Are roller skates a good way to lose weight?

Roller skating has seen a major resurgence in popularity over the past few years. With its fun, retro vibe and full-body workout benefits, it’s no wonder people are lacing up their skates in hopes of losing weight and getting fit.

But is roller skating actually an effective way to lose weight? Here are some key questions answered:

How Many Calories Does Roller Skating Burn?

Roller skating burns a significant number of calories, ranging from 300 to 600 calories per hour depending on your weight and skating intensity. This puts it on par with or above other cardio workouts like running, swimming, or cycling.

Here’s an overview of how many calories roller skating can burn per hour for people of different weights:

Body Weight Calories Burned Per Hour
120 lbs 300-400 calories
150 lbs 375-475 calories
180 lbs 450-550 calories
210 lbs 525-625 calories

As you can see, the more you weigh, the more calories you’ll burn roller skating. This makes it an effective exercise for weight loss at any size.

What Muscles Does Roller Skating Work?

Roller skating is a full-body workout that engages muscles throughout your lower and upper body. Key muscles worked include:

Lower Body

  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Calves
  • Inner thighs

Pushing off and propelling yourself forward as you skate strengthens and tones these major leg and butt muscles.


  • Abdominals
  • Obliques
  • Lower back

Maintaining balance on skates requires a strong engaged core.

Upper Body

  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Arms
  • Back

Pumping your arms as you skate works the upper body. Making turns and stopping also uses these muscle groups.

What Are the Cardiovascular Benefits?

Roller skating provides excellent cardiovascular conditioning. It elevates your heart rate for an extended period, increasing cardio endurance. Other cardiovascular perks include:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased lung capacity
  • Boosted energy levels
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Lower cholesterol

As a higher intensity aerobic exercise, skating can improve your overall heart health and fitness.

Is Roller Skating High Impact or Low Impact?

Roller skating is considered a low-impact exercise. It causes less stress on your joints than higher impact activities like running. The wheels on skates absorb shock rather than your knees, hips, and ankles bearing all the force.

This makes skating a joint-friendly cardio option if you can’t do high-impact workouts due to injury, arthritis, or other issues. It still elevates your heart rate without the pounding.

How Does Roller Skating Compare to Other Workouts?

Here’s how roller skating stacks up against other popular forms of exercise for calories burned in 30 minutes:

Exercise Calories Burned (130 lb person)
Roller skating (moderate effort) 183 calories
Running (5 mph) 298 calories
Cycling (12-13.9 mph) 260 calories
Swimming freestyle (moderate effort) 155 calories

While not as high as running, roller skating still burns more calories than lower-intensity exercises like walking, yoga, or lifting weights. The combination of cardio and muscle toning makes it an efficient total body workout.

What Are the Benefits of Roller Skating Outdoors vs. Indoors?

You can roller skate both outdoors and indoors, each with its own perks:

Outdoor Skating Benefits

  • Fresh air and sunshine
  • More interesting scenery
  • Burn more calories with hills
  • Social activity at skate parks

Indoor Skating Benefits

  • Climate controlled environment
  • Avoid weather conditions like heat, rain, etc.
  • Smoother indoor rink surface
  • More space for routines/dancing
  • Music and lighting effects

Outdoor and indoor skating both have advantages for an enjoyable workout. Mixing up the locations keeps skating feeling fresh.

What Type of Roller Skates are Best for Exercise?

Quad roller skates are the traditional type with 4 wheels in 2 rows. They provide more ankle support and stability for fitness skating. Here are some top options:

  • Riedell R3 Derby Quad Skates
  • Chaya Melrose Elite V2 Roller Skates
  • Sure Grip Rebel Leather Quad Roller Skates
  • Moxi Beach Bunny Quad Skates

Inline skates (with wheels in a single row) are also good for exercise. Top fitness inline skate brands include Rollerblade, K2, and Powerslide.

What Muscles Are Used for Roller Skating Backwards?

Skating backwards uses the same full-body muscles but activates them in different ways. Key differences include:

  • More glute, hamstring, and calf work bending knees and pushing back
  • Increased abdominal engagement keeping balance
  • Shoulders and triceps used pulling arms back
  • Ankles and arches work stabilizing feet

Backwards skating hits posterior chain muscles harder while increasing coordination and balance.

Is Roller Skating Hard to Learn?

