Skateboarding takes a combination of coordination and muscular strength to achieve all of the different stunts and tricks used by top riders. In addition to building muscle, you’ll want to increase your explosive power and jumping ability to help you skate on the street or at a park. Working out with a variety of targeted exercises will help you get in the best shape for skateboarding and take your riding to the next level.
Before you start working on your power and jumping, build the muscles you’ll need for skateboarding. These include the calves, quadriceps, hamstrings, hips and core muscles. When you do muscle building exercises, you should lift heavy weights, performing five repetitions of an exercise before taking a break. After a short break, perform five more reps, and repeat this pattern until you perform three to five sets of one exercise. Good exercise choices for skateboarders include deadlifts, heel raises, lunges, leg presses and squats.
A popular muscle-building exercise for the legs is the squat. Holding two dumbbells in your hands or a barbell on your shoulder, lower yourself slowly, keeping your torso straight and eyes straight ahead. Lower yourself to a sitting position by moving your buttocks backward, then wait two seconds before slowly raising yourself back up. Make sure you keep your torso straight to avoid straining your back.
To improve your explosive power, perform exercises that have you make a quick, powerful move in one direction. Use only 30 percent to 50 percent of the maximum weight you can lift and perform about 10 repetitions of an exercise per set. Change exercises after each set. Include exercises such as deadlifts, box jumps and box squats (these are similar to standing squats, except that you start from a sitting position).
To perform box jumps, stand in front of a box, bench or other platform that’s about knee height. Jump onto the box with both feet. Do three sets of this exercise, three times each week. Increase the height of the platform as you improve your jump.
To improve your ability to get more air when you skate, try exercises that improve your reactive power, which you create when you move your muscles in two different directions. For example, when you get ready to do an Ollie, you bend down, then jump up. This up-and-down movement creates reactive power.
A good exercise for training reactive power is the depth jump. Stand on a platform that’s as high as your best vertical jump. Jump off the box, and when your feet hit the floor, spring back up into the air as high as you can. Perform three sets of 10, three times each week.
Whenever you exercise, make sure you warm up first, then cool down and stretch afterward. Exercising without warming up doesn’t let your heart, lungs and muscles coordinate their efforts and doesn’t let you create the most effective muscle contractions. Take a few minutes to jog in place, do butt kicks and jumping jacks before you start exercising. After you’re done with your exercises, take a few minutes to walk around and swing your arms to help blood and lactic acid leave your muscles. Perform a thorough stretch after each workout. Holding stretches before you work out decreases your power and vertical leap for roughly 15 minutes, so save toe touches and other static stretches for post-workout cooling down.