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The Importance of Stretching for Skateboarders

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Skateboarding is an exhilarating sport that requires agility, balance, and strength. However, like any physical activity, skateboarding comes with the risk of injury. One effective way to prevent injuries and improve your overall performance is through regular stretching. In this blog, we’ll explore how stretching can benefit skateboarders and discuss some basic stretches that you can incorporate into your routine.

Stretching plays a crucial role in injury prevention for skateboarders. Here’s how:

  • Increased Flexibility: Stretching helps to improve the flexibility of your muscles and joints, reducing the risk of strains and sprains. In my personal experience with incorporating stretching into my routine, I was able to reduce sprains and rolling my ankles when attempting flip tricks. 
  • Improved Muscle Performance: Stretching before skating can enhance muscle performance by ensuring they are warmed up and ready for action. It also allows for better and more controlled movement.
  • Enhanced Blood Circulation: Stretching increases blood flow to your muscles, which can help improve overall performance and reduce the risk of cramps. 

Benefits of Stretching Before Skating

Before hitting the skatepark, it’s essential to perform dynamic stretches. These types of stretches involve moving parts of your body and are ideal for warming up your muscles. Some examples include leg swings, arm circles, and hip rotations. Dynamic stretching helps prepare your muscles for the activity ahead, reducing the risk of injury. Check out Dr. Kyle Brown, a former professional skateboarder for Preduce Skateboards who’s now a physical therapist, explains the advantages of dynamic stretches before skateboarding.

Benefits of Stretching After Skating

After a skate session, your muscles may feel tight and fatigued. This is where static stretching comes in. Static stretches involve holding a position for a set period, allowing your muscles to relax and lengthen. In my personal experience, I can definitely tell that this can help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility over time, allowing me to recover faster and hit the skatepark again the next day.

Basic Stretches for Skateboarders

Here are some basic stretches that every skateboarder should incorporate into their routine:

  • Hamstring Stretch: Sit on the ground with one leg extended and the other bent. Reach for your toes on the extended leg, keeping your back straight.
  • Quadriceps Stretch: Stand upright and pull one foot towards your buttocks, keeping your knees together. Hold onto a support for balance if needed.
  • Calf Stretch: Step one foot back and press your heel into the ground, keeping your back leg straight. Lean forward to feel the stretch in your calf muscle.
  • Shoulder Stretch: Bring one arm across your body and use the opposite hand to gently pull it towards you, feeling the stretch in your shoulder.
  • Lunges: Step one foot forward and bend your knee, keeping your back leg straight. Lower your hips towards the ground to stretch your hip flexors and thighs.
  • Hip Circles: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and make circles with your hips, moving in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions.
  • Ankle Stretches: Sit on the ground with one leg extended and rotate your ankle in circles, then switch to the other side.

Incorporating stretching into your skateboarding routine can have numerous benefits, including injury prevention, improved performance, and enhanced longevity in the sport. Whether you stretch before or after skating, taking the time to care for your muscles and joints can help you stay healthy and active for years to come. Just ask Santa Cruz’s legendary skateboarder Lord Alba when it comes to stretching