Here are some tips for learning to roller skate as a beginner:

  • Start on a smooth surface like a tennis court or bike path
  • Wear protective gear – helmet, wrist guards, knee/elbow pads
  • Practice balancing and standing still first
  • March in place to get used to the feel
  • Take it slow – hold onto a wall or railing at first
  • Bend knees to maintain center of gravity
  • Learn to fall safely – backwards or to knees

While challenging at first, roller skating gets much easier with regular practice. Take lessons if needed to learn proper technique and build confidence.

What Precautions Should Be Taken When Roller Skating?

Safety tips for smart roller skating include:

  • Wear a helmet, wrist guards, knee/elbow pads
  • Check skate wheels and hardware often
  • Skate in controlled areas away from traffic
  • Avoid rough pavement or debris
  • Don’t skate in the dark
  • Stay hydrated and listen to your body
  • Know how to stop safely (don’t just drag one foot)
  • Keep knees bent and body low

Using proper protective gear and skating in safe areas prevents injuries and accidents.

What Are Some Roller Skating Exercise Routines?

Some sample roller skating exercise routines could include:


  • 30 seconds fast skating / 90 seconds moderate pace
  • 45 seconds fast / 60 seconds moderate
  • 1 minute slow / 2 minutes moderate / 1 minute fast


  • Skate up hill / recover skating down
  • Increase hill difficulty by using steeper inclines

Backwards Skating

  • 30 seconds forward skating / 30 seconds backward skating
  • 2 minutes forward / 1 minute backward
  • Backwards skating up smaller hills

Varying your speed, terrain, and direction keeps your muscles challenged and avoids boredom.

How Often Should You Roller Skate for Weight Loss?

For weight loss, aim to roller skate:

  • 3-4 days per week
  • 30-45 minutes per session
  • At a moderate to high intensity pace

This provides sufficient calorie burning without overtaxing your body or risking injury. Mix up long steady skates with intervals to maximize fat burning.

What Should You Eat Before Roller Skating?

Fuel up properly before skating with foods like:

  • Oatmeal – Slow digesting carbs for energy
  • Greek yogurt – Lean protein plus carbohydrates
  • Banana – Potassium to prevent muscle cramps
  • Water – Stay hydrated
  • Granola bar – Light pre-exercise snack

Avoid heavy fatty foods that can cause indigestion. Wait 1-2 hours after eating before skating.

Should You Stretch Before Roller Skating?

Yes, it’s important to stretch before roller skating to prevent injury and enhance performance. Focus on stretching:

  • Hamstrings
  • Quads
  • Calves
  • Hips
  • Lower back
  • Shoulders

Spend at least 10 minutes gently stretching major muscle groups for mobility, flexibility, and injury prevention.

Can You Lose Belly Fat Roller Skating?

Yes, roller skating can help lose stubborn belly fat by:

  • Burning hundreds of calories per session
  • Engaging core abdominal muscles
  • Raising your heart rate for cardio calorie burn
  • Increasing metabolic rate even after exercise

Anywhere from 300-600 calories burned per hour from skating can contribute to fat loss all over the body, including the midsection.

How Soon Will You See Weight Loss Results Roller Skating?

How quickly you’ll see weight loss results from roller skating depends on factors like:

  • How much weight you have to lose
  • Your diet and other exercise
  • How consistently you skate
  • Intensity of your sessions

Expect to see some incremental weight loss in the first 1-2 weeks. But significant fat loss may take 1-2 months of regular skating combined with a healthy diet.


Roller skating provides an effective cardio and muscle toning workout that burns hundreds of calories per hour. It works major muscle groups like the legs, core, and upper body. The low-impact nature makes it joint-friendly exercise. Skating just a few times per week can contribute to weight loss, especially in conjunction with a healthy diet.

While learning to skate takes practice, it’s an enjoyable activity that feels more like play than hard work. The nostalgia also makes it fun. All in all, strapping on roller skates is a great way to get in shape and lose pounds.

3 thoughts on “Are roller skates a good way to lose weight?”

  1. Roller skating can help you lose weight. It elevates your heart rate and burns calories, ranging from 330 to 600 per hour, depending on your weight and the intensity of your roller skating. This makes it an excellent method for losing weight.

  2. By roller skating regularly for at least 30 minutes per session, three to four times a week, you can get rid of all your excess. But as with any form of exercise, consistency and adherence are key factors in getting the results you want. The combination of regular training sessions with a healthy diet is also essential in order to achieve sustainable weight loss goals.

  3. You can achieve your weight loss objectives and lead a better, more active lifestyle by adding skating to your workout program and heeding the preceding advice.


Leave a Comment