Skateboarding has seen a major resurgence in popularity in recent years. Once viewed as a rebellious activity for teenagers, skateboarding is now recognized as a legitimate sport and recreational activity for people of all ages. Many people have turned to skateboarding as a fun way to stay active and get some exercise. But is skateboarding actually an effective activity for losing belly fat and getting in shape? There are some key factors to consider.
One of the main reasons people turn to exercise for weight loss is to burn calories. Skateboarding does provide a moderate calorie burn, which can help create the calorie deficit needed to lose fat. According to Harvard Health, a 155 pound person will burn around 167 calories in 30 minutes of skateboarding. This is a similar calorie burn to playing doubles tennis or walking briskly. While not an extremely intense calorie burn, it can add up over time as part of a consistent exercise routine. The amount of calories burned while skateboarding will vary based on the person’s weight and skateboarding intensity. Moving faster and attempting tricks will burn more calories in a shorter time.
Engaging the Core
Skateboarding works the abdominal muscles and engages the core. Balance and stability are crucial when riding a skateboard. This requires activating the abdominal muscles and core area. Stronger abs and core will also help improve balance and control on the skateboard as well. Working the core is important for both losing belly fat and developing functional strength. Core exercises are commonly recommended as part of a well-rounded fitness routine. The core activation from skateboarding essentially doubles as abdominal exercise.
Combining Cardio and Strength Training
Skateboarding combines cardiovascular exercise with strength and resistance training. Pushing and riding the skateboard provides a cardio workout for the lower body. Meanwhile, the stability challenges work the core muscles while tricks like ollies work the legs. This makes skateboarding a cross-training exercise. Combining cardio and muscle-strengthening activity is recommended for overall fitness and body composition. Focusing on just cardio or weights alone is less effective. The combined benefit of skateboarding could promote fat loss in the midsection as well as overall lean muscle development.
Improving Fitness and Health
Regular skateboarding can improve measures of health and fitness. Studies show skateboarding can improve cardiovascular health markers like VO2 max and lower body muscle endurance. Skateboarding can also improve balance and motor skills. This increased fitness level will make fat loss easier to achieve. When the body is more fit and conditioned, burning calories and fat comes easier. The body is simply working more efficiently. Improving fitness through skateboarding sets up the right environment for shedding belly fat.
Skateboarding is typically done outdoors at parks, complexes or on the streets. Being outside and active has both physical and mental benefits. From a fitness standpoint, the varied terrain outdoors provides an unstable surface that challenges balance and engages more muscles. The sunshine also provides vitamin D and can help elevate mood. Skateboarding outdoors makes the activity more enjoyable while also burning more calories. The more enjoyable an activity is, the easier it is to stay consistent with it as well.
Lower Body and Leg Focus
While skateboarding does work the core, it primarily targets the lower body and leg muscles. Pushing and maneuvering the board relies heavily on the legs. Tricks like ollies work the calves, shins and thighs through explosive jumping movements. This can help tone and shape the legs. But fat loss tends to occur more uniformly over the body instead of targeting specific areas. Spot reduction of belly fat through lower body exercise is difficult. However, building lean muscle mass in the lower body will contribute to an increased metabolism and calories burned 24/7.
Aerobic vs Anaerobic Exercise
From a fat loss standpoint, aerobic steady-state cardio is more effective than anaerobic or interval training. Long moderate cardio sessions tend to burn more subcutaneous fat as fuel. Skateboarding falls more into the intense, anaerobic category. The start-stop nature and explosive tricks qualify as HIIT or high-intensity interval training. While beneficial for fitness, anaerobic exercise doesn’t necessarily optimize fat burning potential. The fat loss effects of skateboarding may be limited compared to aerobic exercise like jogging or cycling.
The fitness benefits and fat burning effects of skateboarding will depend largely on the difficulty and intensity level. Casually cruising around on flat ground will burn fewer calories than continuously doing tricks and skating hills. New skaters will also burn fewer calories initially compared to experienced skaters who can sustain longer sessions. Periods of high-intensity skating need to be balanced with recovery as well. Pushing too hard as a beginner can increase injury risk and lead to overtraining if rest days are not factored in.
