Roller ski training

What equipment will be needed for training on roller skis, how to choose the right model for yourself and what points you should pay special attention to in the RBC Sport material.

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Roller ski training

Roller ski training can become not only a replacement for classic skiing in the summer, but also an independent type of physical activity. Such exercises allow you to use the maximum number of muscle groups. Skiers can keep fit in this way, and for sports fans it is a way to diversify the usual training regimen and gain new skills.

What are roller skis

Roller skis are shorter than standard winter skis and appeared in Europe in the 1930s. Initially, they were used exclusively for training professional skiers in the summer. So it was until the seventies, when roller skiing became an independent sport.

The first roller skis were metal, had three wheels (two were at the back) and were 70-100 centimeters long. Subsequently, they began to be made two-wheeled, which made it possible to increase their speed and improve maneuverability. The first competitions on such roller skis were held in Italy, in 1985 a federation of this sport was created, and in 2000 the first world championship was held.

Modern skis are lighter and faster, and their length depends on the type of roller skis, which can be:

  • Training (the most similar to winter skiing)
  • Racing (lightest and fastest)
  • Standard (the rear wheels are equipped with a special mechanism – a “ratchet”, which allows you to move only forward) – a frame with a length of 70 centimeters or more
  • Skate (move both forward and backward) – frame up to 60 centimeters long
  • Off-road (differ in enlarged rubber wheels)

In addition to the roller skis themselves, you need special equipment for training. And the training itself helps to develop endurance, coordination and the cardiovascular system. You can do it at any age, but when you reach a certain height, because the length of ski poles starts from 140 centimeters. Roller skis can be not only a way to replace skiing in the winter, but also to prepare for it if you are just planning to start skiing.

When roller skiing, almost all the muscles of the body are involved in the work, especially the triceps, deltoid muscles of the shoulders, the pectoral region and the latissimus dorsi. The abdominal muscles and all the muscles of the legs are actively involved in the work. Regular exercise can improve your sense of balance and develop strength.

You can ride both on ordinary asphalt and on special tracks or bike paths. But first of all, you need to master the correct braking technique. For the first workouts, it is better to choose skating roller skis in order to learn the technique, it is they that allow you to include in the work those muscles that are responsible for repulsion (buttocks and the lateral surface of the thigh).

Roller skiing

Roller skiing

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

What equipment is needed for training

Roller skis are associated with the risk of falling and subsequent possible injury. In order to avoid this or minimize the dangerous consequences, it is necessary to take care of the appropriate equipment. The following inventory is required:

  • A helmet is an obligatory element of an athlete’s equipment (after all, its speed can reach 35 km / h), an ordinary bicycle helmet is quite suitable. The main thing to consider its weight and the presence of ventilation
  • Ski poles (can be used from winter skis, but you will have to replace the tip with a harder one, for asphalt). Here it is important to choose their length correctly, which can be calculated using simple formulas: for skating, multiply 0.9 by your height; for a classic move, multiply 0.85 by your height.
  • Gloves (without fingers) will help to avoid chafing blisters from sticks
  • Clothing for rollerskis (regular running clothes will do) should be well ventilated
  • Protective elements (it makes sense to use knee pads and elbow pads as for roller skating)
  • Goggles (a mandatory element in competitions) not only protect from the sun, but also from dust and insects getting into the eyes
  • Boots (if you have winter ski boots, they are fine)
  • Bindings (used the same as on winter skis)
  • Case for roller skis (it will be more convenient to carry them)

Equipment for roller skis

Equipment for roller skis

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

How to choose the right model of roller skis

Standard rollerskis are equipped with a long frame (from 70 to 100 centimeters) and wide large wheels, which allows you to better balance on the bottom. Here the wheels turn only forward. Skating roller skis are shorter (up to 60 centimeters) and are equipped with narrow wheels that can spin backwards. Roller skis for training are similar to winter skis, they are more stable and safer. There is a soft rubber wheelset that improves traction and reduces vibration levels. Speed ​​rollers are lightweight and feature metal wheels with high speed bearings.

In any model, it is important to pay attention to structural elements: frame, wheels and bearings. When choosing a frame, it is necessary to take into account its length, weight and degree of rigidity. The longer the frame, the greater the driving stability. Frames are usually made of carbon fiber (more suitable for cross-country skiers, but has a weight limit of 70 kilograms) or aluminum (no weight limit).

Wheels are one of the most important components of roller skis, they are made of rubber or polyurethane. Rubber wheels are more elastic and well reduce the level of vibrations due to good adhesion to the asphalt. But they wear out quickly and need to be replaced. Best suited for the classic type, due to their low speed they are suitable for training.

Polyurethane wheels are more rigid and suitable for skating. Here the level of vibration and wear resistance is greater than that of rubber. Such a wheel pair is suitable for athletes weighing more than 70 kilograms. But in any case, the wheels, depending on the frequency of use of roller skis, can last at least one year.

In the wheels, bearings are also important, which affect the speed of movement. For training in the city, it is better to choose waterproof models that are closed from water and dirt. Bearings have a single ABEC classification from 1 to 11, where a higher number indicates a higher quality model.

Roller skiing

Roller skiing

(Photo: Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

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