to sleep!

  10. Sugar n' Strife says:

    I hang washing on one foot. Pick up item on one foot, LEAN over to get pegs, stand upright, reach for line, hold awkward one-footed stretching forward position whilst putting pegs onto item, then repeat. Obviously changing legs every now and then 🙂

  11. Nothing new to contribute, just wanted to say “I do that too!” I started opening doors with my hip months back. I started doing it in an attempt to stop using my hands/leading with my upper body while in the pack as a blocker. It works!

  12. […] you remember my post about offskate unexpected practice time in everyday life? Well at the end of it, I asked what your little tricks […]

  13. Pepper A.K.A "Greek Lightning" says:

    Reblogged this on Life…With a Dash of Pepper and commented:
    So many people liked the crossovers post from yesterday, so I thought I would share this amazing blog post by Aline Decat. Here are Aline Decat’s 5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life. Enjoy!

  14. […] If you can’t skate on one foot (at least the length of the track’s straightaway), you NEED to practice this. You can also practice it offskate with drill #4 I gave in this post. […]

  15. Terra Ryse says:

    I know this post is old, but I just found it and thought I would add to it:

    1. Brush your teeth on one foot. Spend the first half on one leg, spend the second half on the other. Do not use the wall or the sink to prop yourself up. When it’s time to spit and rinse, do not bend at the waist. Squat on one of your legs. Do it twice a day (for both your balance practice and dental hygiene!)

    2. Do squats throughout the day. One or two here and there (I love the bathroom trick!) Everyone will think you’re just stretching your knees.

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I'm Aline Decat #61, skater for Gotham Girls Roller Derby and Team Belgium Roller Derby. I am also coach for Track Advantage - coaching company and I founded the Blackland Rockin'K-Rollers and Europe's first junior league, the Blackland Teenage Terrors.

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