How to Warm Up for Skateboarding

 

by Jeff Westgate, PT, DPT

A workout or athletic activity like skateboarding begins with the warm-up. It bridges the gap between normal daily activities to actual training. The main goal of the warm-up is to stimulate blood flow and wake up your nervous system.

I like to do an "integrated warm-up" starting with a general preparation phase for neural activation work and then into an exercise/activity rehearsal, which is where you start to integrate your first exercise/movement into the warm-up. 

General preparation phase can include arm swings, leg swings, trunk rotations, reaching lunges, bending and unloading the knees; all done according to the requirements of the activity. 

Skateboarding places a great deal of stress on your knees, hips and ankles, these would be areas of focus. Example include standing with feet about shoulder width apart, (about common position for your feet on your deck), and perform small range of motion knee bends gradually increasing the range of motion until you are squatting down as far as you can go. Following this you can increase the speed gradually until you begin to jump. It makes sense to warm this up since a great majority of skateboard tricks involve jumping in various intensities. 

Exercise/activity rehearsal is where you begin to incorporate the actual exercise/movement. (Think of a baseball player taking slow practice swings with a bat, gradually building up speed till he reaches his full swing speed, player can then step up intensity by increasing weight by using a second bat). Skateboarding involves a wide variety of movements depending on the trick, and it is not realistic to warm-up every movement. This is where you rehearse some of the most common movements/motions that your body moves through. 

Some of the common movements performed such as bending at the knees and waist with addition of trunk rotation to mimic a front side/backside 180. Think about an Ollie or flip trick that requires you to kick your front foot up and out, how can you warm this movement up to reduce risk of muscle strain? Perhaps jumping jacks to mimic that movement at the hip.

Static stretching done prior to an activity requiring speed, agility and strength, (like skateboarding), can be counterproductive and is therefore not included in the warm-up. This is due to static stretching interfering with tendon reflex activity causing muscles to become less responsive to stimulation immediately after static stretching, which throws off coordination. Flexibility is trained separately, preferably after the workout/activity with stretches being held for a minimum of thirty seconds to yield a therapeutic effect. 

 

I hope this gives you a general understanding about the reasons for warming up as well as how to warm-up for skateboarding and how to take the general principles and apply them to any physical activity.

* Thanks to Scott Able for his contribution to this article.

This video by Scott Able, geared toward weight training, further highlights the importance of warming up the right areas to prevent injury and maximize your workout.

A workout or athletic activity like skateboarding begins with the warm-up. It bridges the gap between normal daily activities to actual training. The main goal of the warm-up is to stimulate blood flow and wake up your nervous system.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jeff Westgate is a practicing physical therapist at Genesis Rehabilitation Services in Colorado Springs. He received his doctorate in physical therapy from Northwestern University - The Feinberg School of Medicine.  

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