What muscles do roller skates work?

what muscles do roller skates work

When I first started roller skating, I did so for the sheer fun of it – I loved the elegant and energetic movements and certainly the speed. After getting started, though, I realized what a great workout it was as well. There is certainly a lot to love about this sport as it has so much to offer.

What muscles do roller skates work? Roller skating largely works the muscles of your lower body, but it can work out certain muscles in your upper body as well. Of course, this doesn’t tell you the full story. Let’s take a look at which muscles your favorite pastime works out the most.

What are the Main Muscles That You Use?

It goes without saying that you rely on your legs quite a bit when it comes to roller skating. Due to this, it is these muscles that will be utilized and built up the most.

To be more precise, it is your hips, glutes, quads, and calves that get the greatest workout.

Let’s break it down:

With every movement, whether it is to move forwards, backwards, or to the side, your hips are fully engaged. They are some of the most used muscles in this type of activity.


At the same time, your glutes often work in tandem with your hips. For instance, when you first push off to gain momentum, your leg doesn’t just move backwards, it is also out to the side a little.

This activates your gluteus maximus as the purpose of this muscle is to allow for lateral and rotational movements of your hips. You are also simultaneously using your gluteus medius muscles to help move your hips away from the midline of your body.

There are a couple of advantages to activating these muscles. First, they help to balance your hip muscles. This can create a more pleasing aesthetic effect. You can also improve your stability and even reduce the onset of back pain.


Roller skating is also great for working out and toning your thighs – aka your quads. This is because your quad muscles are engaged with every movement. Unlike most other forms of physical activity, you get most of your power from your thighs as you sway from side to side.


The next time you’re on your roller skates, pay attention to how your calves feel. Every time you glide forward, you will feel these muscles activated. They help with stability and are also engaged when you want to move faster or execute specific movements.

Is Roller Skating a Full-Body Workout?

It isn’t surprising to learn that roller skating works out the lower muscles of your body but does it have any benefits to the muscles in the upper portion? Yes, it does! Roller skating is actually pretty great for your core muscles.

Think about the first time you tried to stand up or move while strapped into skates. You probably felt pretty wobbly and as if the lower half of your body was moving away from the upper half.

After a while, you would have managed to stabilize and now, you probably balance perfectly on your wheels with very little thought to how you are doing it.

Although balancing may have become a breeze for you, your core and lower back muscles need to do some work to keep you upright and moving. These include the spinal erectors, rectus abdominis, and rotator muscles.

These muscles aren’t just working on keeping your body stabilized and centered. They are also adapting and then reacting to every new movement you make whether it is moving forward, backwards, or off to the side. If you are dancing or trying out tricks, these muscles may be engaged even more than usual.

There is a good chance that you may be getting a pretty decent arm workout while roller skating. Most roller skaters will sway their arms up and down while moving. When you do this, you are utilizing your arm and shoulder muscles.

Of course, your arms and shoulders don’t get nearly as much of a workout as other muscles, but it is certainly something. The exact level of arm movement can also determine how much you’re using these muscles.

Overall, you can consider roller skating a full body workout as it utilizes muscles in the lower and upper region of the body, often at the same time.

Does Roller Skating Build or Grow Muscles?

If you continue to roller skate, can you expect your muscles to grow as you move? Well, not exactly.

Contrary to popular belief, muscles don’t just increase in size due to a workout. You also have to increase your protein intake drastically. Your muscles use this as fuel, causing you to bulk.

Moreover, while roller skating is a great workout, it doesn’t put as much strain on your muscles as lifting weights, for instance. As there is a limited demand on your muscles, they don’t grow as much due to this type of workout.

Nevertheless, roller skating is great for toning your muscles. You will especially notice your thighs and calf muscles looking more developed. With enough time, your glutes will have greater definition and your hip muscles will even out more.

How Long Should You Skate for Defined Muscles?

This all depends on your capability. When you first start skating, your muscles may begin to feel tired and wobbly in just fifteen or so minutes. Afterwards, your muscles may be sore for several days.

As you get used to the process and as your stamina develops, you will be able to spend more time on the skates. In the end, you should only do as much as you can and track your results from there.

In Conclusion – What muscles do roller skates work?

Roller skating largely works your hips, glutes, quads, and calves. At the same time, it can be great for your stomach and lower back muscles. It can even engage your arm muscles, depending on your skating style.

As a result, this is an excellent toning, full body workout for both novices as well as experienced athletes.

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