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Versatility is inline skating’s trump card. To boost your aerobic capacity, do a sustained workout at a steady pace. For an anaerobic challenge, try shorter, quicker intervals. Hit the bike path for a cardio and strength workout, or weave around cones in your driveway to sharpen your ski technique. (For skate-to-ski tips and drills, visit skimag.com and type in “perfect parallel.”) Whatever you choose, expect gains in your balance, coordination and comfort with speed. With bike-path-style skating, you’ll work your quads (primarily), hamstrings (which contract to help you balance) and glutes. Also, skating is one of the few aerobic activities that emphasize lateral leg movement, as opposed to straight up-and-down motion. That translates to stronger adductors and abductors (inner and outer thigh muscles) and, ultimately, better balance as you transfer your weight during a ski turn. The more aggressively you skate, the more you’ll work your core and upper body muscles, but don’t expect great strength gains from the waist up.
What It Works abductors, adductors, quads, hamstrings, gluteals, lower back, abdominals
Insider’s Tip For an enhanced quad workout, pick up speed and drop into a racer’s tuck. Hold it for as long as possible-at least 60 seconds if your legs can handle it.