When you think of skateboarders, you don’t picture overweight and sluggish riders. You picture fit, lean, and athletic men and women.
It begs the question; are they lean because of skateboarding or are they only skating because they’re lean?
Well, it’s probably a little from column A and a little from column B.
In the following guide, we’ll answer questions such as:
- Does skateboarding help you lose weight?
- How many calories do you burn while skating?
- Is skating the best way to burn calories?
- Can I lose belly fat while skating?
- Can I build muscle while skating?
- Am I carrying too much weight to ride a skateboard?
Table of Contents
How Much Weight Can A Skateboard Hold?
Before we talk about burning calories and getting fit, let’s address the elephant in the room.
If you’re clinically obese, incredibly unfit, and don’t have good balance, you’re probably not ready for skateboarding.
Let’s be honest, that’s one of the reasons why skateboarders are often on the lean side, as the heavier you are, the harder it is to get around.
But that doesn’t mean you need to find another hobby just because you’re carrying a few extra pounds.
If you’re worried that you’re too heavy for the skateboard, you’re probably okay. The maximum weight for most longboards is 300 lbs. and the maximum weight for standard skateboards is around 270 lbs.
As long as you don’t exceed this weight and can stand up and maintain balance, you can start thinking about using a skateboard to lose weight.
If not, you could look into getting a bigger/stronger skateboard or focus on losing weight before buying your first skateboard.
Can You Lose Weight By Skateboarding?
Yes, you can lose weight skateboarding. It’s a form of cardio that works most of your body and places a lot of strain on your lower body and core muscles.
It might feel like you’re just standing up and letting the skateboard do the work, but unless you’re using an electric board (which will burn far fewer calories), you’re still the one putting the effort in.
Every push, every movement, and every time you fall, get back up, or run down a slope burns calories.
How Many Calories Do You Burn Skateboarding?
The average 185-pound person will burn between 400 and 450 calories from an hour of skateboarding.
The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn. The movements you perform and the intensity at which you skate will also impact how many calories you burn.
If you’re just cruising on a longboard and spending most of your time going downhill, you’ll burn very few calories. If you’re pushing yourself hard to learn new tricks and taking very few rests, you’ll burn more.
Is Skateboarding Good for Losing Weight?
It really all depends on how we define “good”. If we’re just talking about an activity that will burn calories, it’s effective, but the same could be said for sitting on your ass and watching Netflix all day. After all, your body burns calories at rest, and depending on your weight, it could burn up to 2,000 calories a day.
Instead, let’s compare it to some other activities and see how it fairs:
If we assume an average of 425 calories burned per hour of skateboarding (for a 185-pound person), then skateboarding is more effective than the following:
- Slow Walking = 180
- Croquet = 210
- Slow Ballroom Dancing = 250
- Bowling = 250
- Fishing = 250
- Light Calisthenics = 300
- Curling = 330
However, you will burn more calories with the following activities:
- Fencing = 500
- Hiking = 590
- Competitive Basketball = 660
- Running (5 MPH) = 670
- Step Aerobics = 700
- Fast Freestyle Swimming = 850
- Fast Cycling = 1000
- Cross Country Uphill Skiing = 1400
Is Skateboarding A Good Workout?
As you can see from the lists above, skateboarding is a good workout. Not only will you burn more calories than walking, slow dancing, and a host of other activities, but you’ll also build stronger core muscles and leg muscles.
Is Skateboarding Cardio?
Yes, skateboarding is a form of cardio as it works your cardiovascular system. Unlike weight lifting, boxing, and resistance bands, it doesn’t use any resistance or heavy weights.
Can I Lose Weight Quickly if I Skateboard Regularly?
An intense skateboarding session every day or several times a week can help you lose weight quickly…providing you monitor your calorie intake.
Weight loss is a simple formula—calories in, calories out. Exercising is only part of that formula. By reducing your calories and increasing your consumption of whole foods and protein, you can double-up on your weight loss efforts and burn more fat.
