Should you be rollerblading during the summer? And will rollerblading ruin your stride?

Inliner min

It’s summertime right now, and in most cities the ice has been long taken out of the rink. There are many activities to do, and the one I get asked the most about is rollerblading: should you be rollerblading in the summer? And, most importantly, what so many people worry about: will rollerblading ruin your skating stride?

I’ll tackle the second question first. A lot of people, coaches included, say that rollerblading will ruin your stride when you get back onto the ice. This, for me, is absurd. How is it supposed to do this? The argument is that the stride mechanics aren’t the same: well honestly, the only activity with the exact same mechanics as ice skating is...hold on…ice skating. Nothing else. The next closest thing to ice skating though, is rollerblading. So if you think that rollerblading is going to be bad for your stride, then can you imagine what other activities like running will do to it? I mean, when you run, you are pushing directly back; that is the LAST thing you want to be doing while skating. And while we’re at it, you should probably avoid walking too; you’re pushing directly back AND you have very little knee bend while walking. So don’t run and walk either this summer- make sense? Of course not! if I honestly told you not to run or walk this summer you would (rightfully so) think that I am completely insane! Running, Sprinting and dryland drills are all commonly accepted as a must-do during the off-season, and I definitely agree with this assertion; but how then, is rollerblading bad? The argument continues that you will feel „weird“, or „off“ when you get back onto the ice if you have been rollerblading during the summer. This is true, but believe me, you will feel weird regardless of what you have been doing when you get back onto the ice, simply because you just haven’t been on the ice for a long time, not because you were using your inline skates! But the good thing is, the human body has an amazing ability to adapt, and after a couple of skates, you’re going to feel completely normal again! I trained on rollerblades almost every summer since I was about ten years old, and never noticed any negative effects when I got back onto the ice. I did, however, notice a lot of positive ones.

So now that we can see that rollerblading is not going to ruin your stride, we come to the more important question: should you be rollerblading in the summer? How important is it as a tool for becoming a good hockey player?

The first question you should be asking yourself is: is rollerblading fun? Because if you enjoy it, then putting the wheels on during the off-season is a no-brainer. I like roller hockey, and getting out there for a game of pick-up hockey when the weather is nice is FUN. That’s why I do it: I simply enjoy it, and doing something hockey-related that you enjoy is always a good thing. The second thing to look at, is where are your strengths and weaknesses? If you are a poor athlete, then I think rollerblading can definitely take a back seat to simple athletic activities such as running, jumping, throwing and catching. Doing anything more hockey-specific is not going to be much of a help until an athletic base has been built up, so I would limit or even leave rollerblading out completely in this case in favour of other athletic endeavours. On the other hand, for hockey players who are already very good athletes but lack in some technical aspects of the game, especially skating (although I now prefer working on my shot from rollerblades as well, instead of from shoes), putting on the wheels in the off-season and just working on technique can be very important and a huge help. You can’t do everything like you would on the ice, but simple forward- and backward stride techniques, crossovers as well as basic edgework (hip-openers are great to do on inline skates) can all be worked on very nicely. Two to three sessions a week will go a long way when the hockey season comes around again.

I hope I’ve been able to debunk a myth about rollerblading for you and help you a bit during your off-season. One final point: although I am a fan of lacing up the wheels, make sure you do take a bit of time after the ice hockey season to rest those skating muscles a bit. With most seasons finishing at the end of March or mid April, doing something completely different until late May/early June is never a bad idea. After that, strap on those blades to help you with your summer practice. And remember, I am a big fan of playing other sports during the summertime, and you should be doing this as well, but rollerblading and other sports are not mutually exclusive- do both!

Have fun out there, and have a great summer!



© 2018 Marcel's Hockeyschool | Developed by arSito
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