So I hear you might possibly be interested in playing roller derby! Please consider signing up for freshmeat! You don’t need to do anything to prepare, we will teach you everything from scratch. But if you want to be the best skater you can possibly be, whether you’re already skating with us or not, you might want to try some cross-training! You’ll feel more prepared when you come to practice, and any strength training you do throughout the season will only help you on the track!
So what skills are important for derby?
Leg strength – You’ll need it to hit your opponents super hard, or for a burst of speed to avoid being hit!
Core strength – You’ll need it to give and take strong hits without hurting yourself or falling down!
Leg endurance – Practice is 2-3 hours long, you’ve gotta skate for all of it!
Core endurance – Your core is going to hold you together in practices and bouts!
Cardiovscular Fitness – You’ve gotta give it your all for 2 minutes, rest for 30 seconds, then do it all over again!
Hip Flexibility – The lower you can comfortably hold a squat, the more work your legs will do, and the less work your back will do!
Overall Mobility and Conditioning – Having joints and muscles that are strong and flexible reduces your risk of injury!
If you have a gym membership, any strength-training plan will help you prepare. But if you just have your body to work with, try this!
Get ready for Derby At-Home Workout
Bodyweight Box Squats x 10
Clap-Unders x 10
30 second Wall-sit
30 second plank
AMRAP in 10 minutes
Tips for form:
Make sure your feet are parallel to eachother when you do a “derby squat“. (You can’t skate with your toes pointing out!) Find a box, a chair, a stool, a bag of laundry, any sturdy object to sit on that puts he crease of your hip at or below your knees. This is called “breaking parallel” and will help you increase your mobility as you squat. The goal is to keep your torso straight up and down. Sit on the box, then stand up. Pelvic thrust at the top of the movement, to make sure you’re fully finishing each rep. No hands on your thighs if you can help it!
To do a clap under, the goal is to start fully on your back, pull your shoulders off the floor and your knees into the air and clap your hands behind your thighs. (like a crunch, but moreso!) To count as a rep, you don’t need to make a clapping sound, but you need to feel contact between your finger tips. Don’t do it slow and careful! The more explosive you are, the easier it is!
For a wall sit, you want your back against the wall, your feet parallell to eachother, squatting with the tops of your thighs parallel to the ground. No hands on your thighs if you can help it!
Plank with back straight from shoulders to heels. From hardest to easiest, you can plank with your hands and toes on the floor, in pushup position, with your elbows and toes on the floor, with your hands and knees on the floor in pushup position, or with your elbows and knees in pushup position. It’s ok to start at a harder movement and make it easier as you get more tired. No butts in the air!
So start your timer for 10 minutes, and get as many rounds of those 4 exercises as possible. Write down how well you did, then try it again another day and see how you’re improving!
After you’re done, do the following to cool down and encourage conditioning and flexibility:
Calf raises x 30
Box touches x 30
Can raises x 30
Shopping bag raises x 30
Bird raises x 30
Roll your neck, wrists, and ankles as needed.
So to break those down:
The goal of all of these is to make your muscles feel warm and “pumped”, not to feel pain. Stop if you feel pain.
Calf raise: Stand on a box or stair, with your heels hanging over the edge. Go up on your toes and back down.
Box Touches: Get the box you used for box squats. Bend at the waist and touch it with your hands. Stand up and pelvic thrust. It should feel like touching your toes but easier.
Can raise: Put your arms out to the side either holding soup cans, or as if you were holding open soup cans in your hands. Raise your arms from your thighs to shoulder height with straight elbows.
Shopping bag raise: The same thing, but turn your hands as if you were holding shopping bags instead. (You can still use cans, just turn them sideways)
Bird raises: The same thing but bend forward with your back flat like a table and hold your fists in front of you with your thumbs touching. Move your arms from straight in front of you to straight out to the sides, trying to keep completely up and down.