“How good a workout is skateboarding?” —Dave W., Chula Vista, Ca
Believe it or not, skateboarding is a rigorous cardio workout. Michele Olson, Ph.D., a professor of exercise science at Auburn University in Alabama, compares the fitness benefits of skateboarding to those of jumping rope and even spinning, because it “goes from pacing to more explosive efforts.”
Even if you’re not attempting any elaborate tricks, just pushing around a board on flat terrain can “accelerate your cardiovascular system and burn between eight and an impressive 12 calories per minute,” says Olson.
Skateboarding also helps develop key muscles like hamstrings, glutes, quads, lower back, and yes, even abs. “Your abs have to work with your back to keep your spine aligned,” Olson says, which is key to maintaining balance on a skateboard.