​ Core strength, balance, and roller derby

Many derby players I know have a very good lifting routine. They strengthen those quads and shoulders….

But a lot of skaters neglect a very important group of muscles that directly impact their skating ability. Their CORE! This does not just mean your abs, but also your obliques and lower back.

Having a strong core* keeps you upright when you get hit, lets you maintain your balance while moving your body in crazy ways, and lets you hit other skaters with all of your strength.

Here is a picture sequence showing me NOT falling on my face because of core strength:
1519410_10152811799099974_6412604934411854063_o 10679887_10152812011429974_2008831700856077388_o

*Strong core does not mean a six-pack. You can have a core of steel and not look like it. Do you know who doesn’t care what their abs look like? Professional athletes. You’ve probably seen something similar to the picture below, showing athletes from a variety of sports. There are only a few athletes in this picture with intense abs, and one of these is a body builder. Does that mean the rest of these athletes aren’t in shape? Hell no.

originalPicture taken by photographer Howard Schatz for his 2002 book, Athlete

There are tons of articles about the importance of having a strong core, so I won’t bore you with that info. Instead, I have compiled a list of some of my favorite core strengthening routines below. They are all short (under 10 minutes) and don’t require any equipment. You could roll out of bed and do these before you even wake up all of the way!

My favorite: Core routine 1- “Magic Mike” (5 minutes)
30 seconds high plank
30 seconds high to low plank
15 seconds rest
30 seconds high plank
30 seconds mountain climbers
15 seconds rest
30 seconds high plank
30 seconds spiderman plank
15 seconds rest
30 seconds low plank
45 seconds push-up to side plank (alternate left and right side plank)

Two YouTube video routines (I’m a sucker for having a video tell me what to do):

Core routine 2 – “Plank Challenge” (5 minutes)
YouTube link
Do each exercise for 30 seconds:
1) Regular Plank
2) Spiderman Plank
3) Rocking Plank
4) Side Plank (Right)
5) Side Plank (Left)
6) Plank high to low
7) Alternate Plank
8) Plank Jacks
9) Cross Plank
10) Reverse Plank

Core Routine 3 – “Barre Abs” (this video cracks me up AND works my abs)
YouTube Link

Keep working that core!! But just like any muscle-building routine, don’t forget to take days off in between ab workouts.


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