This is a terrific exercise for lower-body strength and cardiovascular fitness. Even if you never step foot on a skating track, the leg power you will build with this drill makes it worth trying!

For beginners

The speedskater is a very dynamic, side-to-side movement. If you have trouble with balance or are dealing with knee pain, start with the “make it easier” version, and only after consulting with your doctor.

Best practices

  • Land with your butt stacked over your foot. Visualizing this while you do the drill can help.
  • Keep your chest up and your spine nice and tall.
  • Swing your arms in the direction of each jump.

Master this: Speedskater

  1. Start by getting into an athletic ready position: Bend at your hips, knees and ankles, with your chest up and back straight.
  2. Jump out to your right side, landing on your right foot, in a single-leg version of the athletic position.
  3. You can counterbalance by bringing your left foot behind your right leg.
  4. Jump to your left side, landing on your left foot.
  5. Repeat from side to side, like you’re skating.

Make it easier: Instead of jumping, step to each side. If the single-leg balance is still tricky, touch your free leg down to the ground for balance.

Make it harder: Add some weight, like a medicine ball or ViPR PRO. Just remember to stay strong in your upper body.

Photo and video credit: Tom Casey,
Model: Maggie Chen, 24 Hour Fitness