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INLINE SKATES TO SKIS: A Winter Athlete’s Ultimate Training Tool By Bettyanne Bruin

ext time you pass an outdoor temperature sign displaying 100 degrees in August and panic that you’ll never get in shape in time for winter skiing, have no fear. Grab a pair of skates instead… inline skates, that is.


Ever since KC Boutiette became the first inline speed skater to switch to ice in 1993 and then went on to skate in the 1994 Winter Olympics, inline skating has become a popular form of winter sports training. In fact, it’s now one of the premier training methods for a myriad of winter sports, including ice skating and downhill skiing. No longer will you turn green with envy upon hearing that another skier traveled south to ski this summer or dolled out for a high-cost summer training camp in Canada. Instead, pick up your favorite pair of inline skates and ‘ski’ too! You will simulate the sensations of ripping downhill and keep in shape for your next run down the slopes. According to certified inline skating instructor, PSIA alpine ski instructor and SkateNow owner, Kimberly Simons Kraan, “Inline skating is an excellent cross-training sport, combining a unique balance of both aerobic and anaerobic conditioning.” Kraan explains, “Skating technique and body movements are similar to those of skiing. Skating movements engage and condition all of the same

muscle groups. They strengthen quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, arm muscles (when using poles) and improve deltoid muscles in the shoulders.” Approximately 80 percent of inline skaters are recreational/fitness athletes because skating puts less stress on joints than jogging. Skating also provides aerobic benefits, incorporates balance skills, offers weight transfers, adequate rotation moves and the same edging or carving found in downhill skiing. When it comes to comparing inline skating to running or cycling sports, Kraan says, “Inline skating can be far more beneficial in burning calories and developing muscle tone. For example, a 120-pound person can burn, on average, 450 calories per hour skating at a moderate pace of 10 mph.” Since inline skating is considered a ‘low impact’ activity, your knees will thank you. “Compared to running,” she says, “Inline skating causes less than 50 percent of the impact shock to joints. Consider how you would feel after running for one hour… exactly the point.” Because of these benefits, industry associations have now created programs to promote, instruct, and coach the sport of inline skating. While some of you might choose to pick up this training method on your own, others can take a lesson from an inline skating professional, including those found at locally owned companies like SkateNow. Always check the weather before heading out to skate. Never try to skate in the rain either. Rusty bearings aren’t the problem here, slippery paths and the ability to stop are. And remember to check out each desired skating area ahead of time to determine the degree of difficulty. Another item of note is that the City of Salt Lake maintains a no skating policy on all sidewalks within the central business district.

Gear You’ll Need When it comes to inline skates, some of the best for the upcoming season include the feather light, extra speed K2 Radical 100 or K2 Radical 90, and the Bont semi-race, cross trainers. All of these are good for practicing direct parallel movements, making these perfect skates for alpine skiers or skate-skiers. Other items: Loose, comfortable fitting clothing or Micro-fiber clothing over cotton blends or Spandex/lycra wear Helmet, Elbow pads, Knee-pads, Wrist guards Leather palm gloves Sunglasses Ankle supports Sunscreen Water or other sports drink Fanny or hip pack

Currently SkateNow offers classes that focus on beginner and intermediate skating for individuals, families, organizations and groups. All ages are welcome and discounts are available for families and groups. For more information contact the SkateNow Skate School at: (801)944-5516 / email:


Fall 2008


2008 Sports Guide Fall Issue  

The premiere publication for outdoors enthusiasts, Sports Guide Magazine has promoted recreation, travel, health and fitness to readers thro...

2008 Sports Guide Fall Issue  

The premiere publication for outdoors enthusiasts, Sports Guide Magazine has promoted recreation, travel, health and fitness to readers thro...