Does Skateboarding Build Muscle?

by Ben Smith | Last Updated: May 10, 2022

Building muscle is often seen as something that one accomplishes primarily at the gym, but wouldn’t you rather work out while also having fun? Physically demanding activities, such as skateboarding, help build muscle just like other types of physical exertion.

Skateboarding isn’t often viewed as an incredibly demanding sport by outsiders, but effectively riding your board, and especially performing tricks, requires a lot of one’s body, allowing certain muscle groups to get stronger over time.

Of course, a big part of how much stronger your muscles get is dependent on how intense of a skateboarder you are and what kind of tricks you try to do, but even so, there are some muscle groups that get a workout even when you are skateboarding leisurely.

skate on half pipe

Which Muscles does Skateboarding Help Strengthen?

There’s not a single physical exercise in this world that allows you to strengthen every muscle in your body at once, and skateboarding is no exception. It’s even been proven to help with your balance. You shouldn’t expect the sport to serve as a full-body workout that will chisel your entire body, but it does help strengthen certain parts of your body.

Your Legs

The most obvious muscle group to get a workout while skateboarding is your legs, which do most of the work in this sport. Your legs are constantly being used to control your balance, you often have to use them to build up speed, and they are used to exert force when you want to pull off a trick or fancy move.

Of course, this is to say nothing about all the squatting, shifts in direction, and constant “standing” you have to do while skateboarding. Needless to say, your legs will get a good workout unless you are just coasting around and not really doing anything demanding.

The good news is that skateboarding really works nearly every part of your legs, so it’s really great for keeping them in shape while also having a good time. Your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus muscles all have to put in a lot of work while skateboarding, even when you aren’t doing anything too crazy.

Your Lower Back/Core Muscles

While your legs may be the most important part of your stance, your core muscles do most of the balancing for your body overall, and needless to say, skateboarding includes a whole lot of balancing. You have to constantly balance yourself during nearly every aspect of skateboarding, even just riding along a smooth road.

This means your core muscles, which include your hips, abdomen, and lower back muscles, are getting a constant workout while skateboarding. Without a doubt, this muscle group is the one that will get the most out of regular skateboarding, simply because of how crucial they are to the sport. You can control how much your other muscle groups are used, but your core is mandatory to skateboard at all.

grind on bench

Upper Body Muscles

It may sound a little odd, but skateboarding can help build upper body muscles, though this is dependent on how exactly you’re engaging in the sport. This is a muscle group that you can choose not to use while skateboarding, other than pushing yourself up off the ground if you fall.

However, if you like to pull off tricks while skateboarding, there are more opportunities to strengthen your upper body muscles. For instance, many half-pipe tricks require you to use your arms, sometimes, holding up the weight of your entire body. Such tricks would obviously put your arms through quite a workout.

That said, unless you are regularly doing these types of upper body intensive skateboarding tricks, you shouldn’t expect to work out your arms too much while skateboarding since you don’t often need to use them. 

Your Cardiovascular Muscles

Lots of people forget that your heart is a muscular organ, meaning that, in a way, it can also be strengthened, much like your other muscles. Most workouts that increase your blood circulation and heart rate count as cardiovascular exercise, and in many ways, skateboarding helps facilitate this as well.

Admittedly, it may not be the most effective cardiovascular exercise out there, but skateboarding is still a great way to keep your heart strong while also working all of the other aforementioned muscles discussed here.


Skateboarding is often seen as a leisurely hobby, but it’s a very physically intensive sport, especially when one starts engaging in tricks. Because balance is so important to skateboarding, your core muscles are worked almost constantly.

Of course, your legs have to do a lot of work as well, since it is mostly a sport that requires them. Certain tricks can even allow you to strengthen your arms, and being a physical workout, your heart gets strengthened while skateboarding as well.

Overall, skateboarding is a great way to exercise while also having a lot of fun.

Ben is the owner of and has been skateboarding on and off for around 15 years now. It is on this site where he documents what he learns in hopes that others will be able to benefit from it. In his free time, he is skating, watching UFC, or just hanging out with the fam.