Does Rollerblading Count as Good Cardio? 6 Reasons Why

Dear reader, if you are over 24, I know which 2021 fitness trend you’ll enjoy the most – rollerblading. This is the kind of fun right out of your childhood! However, you can get more from rollerblading. In fact, it may result in the fittest summer of your life! It turns out that rollerblading can be used as a form of cardio. 

Rollerblade skating improves the overall fitness levels while being more enjoyable than running or jump rope training. It comes with such benefits as an improved valance, better cardiovascular health, weight loss, and so on. Inline skating is suitable for beginners and advanced athletes alike. Its most obvious advantage is the happy endorphins released to the brain that may stress reduce and keeps you skating for longer and longer. 

Though rollerblading is not the most strenuous form of cardio out there, it lasts longer than other forms of intense cardio due to the fun factor. Besides, as long as you elevate your heart rate during activities, you improve your physical form. 

Is Rollerblading a Full Body Workout?

inline rollerblades

Though you may think that rollerblading targets only your legs as the equipment is set there, I believe you’ll be happy to learn that this is actually a compound full-body workout! The regular roller skaters engage all muscle groups up the lower back and core. Plus, when you increase the speed, the rapid movement of your hands activates your upper body muscles as well. 

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The core is also one muscle group that a few connect with rollerblading benefits. In fact, the whole time you balance in these “shoes,” your core works on keeping you upright, especially during those fast gliding motions that come with your upper body tilted slightly forward. 

Moreover, your toes and feet are working as well, which is an excellent conclusion to the “full-body” meaning behind a cardio workout. You activate your foot for better stability and improved grip on the shoes. 

What Does Rollerblading Do for Your Body?

Rollerblading, like any cardio workout, comes with many benefits for the overall health of your body. It won’t let your muscles grow rapidly but improve your fitness level and make you more active overall. 

Experts note the following benefits of regular rollerblading. 

Improves Endurance 

Just like during any cardio exercise, you are working with an elevated heartbeat. Thus, in time, your body adapts to the exercising time and intensity by increasing the endurance of muscles. 

If you find the regular cardio exercises boring and can’t stand to keep up for a long time, doing something fun is a sure way to prolong the duration of activities. 

Inline skating involves lots of muscles and improves the endurance of your whole body. Besides, endurance brings a few other benefits, including improved stability and balance, strength, and a healthy cardiovascular system. 

Brings Cardiovascular Benefits

Speaking of cardiovascular benefits, these are often provided by cardio exercises. And rollerblading is not an exception. Aerobic training strengthens your heart as it is also a muscle. This type of cardiovascular conditioning reduces the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, and obesity. 

Overall, brisk walking is also considered an aerobic exercise. Inline skating, though, is way more effective in training the primary muscle of your body. 

Improves Balance and Coordination

No other cardio exercise trains your balance as well as rollerblading does! The tricky shoes upturn the sense of balance and make proper coordination difficult even for the simplest of movements. You have to learn the skill once more with a different set of equipment. 

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While balance is crucial for inline skating, it plays an important role in your everyday life as well. Even such a mundane thing as walking requires quite a lot of balance. As it is improved via skating, you get better that, in its turn, leads to proper energy expenditure and the prospect of healthier joints. 

Elevates Your Mood and Reduces Stress

Rollerblading is a fun activity; it’s foremost a form of entertainment, not fitness. Thus, a fresh dose of endorphins enters your system as you fly the first couple of meters (or feet) with the wind in your hair. The happy hormones in our brain reduce stress for the whole day!   

As endorphins are proven to reduce brain pain, you’ll also become more concentrated and clear in your mind. 

Increases Vitamin D Intake

Of course, there are numerous centers for inline skating located in closed quarters. However, most of the time, people enjoy the experience outside. And, thus, the increased time of sun exposure provides the according amount of vitamin D. 

Though, here’s a warning from me – do not rush to soak up all the sun to get the highest dose of Vitamin D possible. Wear sunscreen at all times and reapply it after around two rounds under the sun. If it’s super hot and blazing, even sooner! YOu’ll get your Vitamin D but also will be protected against sun damage! 

Aids Weight Loss

Well, considering that roller skating is an aerobic cardio exercise, the logical result is weight loss. Your daily calorie expenditure rises drastically while exercising and quite a lot of time after the rain. 

Thus, provided that you eat as usual and simply increase the number of burnt calories, you’ll surely lose some weight while maintaining the muscles that take part in the movement. Remember that the key to losing weight is calorie deficit. And cardio training just boosts up the process of energy expenditure! 

How Many Calories Does Rollerblading Burn?

inline skating

Legs muscles are among the biggest in your whole body. And as science says, you burn more calories when muscle groups are engaged. Plus, add the involvement of the core for stabilization, and you get most of your body working in a relatively relaxed cardio workout. However, as you speed up and start involving the upper body more and more, you increase the overall number of muscles involved, boost your heart rate, and, thus, increase the number of calories burnt per minute. 

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You should also remember that calculating calories burnt in a workout largely depends on your 

  • weight
  • height
  • age 
  • general fitness level 
  • workout intensity
  • plus some minor aspects like temperature, any injuries, and so on. 

To get more detailed information on how exactly calories are estimated, you can check my article on What Exercise Burns the Most Calories. It comes with the general formula and several workout suggestions for intense cardio training. 

As for inline skating, I’ve managed to find the following numbers per a short 30-minute skating session.

Weight (lbs) 135 155 185
Calorie burn (9mph) 238 273 326
Calorie burn (13mph) 411 442 486

The recreational pace that most people can follow is 9 miles per hour! The second calculation represents a fast-paced workout-type skating. Beginners will have it hard to follow such intense training for half an hour. 

What Are Useful Rollerblading Tips? 

roller skates

Here are some tips and tricks that will make your rollerblading experience more fun and effective. Some of them concern technical issues; others are more of a preferred style. 

  1. Safety is foremost. These skates can be a dangerous tool in the hands of a novice. Moreover, the experienced raiders shouldn’t neglect the safety gear as well. The beginners can fall by stumbling over their legs, and advanced skaters may be too confident in their skills and ability to control high speed. Your hands, elbows, knees, and head should always be protected. Also, as a personal recommendation, I’d advise keeping something puffy around the butt area as well. 
  2. Start slow. Yes, you may want to rush with your friends into the sunset at high speeds, but all beginners should be careful. There is no reason to show your might right after you learn to stand in rollerblades without support. A slow and easy step at the start will bring you safety! 
  3. Utilize hills. This is advice only for advanced raiders! Do not attempt it if you are a beginner. Though, if you are already skilled and want to boost up the level and intensity, find an easy-sloped hill and use it for high-intensity interval skating. 
  4. Adjust your form. Inline skating is nothing like walking. Thus, you shouldn’t be applying the regular form to this exercise as well. Instead, shift your weight to the heels and move your legs diagonally to the side instead of forward! 

These are the four basic tips I’d like to teach you before you embrace the trend to the fullest/I’m sure I’ll see ten times more people rollerblading through the streets and field when net summer comes. After all, this trend doesn’t seem to be going away, especially when it’s so beneficial for health as well! 


Irene’s fitness journey began in 2017 with attending classes to improve her health and researching the anatomy of working out. After years of investigating trendy and “up and coming” fitness regimes, she is ready to share the tips and advice she’s learned from athletes and expert trainers of the field.