Rollerblading or inline skating is an athletic activity that requires you to skate on wheels that are aligned in a straight row. This low-impact activity can shape your legs and provide a cardiovascular workout. However, rollerblading can have adverse side effects, including causing back pain. Knowing how to prevent this occurrence can help you to enjoy your rollerblading sessions.
When learning to rollerblade, you may make the mistake of trying to skate with a stiff and straight back — which can result in back pain from tensed muscles and poor form, according to Get Rolling, a health and wellness website designed to address rollerbladers’ health needs 2. If you rollerblade for long periods of time, you also can experience swayback, where you create an unnatural curve in the back by sticking the buttocks out. These and possible previous back injuries can cause you to experience back pain when you rollerblade.
Stretching before and after a rollerblading session can help to lengthen and relax the back muscles, reducing the risk for pain, according to Inline Planet, a website dedicated to skaters’ health 1. Examples of stretches to perform include lying on the floor and bringing your knees into your chest. With your shoulders flat on the floor, roll your knees from side to side to stretch the back. To stretch the lower back, begin on all fours and arch your back up, like a cat would. Release the stretch, then repeat 10 times.
By strengthening your core muscles, which include your abdominal and back muscles, you can experience greater stability in the midsection, according to Inline Planet 1. Abdominal crunches are a basic exercise that can strengthen your core. To perform, lie on your back with your feet flat on the floor. Place your arms behind your head or crossed over your chest and engage your abdominal muscles to lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Repeat 15 to 20 times.
If you experience back pain while rollerblading and it is your sole physical activity, consider adding other activities to your weekly exercises, according to YgoY, a health and lifestyle website designed to provide accurate health information for active people. Try running, walking, weight training or practicing yoga or Pilates in replacement of one to two of your regular rollerblading sessions. This will prevent overuse injuries in the back from frequent rollerblading.
Adopting an aerodynamic form that takes pressure off your back can help you to reduce overall back pain while rollerblading, according to Get Rolling 2. When skating, you should lean slightly forward, but your shoulders should not go over your knees. Your pelvis should be tucked in, creating an almost straight line from the top of your head to your lower back. It may take some time to develop the postural muscles required to sustain this position — if you are a beginner, start with shorter rollerblading sessions, then increase your time.
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