Everyone is different and has their own little quirks to how their bodies react to certain activities. One thing is for sure, and worth always remembering: the body works as a whole. One harmonious machine. So, in less fancy words, even if you’re engaging in lower body-specific activity, the core and upper body will affect that. Less like bowl and ramp skating, long-distance skating, such as on trails, does not require as much pulling or pushing of one’s weight with the upper body.
However, stability and control over the upper body, such as the arms, chest, and shoulders, helps with skating for longer times and distances. Practical exercises to try would include a wall sit or wall squat with shoulder presses. This engages the whole body while also throwing in some upper body coordination. Flatten your back against a wall, bend your knees at a 90-degree angle, and hold yourself up as best as possible. From here, with or without weights, you are going to take your arms out beside you in the “field goal” position and raise them up into an overhead press. 4 sets of 10-12 are ideal for this exercise.
Not only is this a great strengthening exercise, but the movement itself is great for therapeutic mobility in the shoulders. When picking out functional exercises that will up your endurance for distance skating, consider movements that involve bracing and stabilizing the whole body while the arms work against some kind of resistance. It will help with balance and coordination in the long run!
So consider adding these exercises into your routine to improve your park skating performance. Or, if you’re newer to the craft, take it in small bites at a time, doing a little bit of each exercise throughout the week.
New to upper body exercises? Check out our upcoming Challenge, starting on May 3rd! The Sunny Side Upper Body Challenge targets, you guessed it, your upper body to pump up your core strength, shoulder stability, and general tank top vibes. Join us for the Sunny Side Upper Body Challenge, starting on 5/3!