Muscles Targeted: This cardio exercise is commonly referred to as “Ice Skaters” since it resembles the movement that Olympic speed skaters make when they race. It’s an excellent movement for targeting the lower body muscles of the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, butt and hips. The outer portion of the upper hips and legs are highly affected with this exercise. Many women refer to this problem area of the hips as “saddlebags” and this movement works very well to tone and tighten these muscles. The core muscles of the abdominals and lower back are also involved as secondary muscle groups while jumping from side to side.
Exercise Instructions: To perform Ice Skaters you will start the exercise by standing with an athletic stance with your feet spread apart at about shoulder width. Begin by hopping onto your right foot while you bring your left leg behind your right leg similar to an ice skating move. From this position you will then hop back to your left foot and bring your right leg around and position it behind your left leg. Follow this technique for the duration of your desired number of repetitions for each set. You want to make sure to maintain a slight bend in your knees while performing this movement. The overall pace and tempo of this exercise will be brisk but under control.
Why This Exercise is Important: This exercise is excellent for building strength and power in the lower legs. The outer legs and hips are highly targeted during this movement which makes it an outstanding choice for anyone looking to tone and tighten this area. Since you’re using your own bodyweight, there is no need for any type of expensive machines or equipment so it’s a truly portable exercise you can do anywhere. Endurance, stamina and agility are also great benefits of including Ice Skaters into your cardio routine. Speed and quickness can be increased with this exercise which will help in many different sports including baseball, basketball, football and soccer.
Things To Avoid: Technique is crucial when performing Ice Skaters so always make sure to use proper form when performing this exercise. The key with this movement is balance so start off slow and ensure you have the exercise executed properly before increasing your speed. Proper footwear and a slip-free surface are very important so choose an area outside or in the gym and test it out thoroughly for any signs of moisture or debris that could impact your safety. Ideally, choose a surface like an aerobics room or basketball court with hardwood flooring for the best level of performance.
Reps and Sets: For beginners, start off very slow in front of a mirror to make sure your technique and form are correct. Once you are comfortable with the exercise, begin with 3-5 sets of 10-15 reps of Ice Skaters. Your pace should always be under control in order to be safe and get the most out of this exercise. Timed sets are also an excellent way to perform this movement. Focus on 20-30 seconds for beginners and increase the length of time to 1-3 minutes for advanced individuals. To create an effective cardio workout using your own bodyweight, try using these exercises in your next workout:
- Ice Skaters: 60 seconds
- Spiderman Mountain Climbers: 20 reps
- High Knees: 30 seconds
By incorporating these three effective exercises into a cardio workout routine you will be able to get a great fat burning workout that improves your cardiovascular systems, helps to build endurance and targets several different muscle groups in your lower body. This will result in burning a lot of calories which will help you get lean and ripped faster! Check out our entire exercise guides database for exclusive access to over 500 muscle building and fat burning exercises!