Also known as alternate leg bounding, speed skaters are a great way to get your heart rate up, burn calories, and work on your lateral movement and agility.

Speed skaters are one of my favorite plyometric exercises, and I often use them as “cardio blasts” in my Circuit Training classes.  They are great because they target the shoulders, back, abs, butt, and legs.  Gotta love moves that really get your whole body working!

Here’s how to do ’em:

Step 1

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.  Bend your knees to lower your body 8-10 inches and lean forward until your shoulders are positioned above your knees. Even though you are leaning over, you should do so by bending at the waist while maintaining good posture in your upper back.

Step 2

Begin by lightly hopping sideways about 2 feet and landing on your right foot.

Step 3

Hop sideways again so you land back on the left foot, and repeat for the desired amount of time/repetitions.

With these, I would start with maybe 10-20 reps and gage where you are.  Add on more reps as you see fit!

If this is too difficult, I always give the modification of starting out by hopping just side to side until you build up enough that you can add the lean forward and get that real “skating” movement where your non-landing foot goes behind the other.

See how I’m more upright here?

If the move is too easy and you are looking for a more advanced version, try increasing your lateral distance and work your way up from 2 feet.  You can also try putting a resistance band around your ankles to increase the intensity – you’ll definitely feel it more in your outer thighs that way.  I also like to tell my class members they will feel it more if they think about extending their opposite arm toward the foot that is up in the back, as if they are reaching for it.

Some more speed skater pictures, thanks to Ali!

And my personal favorite, the one with the AWK ARMS of course!

(Don’t do them like this)

Speed Skaters – have you tried these before?  Love em or hate em?  What’s your favorite total body targeting plyometric exercise? 

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