Don’t overdo it though. Food is your fuel. You need carbs to keep going, protein to repair muscles, and nutrients to keep you awake, alert, and active. Make sure you get your fill of macro and micronutrients and focus on eating a little less than what you need.
Once you add exercise on top of this, you’ll be able to burn fat quickly and safely.
To determine how much food you need every day before accounting for exercise, calculate your basal metabolic rate. Fitness apps like Cronometer and MyFitnessPal can help you with this. You can also use most modern smartwatches, as well as a plethora of fitness apps.
Alternatively, check out this BMR calculator.
What Muscles Does Skateboarding Work?
Your core muscles are the main muscle group worked by skateboarding. You need strong core muscles to maintain your balance. You also use your core strength to turn, jump, and perform a variety of tricks and techniques.
Your hamstring muscles, calf muscles, quadriceps, and gluteus maximus muscles are also worked heavily. If you’re relatively unfit and don’t have much cardio/gym experience, you’ll likely feel a lot of stiffness in these muscles following a session at the skatepark.
That stiffness is something called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) and it can last for a few days. It’s perfectly normal, and while it may put you out of action for a day or two, it will fade and then disappear entirely before long.
Just ride it out and then get back on your skateboard as soon as you can.
Countless weight loss and muscle-building schedules have been abandoned at the first sign of DOMS, so don’t make the same mistake.
Can Skateboarding Help You To Build Muscle?
You can build some muscle by skateboarding, but if you’re hoping to look like a bodybuilder or strength athlete, you’re going to be very disappointed.
Big muscles come from lifting heavy weights. Muscles need resistance to grow, as well as a good diet. Skateboarding can help to an extent, but there’s a limit.
What it will do, however, is increase the rate of fat loss and strengthen your core. If you keep skating and watching your calorie intake, you should notice some improved definition around your abs, and everywhere else.
One of the biggest fitness myths is that you get abs by doing an unlimited number of sit-ups or performing exercises with heavy weights. In actual fact, it largely comes down to low body fat.
Is Skateboarding Bad for You?
One of the downsides of using skateboarding as a form of exercise is that it can be quite tough on the body.
Many pro skaters have a long list of breaks, sprains, and concussions in their history. Some of them also suffer from knee and ankle issues as they get older.
But the same could be said for many other sports and activities.
If you jog every day for many years, you may notice issues with your knees. If you play tennis, you could experience elbow problems. Other sports cause issues with hips, shoulders, and ankles.
Any time that you place repeated pressure on joints and muscles, you run the risk of injury.
As far as falls and accidents are concerned, just make sure you wear plenty of protective gear (including a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards) and take it easy. Don’t try to do something you’re clearly not ready for.
What Exercises Complement Skateboarding?
Skateboarding is a great exercise for your core muscles and lower body. It also brings your upper body into many of the movements, but it doesn’t really get much of a workout.
This isn’t really much of an issue if your goal is to lose weight. Contrary to what countless scam supplements and disingenuous influencers might tell you, there is no such thing as “spot fat loss”. In other words, you’re not going to lose weight only on your lower body while your upper body stays the same.
That’s just not how it works.
As long as you’re exercising, burning calories, and eating in a calorie deficit, you will lose fat from everywhere.
However, if you want to improve overall strength or muscle size/definition, you may wish to incorporate some upper body workouts into your weekly schedule.
These can range from simple bodyweight exercises like push-ups and pull-ups to weight training (bench press, curls, lateral raises, rows, pull-downs) and boxing.
Summary: Burning Calories and Losing Belly Fat with Skateboarding
Skateboarding is a great way to lose weight. It’s not the most time-efficient way to burn calories, but that’s not really the point.
If losing weight was all about following the numbers, we’d all be subsisting on a diet of broccoli and chicken and spending the day sprinting, swimming, and playing squash.
The goal is to find something that you like, as that way you’re more likely to stick with it. If you love walking, go for a daily hike; if you love running, hit the sidewalk; if you’re passionate about skateboarding, buy a skateboard and head to the skatepark!