Inline / Rollerblading Drills for Hockey Players

A big complaint among hockey players in the more remote areas is that there is no place to skate over the summer months. This was certainly a problem for me growing up. I grew up in a small farm town and every arena within 100 kilometers took the ice out from March – September. So what does a die-hard hockey fanatic do when there is no ice?… Rollerblades!

The only problem with rollerblades is the slight difference from ice skates. The movements are not quite the same – the biggest differences being in stopping and turning – and it is possible to develop bad skating habits if you are rollerblading.

Do I recommend rollerblading to hockey players?

Absolutely, especially for the less experienced skaters. Yes you could develop a few bad habits, but if you’re having trouble with skating on ice I believe rollerblading will help you develop a better feel for being on skates.


How rollerblading helps ice hockey players

  • Improves balance
  • Improves single leg control and agility
  • Help players develop a better sense of movement (more confidence on skates)
  • Can help develop leg power (and better control and balance usually results in more power)

How rollerblading may hurt ice hockey players

  • Rollerblades don’t have edges like hockey skates do
  • Rollerblades do not slide during stopping and turning like hockey skates do
  • It is easy to stand too straight on blades and not get a good full stride, rollerblading for long distances might shorten a hockey players stride

(pictured to the right is my favourite player growing up in rollerblades, although it’s probably one of the cheesiest hockey cards of all time)

Rollerblade drills to help hockey players

Below is a video with 3 skating drills you can do on roller blades that will help you with your skating on the ice.

Covered in this video

  • Inside edges 
    • You will learn an exercise that will work on your agility, balance, single leg power, and help you become more comfortable on your skates
  • Transitions from forwards to backwards and backwards to forwards
    • You will learn the foot work involved in transitions. I teach you how to transition without losing speed
  • Leg Power
    • The last exercise will help generate leg power and it is a good workout on and off the ice. I got the last exercise from Jim Vitale from Vital Hockey while helping out at his hockey camp.

Good places to find Deals on Inline Skates

Looking for a good pair of inline skates? – Check out this page on Amazon or Hockey Monkey’s Inline skate page

If you enjoyed this drill and would like more tips on improving your hockey skills you can subscribe to our email newsletter and join us on Facebook. 

Thanks for sharing this article with the buttons below

  1. Reply Amanda April 20, 2016 at 10:26 am

    Your HockeyMonkey link is broken (something with the ad affiliate).

  2. Reply Adam June 7, 2015 at 11:52 am

    I just had to comment on how incredible that hockey card is. It has motivated me to go rollerblading right now. I also might have to buy a vintage Bure jersey for shinny.

    Amazing website. You’ve helped me improve dramatically in the 4 months that I’ve been playing ice hockey. Keep up the great work!

  3. Reply Chris July 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    Hey Jeremy,

    I’m 18 and would like to start hockey next fall, but my skating skills are miserable, almost non existent
    Would you recommend waiting for the opening of arenas to start on real ice and avoid developing some bad habits right from the start or would you say that rollerblades are good enough to start, despite all the differences?

    Because here in Switzerland, the arenas open quite late, around the end of October or even November for some, so it’s quite late in the year to start skating…

    Thank you for your great videos, they really help me with my stickhandling and shooting !


    • Reply Jeremy Rupke July 26, 2014 at 5:12 pm

      Get some rollerblades and practice as much as you can. Roller blades can help a lot with balance and muscle memory. You might need to tweak some things once you get on the ice, but doing anything related to hockey is better than doing nothing.

    • Reply Henrick July 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm

      Hey Chris,
      Speaking from my experience I think you should use roller blades.I mean you can get bad habits like Jeremy said but they deffenetly help.I used roller blades all the time as a kid.In fact my coach named me captain in my first year because I was a good skater . Trust me it really helps.And I understand that the rinks open late in Switzerland as I lived ther for 3 years.But here in sweden they are open all year long except in August.

  4. Reply Annabelle May 22, 2014 at 10:14 pm

    Hi Jeremy, great post. Are there any drills that I can do on rollerblades to improve my agility on ice ?


    • Reply Jeremy Rupke May 27, 2014 at 5:58 pm

      These drills should help a little with agility and balance. You could watch our learn to skate series and grab a few on ice drills and use them on roller blades. Anything where you can change directions will help, try spinning, turning, changing directions, etc.

  5. Reply Jim Vitale August 21, 2013 at 9:13 pm

    Great vid Jer! Had a great time working with you at the camp… kids loved having you out!

  6. Reply jeff August 16, 2013 at 8:48 pm

    Hey Jeremy, perfect video at the perfect time. I have actually been working on my transitions and having the video just made a world of difference! Now I have a couple more drills to work on, thanks.

  7. Reply Josh August 15, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Great article! Thanks.

  8. Reply Nicholas August 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    I have those exact same rollerblades!

  9. Reply rob August 7, 2013 at 4:13 pm

    3rd con is spot on. I grew up playing roller hockey and recently transitioned to ice. I thought I was playing well until a friend recorded one of my games. My strides are awful. I take too many quick, short strides instead of long full ones.

  10. Reply Ryan August 5, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    LOL, great find of the Russian Rocket card! He was my favorite player at the time too. Cheesy as it may be, the card also shows why Pavel was so good. Look at those tree trunk thighs and calves. It almost looks like someone photoshopped that skinny upper body on top of massive lower body.

  11. Reply Mike August 5, 2013 at 9:00 am


    I recently purchased some new roller blades with the hi-lo chassis thinking it would transfer better to my on ice skating. Unfortunately it just doesn’t provide that similar of an experience and I find that for the first few minutes back on the ice I feel sloppy and clumsy. I thought about get a rocker setup where my front and back wheel are smaller than the middle two wheels to better simulate the rocker on my ice skates, but the hi-lo chassis doesn’t have enough room to do that without buying smaller wheels all around. Any thoughts on the transition from road to ice? What setup do you have? I really want to be able to get the extra exercise and time on skates, but I don’t want to hinder my on ice performance as a result…

    • Reply Chel July 10, 2014 at 11:55 pm

      Hey Mike, I haven’t tried these myself, but I’ve read a lot of people say this is the closest you can get to ice on wheels: I would give them a shot if I skated on ice more, but I’m strictly an inline hockey player for now (don’t live close enough to an ice rink to give it a shot though I would love to if I could). The surface you skate on probably matters quite a bit too.

  12. Reply Chris August 4, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Hey Jeremy,

    As always, great content. Can you recommend a good set of hockey rollerblades? I would like to get a pair for summer training.

    • Reply jeff August 16, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      Hey Chris, if you haven’t purchased a pair of blades yet, I recently bought a pair of Bauer xr2 vapors and like them. I have been playing hockey on em for a couple months now and they seem to do well. The only thing I would suggest changing are the insoles. They are lacking in support, but the rest of the skate is great, so far. I have also put a bit stickier wheel on them, as I am typically on a rink, and the surface is pretty slick. Good luck!

    • Reply Jeremy Rupke August 4, 2013 at 8:10 pm

      It all depends on the person buying them. I don’t recommend getting the cheapest pairs, get at least something that is decent quality, or even a good quality used pair. Just make sure they fit you properly and are comfortable

Leave a reply