Top 10 Health Benefits of Roller Derby


It’s intense, aggressive, and all about trash-talking. No, we’re not talking about football here. It’s women’s roller derby, where tough, clever nicknames run the rink and a no-holds-barred attitude wins bouts. Think of it as team boxing on roller skates. Not only are roller derby athletes tough, but they’re fit. And here’s why.

The Top 10 Health Benefits of Roller Derby:

  • Improves cardio: Skating in a roller derby isn’t just about winning, but it’s also about skating at a fast pace, which induces a high adrenaline rush. This high intensity effort improves body composition due to the high number of calories burned, and it also increases cardio and respiratory endurance.
  • Improves balance: A key component in skating is finding your balance while on skates. And with roller derby being a contact sport, balance is everything. Mastering your skills to skate well, all while maintaining balance amidst a group of teammates and opponents trying to push you off the track, improves your coordination.
  • Aerobic and anaerobic benefits: Since an entire bout lasts for one hour, a skater’s aerobic capacity increases due to the extended amount of time she spends vigorously skating. In addition, anaerobic capacity increases during the short two-minute “jams,” or point-scoring plays, that require teams to perform short, high-intensity bursts of skating around the track.
  • Builds a healthy heart: According to scientists, just 20 to 30 minutes of additional skating activity each day will help your body become physically stronger and lower the risk of heart disease.
  • Promotes weight loss: You can burn 450 calories or more in 30 minutes during a competitive roller derby bout. Combined with a healthy diet, this can help you shed pounds!
  • Builds strength: The constant side-to-side movements help with improved muscle strength — from your glutes, quadriceps, adductors (inner thigh), abductors (outer thigh), and calves. It can also help strengthen your abdominal muscles as you have to be on a constant low while skating and bumping into other skaters. A strong core can help you stay on your feet during all the jostling — not to mention help your ability to forcefully push and block opponents — and strong legs can help you skate faster around the track.
  • Improves mental health: Roller skating helps clear the mind because it keeps your body active. Participating in a roller derby bout can also help you let out a little aggression, which can be a great stress reliever after a long day.
  • Boosts self confidence: When your mind is stimulated in a positive way, you become less stressed, thus improving your mood and self-confidence. Roller skating helps erase self-doubts and reduces depression by developing mind and body connectivity.
  • Instills a sense of teamwork: Roller derby can help develop teamwork among members. It encourages fair play, cooperation and respect for one another. It also develops a sense of belonging and teaches you to be more open to learning, not only for yourself, but for the others in your group as well.
  • Improves endurance: Roller derby can help increase muscle endurance, and the longer you practice competing in one-hour bouts, the stronger your endurance becomes, especially in your lower body.

To see more of our Top 10 lists, click here.


  1. Yes, roller derby is good for your health as any sport or activity out there, but this isn’t a very good representation of the sport.

    You don’t go from putting skates on to a game in 60sec. Lots of people never see scrimmage time for 6 months or even a year if they’re brand new to skating. In actuality the benefits of practice are likely higher since they average around 2 hours and include activities such as endurance training.

    In no way can you say derby is like team boxing on skates. You don’t punch people and your objective isn’t to be combative. There is a big difference between combative sports (boxing, MMA) and collision/impact sports (derby, hockey, etc).

    I enjoy any exposure for the sport, but this is not written well and could have used better input from skaters.

    There is also a small grammatical error at the beginning. When referring to roller derby, you don’t place “a” in front.

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