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Rollerblading Vs. Running | the Ultimate Comparison

Between rollerblading Vs. running, which one should you choose as your ideal exercise. Behold I've put together this write-up to help you make an informed decision. So, read on!

Rollerblading vs. Running! Which should you consider as an ideal fitness option? And is it possible to undertake both? These and similar questions have an answer!

The best part is, I’ve compiled all the answers you’re looking for in this ultimate comparison. Below is a quick rundown of rollerblading vs. running comparison!

Elements of comparisonRollerbladingRunning
Muscle DevelopmentRollerblading works the arm, core, glutes, hips, and lower limb muscle groups.Running works the buttocks, abs, and thigh, muscle groups.
Aerobic BenefitsLow impact aerobic exercise; less aerobic benefits when covering the same distance and time.High impact aerobic exercise; more aerobic benefits when covering the same distance and time.
Calories BurnedA 160 pounds heavy person will burn approximately between 573 and 1069 calories for every hour of rollerblading.A 160 pounds heavy person will burn approximately 606 calories every hour when running at a 5mph speed.
Equipment and Gear NeededInline skate shoes, protective gear like helmet, light clothingRunning shoes, light clothing.
SkillsetBasic training is required to get started.No training is required to get started.
Cardiovascular BenefitsHigh impact cardiovascular exercise; help improve heart health.High impact cardiovascular exercise; help improve heart health.
Safety on JointsLittle to no impact on jointsHigh impact on joints

But that’s only the scratch on the surface. There’s more waiting for you. So, if you want to find out, I invite you to keep reading. Hopefully, you’ll learn one or two important tips you can implement in your journey through fitness and a healthy body.

So, without much ado, let’s get to it! Shall we?

Rollerblading Vs. Running: Elements of Comparison

Running Vs. Rollerblading

It’s tough making a non-biased comparison without comparing the same elements head to head. The benefits of rollerblading are immense, and so is running. Besides, that doesn’t mean there are no cons associated with rollerblading or running.

So, how does rollerblading vs. running compare back to back? Your guess is as good as mine. We can only know if we find out. So, let’s get going!

1. Muscle Development

Rollerblading is intensive, vigorous, and engages all muscles in the body. Starting with the arm muscles, to the core muscles, to the glutes, hips, and lower limbs. How’s this possible, you ask? When inline skating, your body requires more energy to keep you in motion.

Therefore, your muscles burn energy in aerobic respiration and, in the process, develop further. The development enhances body balance which is necessary for proper body coordination. To give you the picture, the core muscles cover your chest, abdomen, and your back.

While skating, they’re the most engaged because you’ll be in a bent-over position most of the time. Stronger and healthy core muscles are vital in supporting the spinal code. Without the spinal code, there’s no life. That’s why it needs strong muscles supporting it.

Glute muscles, on the other hand, cover your butt area. While in the bent-over rollerblading position, a lot of the power and force for forward thrust will come from your Glute muscles, hip muscles, and lower limp muscles.

Also, when swinging your hands in forward or backward motion, your triceps and biceps are actively engaged. This produces enough energy for propelling your body. Doing this repeatedly develops all muscles around the arm.

On the other hand, running only engages a few of your body muscles. According to a study by Run Trails, running works the buttocks, abs, and thigh, muscle groups. In particular, these muscles include; quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, calf muscles, and the abs.

Like rollerblading, running helps build different body muscles simultaneously. In the process, it gets to build and strengthen while toning the muscles. So, where’s the cut line? You could be wondering.

Overall, rollerblading and running develop body muscles. However, rollerblading is more intensive and involving than running. Therefore, besides developing body muscles, it also boosts muscle endurance. This has led some athletes to resolve to inline skating for building muscle strength and endurance.

2. Aerobic Benefits

Both rollerblading and running have aerobic benefits. However, the intensity of either sport makes the difference. As much as rollerblading is involving, running has more aerobic benefits. This is because while rollerblading or running, your muscles are engaged in aerobic respiration to produce enough energy for the body.

However, being that you’re on wheels while rollerblading, it’s common to slow down and let the wheels roll you if you want to cover more distance. This isn’t possible with running! To cover the same distance as rollerblading within the same timeframe, you’ll have to keep running without slowing down.

In the process, this gets you more aerobic benefits from running. According to a study by Cleveland Clinic, some of the aerobic benefits include; decreased heart disease risks, lowers body cholesterol, helps to keep blood sugar level in check, and improved lung function.

According to Cleveland Clinic, running is considered a high-impact aerobic exercise while rollerblading is low impact. The best part is that you’ll still get the same aerobic benefits from both spots, only that running can expedite the transformation.

