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Balance is crucial for inline skating: not only does it help you keep you on your feet; it helps you skate faster, farther and with less effort. Good balance is also the foundation to the advanced tricks of ice skaters and rollerbladers. Skating is a complex movement that challenges many muscles and joints: hockey, one of skating's most popular versions, really illustrates the range of movements that skating can involve: repetitive stopping and starting (often sudden), the need for explosive movements as well as sustained speed, tight turns, backward skating, crossovers, and lateral movement all require you to know where your body is, and how to move it to where it needs to be. Enter balance and core strength training: being able to stay upright is very important, and making sure that you can move your limbs and direct your energy from a strong center will make you a more powerful, controlled skater – whether on the ice, or on a trail.