Does Skateboarding Improve Balance?
From niche sport to mainstream activity – skateboarding is popular with a range of young people worldwide. Aside from the tricks, skateboarding brings a number of impressive health benefits, one of which is improved balance.
Continue reading to find out why skateboarding is so good for you and how this hobby can help to improve your balance.
How Does Skateboarding Improve Balance?
The art of skateboarding comes down to balance, but it’s not a skill everyone is born with. Instead, skateboarders practice repeatedly, increasing their core strength as they continually activate the muscles needed for good balance.
What makes skateboarding so effective is that it forces you into various stretches and positions that you wouldn’t usually experience in everyday life.
How Do You Balance On A Skateboard?
Balance is at the heart of skateboarding – every time you fail, it’s a sign that you lost your balance. While you might have been lucky enough to be born with good balance, several disciplines (such as skateboarding) can help you improve over time.
The way to maintain your balance is to adjust your center of gravity; this is where most of your weight rests at that moment.
If you think about an inanimate object such as a chair or table, it has open legs to spread the width of its ground connection. That’s why it’s easier for us to balance when we have our feet apart rather than close together.
When you apply this theory to skateboarding, you can see why a balance change is needed as you skate. Any time the board changes direction, hits an obstacle, or leaves the ground, you need to adjust your body to retain your balance on the board.
The board’s distance from the ground also affects its center of gravity. When you stand still, your center of gravity is somewhere around your belly button, but if you bend your legs, you move your center of gravity lower down your body and stabilize yourself.
And the same theory applies to skateboarding; if you bend down with your knees apart, you increase your stability, but if you stand up tall, it can make you less steady on your feet.
What Are The Physical Benefits Of Skateboarding?
One of the reasons why skateboarding improves balance is that it’s a discipline that requires strength and coordination to do it successfully.
Regular skateboarding practice benefits coordination in the hands, arms, feet, and legs – and this increased coordination can transfer to other areas of the body. Skateboarding also promotes a healthy metabolism through an energetic and exciting form of exercise. It works on various muscle groups helping to build strength throughout the body.
The physical traits listed below come from regular skateboard practice and help to increase your overall strength and balance.
When skateboarding, you need to keep your body limber, and your ankles flexed. This helps to increase the overall level of flexibility in the body.
Provides a full-body workout.
You twist your body, move your feet and legs, and use your arms for balance as you skateboard. All of these actions happen simultaneously, which works out your entire body and increases your range of movement.
Increases your endurance
Many people skateboard for pleasure rather than for exercise, so they’ll find themselves engaging in the sport for several hours, which helps increase physical endurance levels. Not only do you get lots of skating practice, but you increase your stamina for other sports and exercises.
Teaches you precision
When you’re learning a new skateboarding trick, you have to practice the same move repeatedly. You’re working on mastering a precise movement that allows you to complete a trick.
As you work to achieve these precise movements, you adjust your foot position, arm placement, speed, etc. These mini movements work different muscle areas and build up your overall strength.
Improves your coordination
That’s a lot to coordinate when skateboarding – arms, legs, hands, feet. These skills of precision and coordination are integral for many elements of daily life, and one significant benefit they carry is that they help improve your balance.
How Can I Improve My Balance For Skateboarding?
Skateboarding, in itself, is one of the best ways to build strength, but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. If you’re regularly practicing but struggling to find that balance, there are ways to increase this skill.
Physical training can help to increase the agility and balance for skateboarding. These include:
- Wall sits
These exercises don’t need extra equipment, and consistency is the primary key to success. Set up a routine that you engage in 3-4 times a week and stick to your program for increased strength and balance.
Another excellent option for skateboard training is to invest in a balance board. This is a favorite among skateboarders and allows you to train even in bad weather. Practicing movements and tricks on a balance board increases your stamina and builds muscle memory.
The alternative to a balance board is a Bosu Ball, a piece of fitness equipment that looks like an exercise ball cut in half. The Bosu Ball shares similar benefits to the balance board and allows you to test moves and positions to build stamina, strength, and coordination.
Skateboarding is a complex discipline that takes weeks of practice (and several falls) to master even the most simple tricks. Skateboarding improves your balance over time, but it comes with risks too.
Utilizing a balance board and other training equipment can provide a valuable tool to build your strength and stamina in a safe environment to encourage your progress on the board.