5 ways to improve your skating in everyday life – YOUR SUBMISSIONS

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August 11, 2013 by alinedecat

Bloody Jess-E #99 & Lady Paincake #911 from Holy Wheels Menace From Liège Picture by APE Pictures (Melissa Fasano)

Bloody Jess-E #99 & Lady Paincake #911 from Holy Wheels Menace From Liège
Picture by APE Pictures (Melissa Fasano)

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

So I tested all of those, and here is my top 5:

1. Avoid holding on in the subway

Submitted by Voldeloxx

Voldeloxx said: “I also try to avoid holding on in the subway and instead use the seat rails near the door as a leaning exercise.”

I must say this is slightly my very favourite, because of its originality. I tried it, and seriously, it is a great balance drill, that will help you get balance reflexes, and not too many people give you weird looks.

If you’re really looking for a challenge, you may do it on one foot, with your eyes closed, or looking back over your shoulder.

Of course you may not try it if it’s rush hour, unless you’re travelling with your teammates, or anyone else totally fine with leaning and/or falling on them.

Why I loved it: because there is a part of unpredictability in this drill that is hard to create when you’re on your own, and that is really enjoyable. Also, your level of weirdism doesn’t increase too much with this (will increase if done with closed eyes, though).

2. Trace the alphabet with your tiptoes 

Submitted by Booty Quake / Roller Derby Athletics

Booty Quake said : “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.”

Actually, I’ve tried these while writing my last post. Indeed, it is really nice for ankles strengthening, and you know how precious and fragile these are for skaters.

Why I loved it: We already knew what kind of exercises were good for ankles, but usually you start moving your feet around under your desk and eventually stop because you lose your focus. Using the alphabet gives a beginning and an end to this drill. Of course, your can always make it as long as you want by writing just your name or the complete 50 pages of WFTDA rules.

3. Calf Raises

Submitted by Gracie O’Malice

Gracie said: “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.”

Very simple, but good to mention. Can be done anywhere at anytime, while doing anything else, as long as you’re standing

Why I loved it: Because we insist a lot on thighs by squatting, and sometimes let the lower part of the leg aside. There is no reason only your upper legs should hurt.

4. Hang your washing on one foot

Submitted by Sugar n’Strife

Sugar n’Strife said: “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 ”

I definitely think a good general balance is actually the sum of two one-leg balances. It is just mathematical. Just be careful that you don’t use your hands as a reflex (and by that I mean you shouldn’t lean on your hands at any time to get back in balance)

Why I loved it: The point here, is to stay focused on something else than the balance, to help it become natural, just like we would like your skating to be, especially in a game (there is so much more to focus on than what is happening under you). Practicing it one leg at a time will double the effect, both on muscles and on balance.

5. Go down stairs sideways

Submitted by Marie Kut Kill Her and Miss K-Ass

Actually, this is basically my drill on stairs (the first one of my list) but instead of going up, you also do it going down.

Why I loved it: Because if you go fast, it is a balance drill, if you go slow, it becomes a squatting drill. Going upstairs is both together, but going downstairs allows you to insist on either strength or agility.

Anyway, thanks to all of you for the great ideas, all of them were absolutely awesome and I had a lot of fun testing all of those. I will definitely keep on doing most of them by the way!


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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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