Potential for Injury
Skateboarding does carry a moderate degree of injury risk, especially for new skaters. Falls and wipeouts are common when learning new tricks. Sprains, fractures and other impact injuries are possible. A skateboarding injury will sideline any fat loss progress while recovery takes place. Injured skaters will need to temporarily reduce activity levels and potentially take a break from skateboarding altogether. Avoiding injury through proper protective gear and technique is important to maintain consistency.
No amount of exercise can counteract a poor diet. Too much calorie intake will overshadow the fat burning effects of skateboarding. Lean proteins, fiber, healthy fats and reduced sugar intake should be the focus. Avoiding empty calorie junk foods is important. Skateboarding alone will contribute minimal fat loss if the diet is not in check. Creating a calorie deficit through proper nutrition is critical, especially for losing stubborn belly fat.
Weight Loss Timeline
While skateboarding can help burn fat over time, dramatic weight loss in short periods is unlikely. It takes consistent training and diet adherence for multiple weeks to begin to see meaningful fat loss. For substantial belly fat reduction, a commitment of several months is typically needed before noticeable progress in photos or clothing size. Engaging in spot training with the hopes of rapid localized fat loss tends to lead to frustration. Setting reasonable timelines and expectations is key.
Skateboarding can contribute to an overall fat loss plan and help create a calorie deficit. The activity provides a moderate cardio workout while also engaging the core muscles and lower body. It combines cardiovascular and resistance training benefits. Skateboarding may not burn as many total calories as other traditional cardio machines. But it can raise the heart rate while also improving balance, coordination and skill development. For optimal belly fat and weight loss results, skateboarding should be paired with a reduced calorie diet, aerobic exercise and strength training. As an enjoyable recreational activity, it can support an active lifestyle and improved body composition over time.
|Burns a moderate amount of calories
|Not optimized specifically for fat loss
|Engages core muscles
|Higher injury risk than other cardio
|Combines cardio and resistance training
|Limited aerobic benefits
|Supports active lifestyle
|Difficulty level affects calorie burn
|Works lower body muscles
|Doesn’t induce targeted spot fat loss
|Fun recreational activity
|Can’t outpace poor diet
Example Beginner Skateboarding Workout
Here is a sample beginner level 30 minute skateboarding workout:
Warm Up – 5 minutes
- Light pumping/carving around flat surface
- Stretch lower body major muscle groups
Skating Session – 20 minutes
- Attempt ollies while moving – 5 minutes
- Practice kickturns on slight decline – 5 minutes
- Skate over varied terrain including small hills – 5 minutes
- Interval push – maximize speed for 30 seconds then easy pace – 5 minutes
Cool Down – 5 minutes
- Light pumping to slow heart rate
- Balance exercises – 30 second one-legged stands
- Repeat lower body stretches
Sample Skateboarding Training Split for Fat Loss
Here is one way to structure a weekly skateboarding program along with other exercise for optimal fat loss results:
- Skateboarding – 60 minutes continuous skating with pace variations
- Lower body strength training – squats, lunges, calf raises
- Abdominal circuit – crunches, planks, heel touches
- Rest Day
- Skateboarding intervals – 30 seconds fast skating, 90 seconds moderate pace
- Upper body strength training – pushups, shoulder press, bicep curls
- Cardio – jogging, cycling or swimming
- Skateboarding skills practice – work on flatground tricks
- Rest Day
Nutrition for Fat Loss
Here are some key diet strategies to maximize fat loss while skateboarding:
- Maintain a calorie deficit – consume fewer calories than you burn through exercise and daily activity
- Prioritize lean proteins – eat foods like chicken, fish, Greek yogurt
- Increase fiber intake – eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains
- Healthy fats – avocado, nuts, olive oil
- Eat slow-digesting carbs – oats, brown rice, quinoa
- Stay hydrated with water
- Limit sugar, fried foods, processed ingredients
- Allow yourself occasional treats in moderation
Making sustainable long-term changes takes patience and consistency. But combining skateboarding exercise with proper nutrition habits will help shed unwanted belly fat over time.