Okay, so you want to play roller derby, or you’re thinking about it. If so, you probably want to learn how to rollerskate. That’s a lot on its own. Going to the rink and skating around in circles is indispensable training, but it’s not the only training you’ll need. Exercises for roller derby are in order.
Oh crap. You’re going to have to work out! Don’t worry, it’ll be kinda fun! Sometimes!
Getting in roller derby shape means having the endurance to last through a grueling practice, the ability to jump, juke, fall and recover, and preventing weaknesses that might lead to (eep!) injury.
Here are a few exercises that I recommend for new skaters. For all exercises, start slow and build up. Consult a professional (doctor or trainer) if you have questions or health issues, then get started.
Get some cardio training in, especially if your major exercise the last few years has been Netflix and chill. Interval training, or interspersing higher intensity bursts with lower intensity training, can help you get ready for the rigors of this sport. Again: Start slow, and build up.
Just standing on one foot every once in a while will help you work on your balance and ankle strength. One-footed lunges, squats, BOSU Ball or balance board work take things to the next level.
Work them gams
Squats will probably be a big part of your training regimen even after you start skating, as so much of your time will be spent in a squat position while you’re skating. This position “loads” power in your legs so you can explode out of it. Kabam! Just knocked your opponent into the stands. Sweet. But not all squats and bodies are created equal, and you don’t want to work one muscle group at the expense of others, so make sure to throw some lunges, calf raises, and other exercises in there too, okay?
ENGAGE THE CORE
Your legs will be doing a lot of hard work in derby, but your upper body isn’t just along for the ride. Is your top half a lazy freeloader? No! Drop and give me 30… seconds of plank. Then in a couple of weeks, gimme 45. Etc.
Check ya neck
Do some gentle neck-strengthening exercises when you have the chance. Don’t worry. They’re easy. They’re really more like stretching with a purpose. A strong neck, some say, can help cut concussion risk.
That’s a start. Check out Roller Derby Athletics’ list of The Top Ten Exercises for Roller Derby Athletes, too.
Do have an exercise that makes you rave about the results? What do you wish you had done more of before starting roller derby?