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Bodyweight Exercise: Speed Skaters

After speed skaters take you to the next level of fitness, then check out all of my other bodyweight exercises!


  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Calves
  • Hamstrings
  • Obliques

Speed skaters are a classic exercise that’s often found within many fitness programs. It works many different muscle groups, but also requires you to work coordination, and balance.

Coordination occurs from opposite arm to opposing leg placement during your pattern of movement. Balance occurs during the moment you plant your foot, and you’re suspended for a moment on one leg. Core strength must be utilized to stop the momentum of your body, and then redistribute that movement back to the other side.

Speed Skaters

  1. Begin by stepping your right leg behind your left, so that the legs are crossed at the thighs and there are several feet of distance between each foot. Note that you will be on the toes or ball mound of the back foot.
  2. With the left leg out front and forward, bring your right arm forward, and your left arm behind you.
  3. Laterally (side ways) hop or step your right foot to your right, and cross your left leg behind the right. When the left toes plant, there should be several feet of distance between each foot.
  4. During the lateral hop, bring your left arm forward, and take your right arm back.
  5. Continue the back and forth lateral movement for a set duration or number of repetitions.

Speed Skaters

Exercise Tips

  • When we walk or run, our natural pattern of movement involves opposite arm to opposite leg placement. So, notice when your right leg is forward, that your left arm should also be forward. When you step your left leg forward, then the right arm comes forward, and the left arm moves back. This natural pattern of movement should be present and evident in your speed skaters exercise.
  • You can modify this exercise first by choosing whether to jump or step from side to side. Next, increase or decrease distance and intensity.

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