Skateboarding is an exercise in itself, but putting in the time to strengthen muscles through separate workouts will absolutely help your skating. All skating professionals do workouts to help them perform at the highest level and you can too. (source)
Exercising for skateboarding will help you control your board, pop higher, and stay healthy enough to skate longer. You’ll also look better and clothes will fit better, but that’s a side effect. Just keep in mind, that you won’t be building huge muscles from a workout designed for skateboarding as the focus is on improving your skating.
The Skateboarding Workout
Before going into any detail about each individual exercise and why it’s good for skateboarding, I’m just going to give you a workout resource to use. Copy and save this or screenshot it or whatever. This is something that you can start today and it will improve your skating.
Do this exercise twice a week alongside your normal skating. The workout will be pretty intense and will take about 1.5 hours.
- MONDAY——Exercise Set 1
- 1) Squats – 4 sets of 12 with 1 minute of rest in between
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 2) Lunges – 4 sets of 20 with 1 minute of rest inbetween
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 3) Calf raises- 4 sets of 25 on each side with 1 minute of rest in between
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 4) Planks – 3 sets for 1 minute each with 1 minute of rest in-between
- FRIDAY——Exercise Set 2
- 1) Deadlift – 4 sets of 12 with 1 minute of rest in between
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 2) Lunges – 4 sets of 20 on each side with 1 minute of rest in-between
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 3) Box jumps on whatever – 4 sets of 12 with 1 minute of rest in-between
- ***rest 2 minutes***
- 4) Leg raises – 3 sets of 12 for 1 minute each with 1 minute of rest in-between
Notice that each day works similar muscle groups, but with different exercises. The goal here is to target the muscle groups and exercises that directly translate into skateboarding.
I recommend working out at home with a couple of cheap dumbells, but of course, this can be done at the gym too.
For details on each exercise, how to do it, and why it is good for skateboarding, read on below. I also include a good skating and workout warm-up at the end of the article.
The Best Skateboarding Exercises
People neglect the squat, but it is probably the single best exercise you can do. Your legs are the largest muscle group in your body and nothing activates them like a squat.
Squats will exercise your hamstrings and quads. They will help improve your ability to jump higher and control your board. They will allow you to build the strength to do more explosive motions.
To do a squat start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart. Focus on keeping your lower back straight and your chest up and forward as you bend your knees until they are at a 90-degree angle. Then raise yourself back up to a standing position using your legs and core. Do not use your lower back to lift as you will injure yourself.
Do twelve reps and four sets with one-minute rest in-between. A one-minute rest is important to work your muscles using something called hypertrophy. This basically means quickly doing exercises to break down your muscles.
The squat motion is complicated at first, but you’ll quickly get the hang of it. You should squat each time you exercise if you are a beginner and only exercising twice a week.
A lunge works your quads in a similar way to the squat but also works your hip stabilizers which are critical for your balance and turning while skating.
The exercise is performed with or without weights. Start by standing straight. Then step forward with one foot and bend the knee on that leg until your knee makes a 90-degree angle. Move back into a standing position. Repeat with your other leg.
Do twelve reps for four sets with one minute of rest in-between each set.
Calf raises are a simple and easy to do exercise. They work your calf muscle and ankle which is used to push off and pop your board. This is because popping your board is really a flick of your ankle and is controlled by your calf muscle.
To do this exercise you just need a curb or any slightly raised platform. Put the front of your feet on the edge so that the heels of your feet are hanging off. Then simply lower yourself while keeping the front of your feet on the platform and then raise yourself to a tiptoe position. Repeat this for twenty reps and four sets with one minute of rest in-between.
Your calves will absolutely burn. This is ok.
The deadlift is a fundamental exercise that many people simply neglect doing. It works your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes. Doing deadlifts will help you push off, stay crouched longer, and have better control of your torso.
The deadlift motion is a bit complicated and easy to mess up. If you try and lift heavy weights, it is also easy to injure yourself with improper technique. I recommend using light weights at a gym or at home.
The most important thing during a deadlift is to keep a straight back. Otherwise, keep your feet shoulder-width apart while lifting your weights or weighted bar from the ground to your waist as you straighten to a standing position. Then, simply lower the weight back down to the ground and repeat. Your lower back is always straight during this motion.
Do this for twelve reps and four sets with one minute of rest in-between sets.
You should feel a burn in your lower back and hamstrings (back of your legs). If you feel any pain that is sharp, stop immediately. It is easy to injure yourself with this exercise.
Is skateboarding the hardest sport? We think so and check out our guide on why we do here.
Box jumps are all about explosive movement. Once you have built up the strength in your legs with squats, lunges, and deadlifts box jumps help you practice releasing that energy.
Basketball players use box jumps to train to jump higher and the same exercise can be applied to ollie higher. Once you have a solid ollie there will be a point where proper technique will not get your ollie any higher. At this point, you need to spend some time in the gym.
To do this exercise simply line up your feet parallel to the box and jump while standing still onto the box. Hop back down and repeat this for 12 reps. Do 4 total sets of this while resting for 1 minute in between each set. You should feel the burn and hopefully, you’ll start to see higher pop with your ollies soon.
