How to Rollerblade for Beginners

Rollerblading can help you reach your fitness goals.

Rollerblading can help you reach your fitness goals.

Think back to when you were a daring child strapping a set of roller skates to your feet. You conquered your driveway or any other flat surface that allowed the skate’s wheels to roll. Now that you are an adult who can anticipate danger, you may be a little concerned about strapping rollerblades on your feet to reclaim your early conquests -- falls hurt and your body does not heal nearly as fast. Rest assured, relearning to skate does not have to be painful if you use the correct safety equipment and learn the proper technique to keep your feet under you.

Visit a sporting goods store to get fitted for rollerblades. This entails finding a pair that places the tips of your toes slightly against the front of the boot when you are standing up straight. When you stand on bent knees, your toes should slide away from the front of the boot and not touch. Make sure the sides of the boot fit snug. Loose fitting rollerblades will cause you to develop painful blisters on your feet and reduce your stability when skating.

Find an area of level ground with grass nearby. Sit in the grass and put on your rollerblades. Take safety precautions by putting on a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads and gloves that have wrist support. Add additional safety items to your body, if you see fit. This can include securing a pillow to your butt, just in case.

Roll onto your knees with your feet behind you. Do not move off the grass yet. Bring one foot forward and place the skate wheels on the ground. Stand up slowly as you bring your other foot forward and place it on the ground. Walk around in the grass to get accustomed to the skates. Standing on skates will raise your center of gravity, so you will wobble a little bit.

Look down and you should see your knee pads, but not your rollerblades. If you see your rollerblades, stand up straighter. This increases your stability. Bring the heels of your rollerblades together to form the V-stance. Move your feet shoulder-width apart. Point your toes toward each other to form the A-stance. This stance helps you learn to turn when you begin your dominance of the surrounding hard surfaces.

Keep your knees bent and your arms in front of you as you move to the nearest level surface. Avoid hills because you have not learned how to turn or stop yet. Move your feet in the V-stance. Kick off with your dominant foot and remain calm because you will wobble a bit. Now, push off with your other foot. Keep it slow until you feel comfortable and watch out for obstacles and rocks.

Point your toes of each boot toward each other. Put pressure down on one foot. You will begin to turn in the opposite direction of the pressure. For example, pressing down with your right foot will move you to the left. Continue to practice turning while rolling at a slower pace.

Place your feet in the V-stance. Push the heel of one of your rollerblades toward the ground until the brake pad -- on the back of the rollerblade – makes contact. Put your weight on the brake to slow yourself down. It may take a few practice runs to get the hang of stopping while maintaining complete control of your direction.

Items you will need

  • Rollerblades
  • Helmet
  • Kneepads
  • Elbow pads
  • Gloves with wrist guards
 

About the Author

Lynda Schwartz is a fitness professional who began writing in 2004. She has contributed to "Women's Day" and "Good Housekeeping" magazines, as well as covered fitness and well-being for online publications. Schwartz holds a bachelor's degree in exercise science and health promotion.

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