integrate a variety of key skating and fitness components within a single
- The balance component builds
better tolerance for the narrow Scissors
Stance that is the building
block to intermediate and advanced skating skills. Good balance allows
you to glide longer on one skate as you progress to the lengthened
strides that come from skating with a deeper knee bend.
- Stronger core and thigh muscles enhance both skating
technique and endurance.
- The plyometric aspect of bounding into and out
of a deep lunge builds power for short bursts of energy such is sprinting.
- A quickly elevated heart rate makes this an excellent
way to warm up for any workout, skating or not
Find a non-slippery surface with lots of space all around and stand in
the center. For better balance,
place hands on hips and fix your gaze on something
directly in front of you at floor level throughout
the move. I find it helpful to straddle a line (for example,
a carpet pattern or pavement paint or seam) and spot my lunge landing
place alongside it.
- Lunge far forward with your right foot. Aim for a distance where your
left knee comes close to the floor but your right knee is not ahead of
your right ankle (to protect the knee). Your torso remains upright with
hands on hips.
- Push hard enough against your right foot to return to
upright and continue toward the back. Don't set the foot down or
pause in the center on the way.
- Lunge deeply back. Aim for a distance
where your right knee comes close to the floor but your left knee is
not ahead of your right ankle. Your torso remains upright with hands
- Push hard off the back toes and return to upright, but don't set your
right foot down and don't pause on the way to the next forward lunge.
- Try to make each front-to-back lunge a single, fluid movement.
a reasonable number of cycles for your level of
fitness, then swap and do the same number leading with your
(With thanks to Outside
Work department). The addition
of side lunges integrates another fitness component known as specificity.
Side lunges directly work the muscles in the side-directed push that
defines the best inline stroke technique. This move is similar to the
above, but you are working around a circle by lunging forward, to the
side, to the back, other foot back, other side, and other forward.
Use the same beginning stance, spotting, and safety guidelines above as
you add the side moves like so:
1. Balancing on the left foot:
- Lunge forward with right foot and
return to upright, then
- Lunge to your right side and
return to upright, then
return to upright.
2. Set the right foot down. Now, continue going around your circle while
balancing on the right foot:
- Lunge backward and return to upright, then
- Lunge to your left side and return to upright, then
- Lunge forward with
the left foot and return to upright.
Repeat the circuit. Try to increase number of circuits over time.
There is one more fitness component I didn’t mention at the
beginning. Adaptation occurs when this new activity
starts to seem easier—and it will! That means you are achieving
incremental improvements in all the other components, leading to
overall better fitness. So don’t despair if it feels too difficult
at first. Just keep at it and you will earn all of the considerable
fitness benefits of regularly doing balance lunges.
Other March 2007 Stories
Level Beginner are You? - Identify your own learning potential before you
risk looking like a geek!
Your Stances - Posture and foot positioning are everything when
it comes to learning the basics.
Swizzles - Step by step, build up to the one skill featured in
all fitness skating programs (great for speed, too!).
Weather Skaters - The Great EsSkate attracted hundreds of avid
rollers for a weekend of fun and sun in Miami. See Liz's photos.
Skate For Health Day - On May 12, instructors across the US will
show newbies how skating is aerobic, low-impact, and fun.
Rolling Skate School - My 2007 learning opportunities range from
Bay Area lessons to a mini camp and tour in Florida.
Valley Trail, South - Enjoy fantastic vistas skating the converted
rail-trail next to the Ventura River.
Crossing - Online destinations where skaters congregate and find