Your core is essential to skating well. Maybe you don’t realize it, but your core is activated whenever you turn, push off, twist, or crouch while skating. That is pretty all the time during skating.
So some core exercises will help you be more stable and get winded less easily.
Leg raises are a great simple exercise you can do while laying on your back. I usually sit on my hands and then simply lift up my legs until they are at a 90-degree angle with my body. Do this for twenty reps and do three sets with one minute of rest in between each set.
You can do core exercises literally every day if you want and they will definitely help you feel more in control of your body and by extension, your board.
Planks are another core exercise that involves holding a static position rather than do any dynamic motion like leg raises.
Plancks can get pretty intense and are difficult to do. Don’t push yourself too hard, but it is common to start shaking while trying to hold the position.
Hold a plank for one minute at a time for three sets and one-minute rest in-between. You will need to use a stopwatch for this and honestly all of the exercises to measure rest time. Your phone has a stopwatch program built-in and that will do just fine.
Planks will absolutely make you feel the burn and some fitness trainers swear that they are the best core exercise. I don’t know about that. Personally, I do them, but am not a fan.
Best Skateboarding Warm-up
Before you skate or work out, you’ll need to do a warm-up. If you don’t, you will more easily sprain or tear a muscle group and you’ll get winded more easily. The warm-up below is for skating or the skateboard workout. If you are working out, ignore the cruising part.
- WARMUP——Estimated Time: 7 mins
- 1) Asian squats – 5 to 8 squats and hold the last one for 5 seconds
- 2) Touch your toes – Just touch your toes and hold for 10 seconds
- 3) Quad stretch- 3 quad stretches on each leg and hold the last ones for 6 seconds
- 4) Knee tuck – 3 knee tucks on each leg and hold the last ones for 6 seconds
- 5) Cruise – 5 mins with no tricks
I love this position to stretch my lower back, quads, and hamstrings. This involved squatting all the way down so that your butt is by your feet and your hamstrings are touching your calves. Not everyone can do this, so if you can’t go all the way down, then just focus on squatting down as far as you can go. Do this a few times and hold the position for a few seconds.
I also love to do this will cruising on my board and trying to ride like this. I usually can’t turn well and need to stand back up, but it’s a fun way to stretch.
If you need some more motivation or inspiration to get out there and skate today, check out our ultimate skating motivation guide here.
Touch Your Toes
This one is simple to do and everyone knows it. Bend over with a straight lower back and try and touch your toes. This stretches out your hamstrings and lower back. You need loose hamstrings because you use them to push off and jump. So hamstrings come into play for any tricks involving an ollie.
Bend over about five to ten times and touch your toes. On the last rep, hold the position for about ten seconds. Do this maybe twice or until you feel loose.
You don’t want to bail and tear something because you didn’t warm up.
You’re not likely to tear your quads, but they do supply most of your jumping power. I stretch them bending one leg back while standing. Grab your foot on the bent leg and push it towards your butt. Hold it there for five to ten seconds. Do this for each leg about three times each.
This will help warm up your core and keep some blood moving. It will also help you get loose for when you bring your legs up for ollie-based tricks.
Simple lift one leg up and forward while standing. Grab the leg and “hug” it while pulling it to your stomach and chest. Hold this position for about five to ten seconds. Do this about three times for each leg or until you feel loose.
At this point feel free to add in any exercise or stretch you personally like.
Cruise Around for 5 Minutes
Lastly, before you do any tricks you will need to cruise around for a bit. Simply push around and turn for about five minutes before attempting any sort of pop trick. Like I mentioned earlier, I like to squat while on my board during this time, but you don’t need to.
Try and bend your knees while you cruise so you aren’t riding around stiff like a board. Once you feel loose, you can start trying a few basic tricks you already know and then move on to learning new tricks or making lines once you’re fully warmed up.
Starting a Skateboard Exercise Routine
Starting any exercise routine can be difficult to do, but maintaining it is much more difficult. The best workout is one that you can stick to. So, to give yourself a better chance, you need to have a plan.
I recommend committing to twice a week if you are a complete beginner when it comes to exercise. If you are already, skating then this should be plenty of weekly exercise for you. You won’t be building big muscles, but your skating should be improving consistently.
The reality is if you aren’t consistent over a long period of time (at least 3 months+), then you will not see results from a workout routine. It takes time to build muscle and condition your body.
So pick two days a week to work out and stick to it. You’ll see the rewards soon enough.
If you’re worried that being overweight (fat) will stop you from skateboarding, check out our guide for why being overweight shouldn’t stop you from shredding.
So there you go. These are the exercises and a workout that will help strengthen the muscle groups needed to skate. If you stick to the workout then you should see improvements in how you look, but also how you feel on a skateboard. The goal isn’t to build huge muscles here, but to improve your ability to pop ollies and control your body and board.
Virtually all professional skateboarders exercise and stretch so don’t think it’s not cool to do. Skateboarding is a sport and you need to take care of your body and exercise to perform at a high level. Forget about all the Tas Papas and Ali Boulala type skaters out there and do what is best for you.
Anyway, thanks for reading, and look out for more articles from Board and Wheels.