Longboarding, often associated with adrenaline-fueled adventures and cool cruising down city streets, has gained significant popularity in recent years. Beyond its recreational allure, however, lies a question: Is longboarding a good workout?
While some may dismiss it as mere fun on wheels, longboarding offers an array of fitness benefits that surprise even the most seasoned fitness enthusiasts. In this article, we will delve into the world of longboarding, explore its physical demands, and uncover the numerous advantages it brings to your overall fitness. So, tighten your trucks, hop on your board, and let’s roll through the exhilarating landscape of longboarding as a workout!
Breaking a Sweat: The Physical Demands of Longboarding
To understand the fitness potential of longboarding, it’s crucial to comprehend the physical demands it places on the body. While riding on a longboard, you engage various muscle groups and challenge your balance, coordination, and stamina. Let’s break it down:
- Legs and Glutes: Pushing off the ground to gain momentum engages your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteal muscles. With each kick, your lower body strengthens and tones.
- Core Stability: Maintaining balance on a moving board activates your core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, and lower back. Your body instinctively adjusts to maintain equilibrium, giving your midsection an invigorating workout.
- Cardiovascular Endurance: Riding for extended periods at a moderate to fast pace elevates your heart rate, boosting cardiovascular health and increasing your endurance levels.
- Arms and Shoulders: Maneuvering your board involves arm movements for steering and maintaining control. Although the intensity may vary, these actions still provide a low-level workout for your upper body.
Unveiling the Fitness Wonders: Advantages of Longboarding as a Workout
- A Fun and Engaging Experience: Unlike monotonous gym workouts, longboarding infuses fun and excitement into your fitness routine. The thrill of gliding through scenic routes, feeling the wind in your face, and exploring new areas adds an element of adventure to your workout.
- Full-Body Engagement: Longboarding engages multiple muscle groups simultaneously, offering a holistic workout experience. From your legs and core to your arms and shoulders, it challenges your entire body, ensuring no muscle is left behind.
- Calorie Burning Bonanza: Longboarding is a calorie-torching activity that helps shed excess pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Depending on factors such as speed and intensity, you can burn approximately 300-500 calories per hour of longboarding.
- Enhanced Balance and Coordination: The dynamic nature of longboarding hones your balance and coordination skills. The constant adjustments required to stay upright and navigate obstacles strengthen your proprioceptive abilities, improving your overall physical performance.
- Low-Impact Workout: Unlike high-impact activities like running or jumping, longboarding offers a low-impact workout option. This makes it ideal for individuals who want to minimize stress on their joints while still reaping the benefits of a challenging workout.
- Boosted Mental Well-being: Longboarding not only benefits your physical health but also contributes to your mental well-being. The sense of freedom and exhilaration that comes from cruising on a longboard can reduce stress, uplift your mood, and increase your overall happiness levels.
- Improved Reflexes and Reaction Time: Riding a longboard requires quick reflexes and split-second decision-making. As you navigate through the twists and turns of the terrain, your reflexes become sharper, and your reaction time improves. This can have a positive impact on various aspects of your life, both on and off the board.
Longboarders who start the sport immediately find the activity to be very tiring. It’s a good cardio exercise, burning hundreds if not thousands of calories with each session.
Sure, you might be riding the board down hills but to do that, you’ll have to walk up the hill first. Longboarding can increase heart rate, cause you to sweat buckets, and promote the use of large muscle groups.
This cardio workout functions much like HIIT where you’ll go from high to low intensity in rapid intervals – increasing your heart rate to a point that burns calories rapidly. The improved muscle strength also helps burn calories post-workout as muscles tend to burn more even when the body is at rest.
According to studies, longboarding can burn as much as 444 calories in a person with a body weight of 185 pounds. Done daily, longboarding can burn anywhere from 2000 to 3000 calories in one week – that’s more than the calories you can potentially burn in a gym!
What are the Health Benefits of Longboarding?
Of course, weight loss is just one of the health benefits of longboarding to the body. The fact is that longboarding requires the collaborative effort of different body parts, each of which is honed and improved through everyday practice. Here are some of the advantages of this exercise:
Better Balance on the Board
Skateboarding, surfing, and longboarding all require great balance. After all, you’re standing on a platform that’s moving several miles per hour and it’s important that your feet are firmly planted on the board.
Through consistent practice, longboarders are capable of maintaining their stance even as the board moves down the road. It’s not just about maintaining your form, however, as standing on a moving longboard helps exercise the core muscles.
Flexibility Longboarding Skills
One of the benefits of longboarding that few people realize has to do with flexibility. Even simple skills like carving needs a certain level of balance, flexibility, and fitness level.
More than anything however, flexibility is needed if you want to avoid injury on the longboard. Remember, chances are you’re going to fall of this thing during the first few days – or even weeks. Flexibility not only helps you perform tricks – it also means you’ll learn the right way to fall in order to avoid injury.
As you advance in skills, your flexibility also improves, allowing you to attempt even more complicated moves.
Involves Strength Workout
Longboarding isn’t just about riding down the road. Riders also practice different techniques that actually contribute to their overall strength fitness. For example, there’s the riding style called “carving” which allows the rider to control their speed while moving downhill.
The move requires the rider to lean left and right so that the longboard turn in an “S” pattern. Longboard dancing also involves strength training as you attempt different tricks using the longboard, deck, other things, or even your own body weight.
