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Mastering The Basics Of Inline Skating In Texas

Aug 17, 2007
Inline skating is a great way for individuals in Dallas, Houston or anywhere in Texas to get and keep in shape. But before attempting this sport, you should know some of the basics, as well as take safety precautions, such as wearing a helmet and pads.

Inline Skating Technique #1: Balance and Stance
First, establish the proper stance and balance for inline skating. Establishing a good athletic stance and balance is of prime importance to the novice skater. A proper posture is essential for the mastery of the procedures that follow.

To establish a regular skating stance:
1. Stand in the ready position.
2. Place your hands out in front of you.
3. Bend your arms at the elbows to a 45-degree angle with your upper body.
4. Bend at the knees, so that your weight is on the balls of your feet.
5. You should feel your lower shins pressed against the tongues of your skates.
6. Bend forward slightly at the waist as if sitting in a chair.

If you can do all that without falling, you've established the correct skating stance to maximize your balance. Your center of gravity is now centered over your skates. You should be able to draw an imaginary line from your shoulders, through your hips, and down to your ankles.

Now, take it a step further and add a staggered positioning of the feet. This works to improve your stability and allows individuals to absorb bumps and vibrations while remaining in balance at all times.

To establish a staggered skating stance:
1. Repeat steps 1 through 5 from the above procedure.
2. When you're ready, separate your feet until they are about 10 to 12 inches apart.
3. Position your right skate out in front of you while your left skate remains behind.
4. Adjust this staggered positioning until the heel of the front skate is about even with the toe of the back skate.

The staggered stance keeps you stable, centered over your skates, and in balance.

Remember to keep your muscles relaxed. You'll be able to handle varied terrain and changing speeds, as well as conserve energy and avoid fatigue, if you learn to relax.

Inline Skating Technique #2: Stopping
The heel stop is a critical skill for all inline skaters to learn. You employ the brake at the rear of your right skate brake for this stop. Your body weight needs to be centered or even slightly on your back skate when you're just learning the heel stop. The keys are a straight back and bent knees.

To apply a heel stop:
1. Move into a staggered stance with your break skate out in front.
2. Once you feel stable, bend forward at the hips and knees.
3. Extend your braking skate forward.
4. Lift your toes up in the front of your braking skate.
5. Press down with your heel on the brake.

Here's a tip: You may find that you aren't slowing down enough or not getting enough toe and heel action for braking. This is very common with beginners. If this is happening to you, you need to get further down in the knees during step #2 when you bend forward at the hips and knees.

You should actually feel it in your quads as you drop further down. When you can feel it in the quads, you'll get the necessary heel force on your brake to slow down. Remember to keep a straight back at all times.
About the Author
Pat Carpenter writes for Precedent Insurance Company. Precedent puts a new spin on health insurance. Learn more at Precedent.com
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