3. Calories Burned

According to a study, ‘Calories burned when rollerblading’ by CaptainCalculator, the number of calories one burns when rollerblading depends on one’s body weight. Therefore, a 160 pounds heavy person will burn approximately between 573 and 1069 calories for every hour of rollerblading. The level of intensity brings about this difference.

At a recreational space, you’ll burn 573 calories; at a moderate pace, you’ll burn 748 calories; at a fast pace, you’ll burn 938 calories and 1069 calories when rollerblading at maximal effort.

Also, research findings by Mayoclinic posit, 160 pounds heavy person will burn approximately 606 calories every hour when running at 5mph speed. According to Cosmopolitan, even when you’re doing light runs like jogging, you can burn 398 calories per hour.

Overall, there isn’t a significant difference in the number of calories burned in an hour when rollerblading or running. The most important thing is that the two forms of exercise are awesome instruments for burning excess calories in the body.

4. Equipment and Gear Needed

Rollerblading requires complete inline skating gear whether you’re skating for recreational, fitness, aggressive, speed skating, or hockey purposes. The basic rollerblading gear comprises a pair of inline skating shoes, a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and some light clothing.

On the other hand, one needs only a pair of shoes for running and some light clothing to get started. Therefore, it is clear that getting started in rollerblading is more expensive compared to running. If you don’t have the money to invest in good skating gear, getting started may never materialize.

5. Skillset

Running is quite basic and doesn’t take special skills to take part in, not unless you’re into professional running. But, on the flip side, you need some basic training in rollerblading to learn how to balance on the skating shoes, how to move forward, how to move backward, how to go fast, how to slow down, or how to stop. Without these skill sets, it’s hard to get started in rollerblading.

The good news is that it doesn’t take long to master these skills. You should have mastered the basic concepts in approximately two weeks and should be able to skate at a slow to moderate speed.

In comparison, the biggest hurdle when comparing rollerblading vs. running is the time factor. It’s, therefore, easier to get started in running than rollerblading.

6. Cardiovascular Benefits

Both rollerblading and running have high impact cardiovascular benefits. This is because both forms of exercise are intensive and involve the body muscles in aerobic respiration (in the presence of oxygen) to produce energy. During the process, the heart is in its full activity since it has to pump oxygenated blood to all body parts and muscles.

Keeping the heart fully engaged boosts heart health, blood flow in blood vessels and controls blood sugar levels. For this case, I’d say there’s a tie between rollerblading and running since there’s no clear winner.

7. Safety on Joints

While rollerblading is safe on joints, I wouldn’t say that’s the same for running. See, while skating, there isn’t a repetitive impact between your legs and the ground since you’re rolling on the wheels. However, with running, the impact is there, and it can be hard on your ankle joints and knee joints.

Therefore, running for a while can lead to joint pains if not done with care. The only time your joints aren’t safe when rollerblading would be when jumping over obstacles. Otherwise, inline skating is safe on joints whether you’re into speed skating, aggressive skating, fitness skating, recreational skating, or inline hockey skating.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Is Rollerblading More Effective than Running?

Rollerblading is more effective than running in muscle development. Rollerblading works the arm, core, glutes, hips, and lower limb muscle groups, while Running works the buttocks, abs, and thigh muscle groups.

2. Is Rollerblading Good for Runners?

Rollerblading can be an awesome exercise for runners looking for muscle endurance, muscle development, burning extra calories, improved heart health, and control over body balance.

3. Is Skating Harder than Running?

Skating can be harder than running since you need to have basic training on balancing on the skating shoes. But, on the contrary, you don’t need special training to get started in running.

Rollerblading Vs. Running: Final Verdict

Having looked at the detailed comparison of rollerblading vs. running, which should you go for? Based on these research findings and consultation with experts, rollerblading is fun and helps develop all body muscles.

Besides, it’s safe on the joints since there’s no high impact contact between your feet and the ground. However, rollerblading has a huge barrier to entry. How do I mean, you ask? One, you need special inline skating equipment such as rollerblades and protective gear.

Moreover, you need special training in rollerblading to learn how to balance on inline skates, how to avoid obstacles, how to stop, or to go fast or how to slow down. In the long run, this may come out as costly and time consuming.

Overall, rollerblading is versatile and can be used by runners to achieve body coordination, balance, muscle development, burn extra calories, aerobic benefits, and cardiovascular benefits. So between rollerblading and running, which do you want to go for?

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Navick Ogutu
Navick Ogutu

Navick is a full-time freelance writer, blogger, and internet marketer. By day, he creates content for multiple sites including Over the weekend, he goes out skating with friends.

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