Skateboarding is an exciting way to spend time, but it requires extensive movement of your joints and muscles. Skateboarding requires a proper warm-up so that your body temperature will increase, your blood will flow properly, and your body can be better prepared for movements. For warming up, you should focus on three main sections: joint rotations, cardio exercises, and dynamic stretching. If you plan to skate somewhere close, you can jumpstart your warm-up at home. But if your skate spot takes half an hour or more to get there, just do a ten-minute warm-up at your preferred venue.
To begin your exercises, start with a few rotations for your joints. What for? This moistens your joints with the necessary juice for the activities to come. For each type of exercise, do 10 slow rotations in each direction per side.
- Ankle Rotations – Slowly trace a circle using your toes, first clockwise, then counterclockwise. For variation, you can keep the tips of your toes connected to the floor and circle around them instead.
- Toe Flexor – Stand on your left foot and place the tips of your right foot on the floor. Next, push your right foot down until the ball of your foot connects with the ground. You know it works when you feel a stretch on the bottom of your toes.
Now that the joints are moist, you must work to warm them up, along with the rest of your body. Sports scientists recommend that an increase in rectal temperature by 1 to 2 degrees Celsius is an excellent measure of whether you feel sufficiently warm. But if you do not have a thermometer around, some light sweating and feeling warm throughout your body would be great cardio.
This part of the warm-up can also develop a better blood flow that can improve your flexibility and overall muscle performance. If you live somewhere super cold, it is a great idea to spend a little more time on cardio. This will probably be the least favorite part of the warm-up for most people, but it is imperative so you should never skip it.
- Any Movement to Get Your Heart Rate Up for 5 Minutes– One excellent option is actually merely starting to skate through your preferred skate park. Do not take it too easy, though. Take some big pushes and if you can push switch a bit of the time as well. If you have traveled in a car or bus to your skate spot, you can just bomb around for five minutes when you get there. You can also do some jogging, moving on the place, jump rope, and other activities.
Now that you are feeling hot and moist, it is the perfect time to prepare your muscles for the movements they will be going through when you begin skateboarding. Usually, skaters just prefer to do some static stretches, but this type of stretching lowers the strength, performance, and response time of your muscles. That is the last thing that you would want before you begin skateboarding. If you really love static stretching, you can slip some in before the dynamic stretching but do not hold your stretches for more than 15 seconds.
On the other hand, dynamic stretching has been shown to increase strength and muscle performance, amongst other things. Unlike static stretching where you just retain a single position, dynamic stretching utilizes muscle movement so that it will be stretched. If the dynamic stretches are actually similar to the motions that you will be doing when you will skate, you will be preparing your muscles to respond faster, and maybe you will be able to pop a little smidge higher.
- Hip Flexor Flexing – Take a big step back using your right foot while keeping it relatively straight while slightly bending your left knee. Keep your upper body and pelvis straight, sink down the ground while putting most of your weight on your right leg. You should feel a stretch on the front of your right hip. Finally, you should rise up a little bit and back down again in a slightly bouncy way.
- Hamstring Stretch – First, stand upright with your left foot about one to two feet in front of you. Keep your left leg straight while slightly bending your right. Then, bend forward over your left leg and reach your hands toward your left foot. Move up and down, trying to stretch further as you go. A quick tip: When you are bending forwards, try to extend and keep your lower back as flat as possible.
- Tuck Knee – Standing on your right leg, swing your left knee up in front of you. Then, grab your knee or shin with both hands and pull it towards your chest. Lastly, lower your foot back on the ground and repeat. Do not forget to keep your back straight to maximize the effect.
- Quad Stretch – Swing your left foot behind you while standing upright. Grab your ankle and pull up your heel towards your back. Lower your foot back and repeat. Try to keep your back straight without bending forward.
- Inner Thigh Stretch – Start with placing your body at a wide stance with each pointing outwards at about 45 degrees. Keep your right leg straight, bend your left, and lower down into a half squat position while keeping your back as straight as possible. Lastly, keep your feet in the same place when alternating to the other leg. A pro tip: When lowering yourself down, try and go straight down and almost sit back a little bit as opposed to leaning over your bent knee.
- Leg Swinger – Standing on your right leg, swing your left leg straight forward in front of you as high as you can and then back behind you. You should feel a stretch on the front and back of your high depending on which way you are swinging. To maximize the effect of this exercise, try to keep your back straight, your pelvis in a neutral position, and your leg relatively straight.
- Hip Opener – Stand on your right leg with your knee straight. Then, lift your left knee up in front of you and let your foot hang down. Swing your left leg across your right one as far as you can and then back to the other side as far as you can, opening up your hip.
- Side Stretch – Stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart, raise your arms behind your head, reach across and grab each arm anywhere between your elbows and hands. With your body straight bend at the hip to your left side and pull your upper body to the right. Come back to a neutral position and repeat on the other side.
- Side Rotator – Stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart and your arms at 90 degrees in front of your chest. Twist your upper body from left to right, looking in the direction that you’re turning.
- Crouching Tiger – Stand with your feet a little bit wider than shoulder-width apart and angled in whichever way feels most comfortable. Lower yourself down as far as you can go into a squat position. Rise back up about 1 foot and sit back down into the squat.
- Ankle Sprainer – Standing on both feet, roll over onto the sides of your feet into the dreaded sprained ankle position. Do one foot at a time if it’s more comfortable. Relax, go slow and don’t push it, you just need to feel a stretch in your foot.
- Foot Bender – Standing on your right foot, lift up your left foot and place the tops of your toes on the ground. Push downwards until you feel a stretch in the top of your foot. Move back and forth in this position. Angle your foot in different ways to stretch different parts of the foot.
A few things to take note:
- When doing dynamic stretches, you can either do them on the spot or while moving.
- Check your body’s starting position and make sure you begin each repetition of each stretch from the area.
- Do about 10 to 20 repetitions per time, starting easy and increasing the intensity as you go.
- Do not jump and bounce into positions and force yourself to stretch further than you can.
- You can use a wall or a board to keep you balanced.
That’s It! You’re Done!
Congratulations! You can now start skating. Start with the basic tricks before going for the advanced ones. When you do this before every session, your body will be stronger and ready for the physical strain you can get from advanced tricks.