Dancing on a longboard is inspired by boardwalking in surfing which requires a combination of flexibility, leg, body muscles, and synchronization.
Agility and Coordination Skills
Have you ever seen longboarders swerving in a zigzag pattern down the road? They’re able to do this with the slightest movement of their body which shows excellent synchronicity.
From starting, turning, and stopping – longboarders have to employ large groups of muscles and coordinate them with each other to achieve the results that they want. With practice, the timing and agility become instantenous.
A technique in this sport that beautifully shows agility is called the “early grabs”. With this workout, the rider grabs the board while in motion and lifts it while jumping at the same time. This is actually one of the most basic techniques of longboarding but learning it can already do so much for strength and cardio.
Note though that this exercise can include coordination with other riders. For example, there’s this technique called the Draft Train where riders slide down the a hill in a straight line, all in close proximity to each other. The first rider helps break the wind, allowing everyone behind him to move at a faster rate. It’s an advanced move that necessitates teamwork.
Improve Your Endurance with Longboarding
Longboarding is incredibly exhausting and hard. Even the starting work of pushing off your leg can already leave you sweating. The only reason you keep doing it is because it’s also incredibly fun!
This is why longboarders have no problem spending hours in the activity – sometimes without even realizing just how much time they spend in the workout. It makes sense to start slow, perhaps spending just a few minutes to an hour each day as you learn. Over time, your skill and endurance will improve and you’ll dedicate whole days just for the activity.
Cardiovascular Health Benefits
Longboarding involves a combination of running and rest, increasing the blood flow to levels that contribute to cardio health. Being such a good workout, this cardio activity doesn’t just help burn the love handles – it also lowers fat content surrounding the heart, allowing it to better distribute blood all throughout the body. As you get used to the activity, you’ll find that your resting heart rate actually lowers down – which is a good indicator of overall cardiovascular health.
Helps with Toning and Body Shape
There’s something about long boarding that leads toward a desirable body shape. If you’ll notice, most people who take up longboarding are long and lean with well-toned muscles.
This is because aside from the all the cardio workout – literal work is needed for longboarding. You will be utilizing muscles to move and maintain your form and balance. Just look at the arm and leg of people who take up longboarding and you’ll see how beautifully carved they are. The legs are specially worked out because longboarding requires the rider to push off the platform in order to gain speed.
All the Advantages of Exercise
Safety First: Precautions and Protective Gear
While longboarding offers numerous fitness benefits, it’s essential to prioritize safety to ensure an enjoyable experience. Here are a few precautions and protective gear recommendations to consider:
- Wear a Helmet: Protect your head by wearing a certified helmet designed specifically for skateboarding or longboarding. It’s a vital piece of equipment that can prevent serious head injuries in case of a fall or collision.
- Elbow and Knee Pads: To safeguard your joints from potential impact, consider wearing elbow and knee pads. They provide an extra layer of protection and can prevent painful injuries.
- Slide Gloves: Slide gloves with built-in palm and finger protection are highly recommended for riders who enjoy more advanced longboarding techniques. They offer additional safety during slides and provide better control.
- Appropriate Footwear: Choose sturdy, closed-toe shoes with good grip to ensure stability on your board. Avoid wearing sandals or flip-flops, as they can impair your ability to control the board effectively.
Finding Your Longboarding Fitness Routine
Of course, the sport has other benefits other than being a good workout. This exercise can also help introduce you to new social circles or groups of people who are enthusiastic about exercises. If your goal is to achieve overall health and fitness – then these are the people you want to associate with.
It compels you to work your mind as you coordinate your legs, eye, and body towards one smooth move. The sport can also take you to different places as longboarding groups often explore different areas to improve the longboarding experience. If you’re already comfortable with the thing, then the longboard can also be used as an alternative mode of transport. Just be careful when using it on the road.
Now that we’ve established that longboarding can be an excellent workout, how can you incorporate it into your fitness routine? Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Set Goals: Define your fitness goals and tailor your longboarding sessions accordingly. Whether you aim to improve endurance, strengthen specific muscle groups, or simply have fun, having clear objectives will keep you motivated.
- Vary Your Routes: Explore different terrains and routes to challenge your body in various ways. Hill riding, flat ground cruising, and skate park sessions offer distinct physical demands and keep your workouts exciting.
- Interval Training: Incorporate interval training into your longboarding routine by alternating between periods of high-intensity riding and recovery. This method boosts cardiovascular fitness and accelerates calorie burning.
- Join a Longboarding Community: Engage with fellow longboarders by joining local groups or online communities. Not only will you find support and camaraderie, but you’ll also gain valuable tips and discover new spots to ride.
Final Word- The Thrilling Road to Fitness
To wrap it up – longboarding is more than just a recreational activity; it’s a fantastic workout option that combines thrill and fitness. By engaging multiple muscle groups, improving balance and coordination, and burning calories, longboarding offers a comprehensive full-body workout experience. Additionally, the mental benefits of reduced stress and increased happiness further enhance its appeal. Remember to prioritize safety by wearing protective gear and adhering to precautionary measures.
So, if you’re looking to inject some excitement into your fitness routine, grab a longboard, hit the streets or skate parks, and embrace the wonders of longboarding as a workout. It’s time to roll into a fit and fabulous lifestyle on wheels!