Is weight training helpful to Roller Derby?
Before the intake of fresh meat in 2015, I was a regular at my local gym. 4 days a week, 2 hour sessions, which I feel helped a lot with all of the skills needed to learn during the Fresh Meat intake.
There has been talk among the rookies and pre-mins skaters at SWAT whether it would be worth joining a gym to help with endurance. I would have to say YES! Of course this would help but gaining strength and endurance doesn’t have to come at a cost of £30+ for a gym membership.
Here are some exercises and tips on how to gain the muscle to help in your journey through roller derby and give you that extra umph you need sitting in that glorious ‘derby position’.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way saying I am a professional fitness instructor, these exercises are what I do to maintain/gain muscle.*
Step 1 - Start in a standing position, feet shoulder width apart.
Step 2 - Lower yourself down so your legs are at a 90 degree angle. Hold your arms out for stability.
Repeat for 5 sets with 10 reps, give yourself a 30 second rest in between each set.
The stronger you get, the more sets and reps you can tackle.
Step 1 - Start by standing up straight, arms by your side.
Step 2 - Place one foot behind you and using your thighs, slowly lower yourself, keeping your back straight and your core engaged.
*Top tip: never let your knee go over your toes on the leg that is leading the lunge.
Return to the starting position and change legs. Repeat this for 20 lunges each leg.
If you feel unsteady, don’t be afraid to place your hand on a wall for guidance. Add a weight to this exercise for that extra burn.
*Top tip: 1 litre of water, weighs 2.2lb, so get your 2, 3, 4 litre bottles and fill those bad boys with water. No excuses for not having weights at home ;)
Step 1 - With feet shoulder width apart, up against the wall.
Step 2 - Slide down the wall until your legs are in a 90 degree angle (like you are sat on an invisible chair). Really dig your heals into the floor, suck your tummy in and feel the burrrrrn!!
Hold this pose for as long as you can, try and aim for 1 minute, then shake your legs out and get straight back into it. Repeat for 5 reps.
The best way to do a plank is correctly is in front of a mirror, you really need to have a straight line going down from your head to your heals (I know my head is low). Clench your buttocks, engage your core and breathe slowly.
Breathing techniques are very important in positions like this, if you start to pant, you will find it harder. Long slow breaths are your friend. Think of it like meditating.
This exercise is best done in a pyramid timing system. Start with 30 seconds, with a 10 second break, then 45 seconds with a 10 second break, 1min/10sec, 1min30sec/10sec. The go back down 1min30sec/10sec, 1min/10sec, 45sec/10sec, 30sec/10sec.
Repeat this as many times as you can.
Step 1 - Get yourself into a good position before raising yourself up by your arm and feet. Make sure you are in line. For stability, put the other arm on your hip or laying down your side.
Engage your core and breathe slowly. If you start to wobble, clench those butt cheeks together, you will be amazed how much that helps!
Repeat the same timing scheme for The Plank. Repeat on both sides.
This may look like rest time, but no!
Step 1 - Get into a nice comfortable position with your arms next to you, knees bent but shoulder width apart on the ground.
Step 2 - Pushing your arms down and palms on the ground, imagine someone has a rope tied around your hips and is pulling them towards the sky, keep your shoulders on the ground. Clench your buttocks at the peak of the movement. Imagine you have a diamond between your buttocks and you cannot drop it, clench the entire time, really emphasising the squeeze at the top. They should be slow fluid movements.
You can advance this move by extending one leg straight out and doing the entire move on one leg, keeping the other leg off the ground the entire time. This is called Single Leg Glute Bridge. Go on, you know you want to try it ;)
Step 1 - For this exercise, start on all 4’s, lift your right leg up and point towards the sky.
Step 2 - Bring that same right leg down and in towards your chest, curve your neck down so your head meets your knee.
Engage your core when you bring your knee to your head.
Repeat this exercise on both legs for 20 reps.
REAR LEG LIFTS:
Step 1 - Start this exercise on all 4’s, raising your left leg straight up towards the sky.
Step 2 - Raise your leg to its highest point without opening out your hips. Lower your leg back down to the 90 degree angle and raise back up, clenching your buttocks at the highest point on the movement. You should feel a burn in your glutes and hamstring.
This should be enough homework for now ;) If you are still after more of the burn, I cannot recommend Booty Quake enough! She is the queen of Roller Derby Athletics and has many videos on YouTube that will test your strength, agility, power, core strength and endurance TO THE MAX!
Click on the website below to have your world engulfed by Roller Derby and fitness.
Also, keep an eye out for the Roller Derby Workout DVD that is normally floating around eBay and Roller Derby Recyclables.