With the Sunny Side Upper Body Challenge just around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to talk about why strengthening your upper body is important. When we think about skating, we don’t really think about how we use our upper body. After all, skating is really just a lower body exercise, right?
Well, the truth is, not really. By working alongside our core, our upper body gives us the stability we need to continue rolling along (in a somewhat upright position, at least). To better understand how our upper body blesses us with the ability to fly on 8 wheels, let’s talk about what our “upper body” consists of:
Within these body parts, the muscles connect your chest, limbs, and torso to your spinal column.
Now think about roller derby specifically. Have you ever taken a whip, given a whip, taken a hit to the chest? That’s all your upper body. Not to mention, falling, using your arms for momentum, and even just giving your teammates high-fives all use elements of your upper body.
Skate park lovers aren’t left out either – dropping in, climbing back out, doing inverts? All upper body.
A stronger upper body relates to a better posture, which can lessen injuries. Without strengthening your upper body, more strain is put on your lower back as it has to compensate for the arms and shoulders. Have lower back pain? Building your upper body muscles may help.
Outside of skating, we use our upper body for everyday things. Lifting, grabbing, shrugging, hugging, writing – you name it, your upper body has a hand in it (pun intended).
Our upper body is something we can easily take for granted, if we’re not already actively trying to strengthen it. While lifting weights can certainly build up some muscle, lacking the gear and the time can make focusing on our upper body difficult. We wanted to make it “easy” for you.
The Sunny Side Upper Body Challenge starts May 2nd and runs for 4 weeks, with an optional 5th week for catching up (we get it – life happens). The longest workout in this challenge is about 50 minutes, including the warmup, and no gear is needed. That being said, as long as you warm up a bit before each exercise, you could technically break up those exercises throughout the day if that works better for you. It’s a virtual challenge: make it work for you. Each of our exercises has detailed how-to videos and modifications are provided for different levels, so you don’t have to worry about feeling left out. Also, even though it’s virtual, there’s an in-app group chat so you can check in with other skaters from around the world and have fun, as well as have a coach assigned to you that you can consult if you have any questions. Plus, it’s our last challenge before we close memberships until the fall!