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Increase Speed: Tips for In-Line Skaters

written by: Sylvie Colette • edited by: Cheryl Gabbert • updated: 6/29/2011

Speed skaters, hockey players, and derby girls alike, all want to skate faster. Learn how to increase speed with these tips for skaters.

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    There are several ways to increase your speed when training off your skates. These include running sprints, plyometrics, and weight training. Core exercises will strengthen the muscles that help with the balance and power you need on skates. Yoga and stretching exercises are also beneficial, as is getting the proper amount of rest, water, and good nutrition. Increasing your speed by approaching this goal as only one part of your entire fitness program will make you an overall better athlete.

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    Getting Comfortable on Your Skates

    Getting extremely comfortable on your skates is the first step in increasing your speed. Beginners will want to make it a point to simply wear their skates as often as possible. Wear your skates at home while you are doing dishes, picking up the kids toys, and general household chores. (as long as this does not include steps of any kind.) Doing this helps build confidence and your overall balance.

    Try stepping around the house on your toe stops, or side stepping from one room to the next. This is not the time to actually skate, just get your body used to being on wheels.

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    One Foot Training

    In a parking lot or on a track, try to skate on one foot at a time. Glide on your right foot until you start to lose your balance. Try again with your left. One foot will most likely be stronger than the other. Keep trying to get the weaker foot to cooperate.

    The foot that is not skating at the time can be kicked out in front of you, or rested directly behind the skate on the ground. Experiment with different angles to make it easier, or more difficult.

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    Keeping all wheels on the ground, propel yourself forward by directing your skates from side to side. Simply going back and forth is a good way to start. Gradually increase your speed and then try to hit certain marks. Set up a course with chalk marks or cones. Slaloming can be made more difficult by doing it with one foot directly in line with the other, or doing it on one foot.

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    Crossovers are what you need to do on curves. Repeatedly crossing the outer foot over the inner makes you go in a circle. These take a lot of training to get right. When starting out, walk in a circle, step one foot over the other, and just go completely around in a stepping motion.

    Do the crossovers right over left and then left over right. Generally speaking left handed people do better when they are turning to the right. Right-handed people find it easier to go to the left.

    At every training session, spend a little time doing crossovers. These will increase your speed by allowing you to maintain the speed you have gained on the straight away.

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    Muscle Building on Skates

    Increase the power in your stride by doing squats while you are skating. Maintain a deep squat while propelling yourself forward, then hold that squat for several minutes. Continue moving forward with all wheels on the ground while in the deep squat. This technique will cause your thigh muscles to burn.

    Another way to increase your inner and outer muscles is to skate in a wide stance and then pull them in close together and back out. Really work on squeezing your inner thigh muscles when pulling the skates in. This will look like a fluid in and out motion with all your wheels on the ground.

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