Long-boarding is the ultimate adrenaline workout that engages your entire body. All you need is a long-board and pavement to complete the most thrilling aerobic body work-out that will leave you feeling fit and strong. Here is a breakdown of the reasons why long-boarding is the work-out you need to try.
While you long-board, you are constantly engaging your entire body to keep yourself from wiping out. To maintain your position on your long-board, you have to tighten your abdominal muscles. Your core is a key element while you are long-boarding because it is the center of your balance. Similar to surfing and skateboarding, long-boarding requires total body engagement to balance. Your body will constantly need to readjust it’s position to maintain a stability engaging all major muscle groups.
To make your long-board move forward, you need to use one foot to balance on the board while the other strikes the ground to push forward. This motion is basically single leg squats on a balance board. Your front quadriceps, calf, and glutes work extra hard while you are pumping. Your hamstrings are the trigger to the entire pushing motion. While your quads pushes off of the ground, your hamstrings pull your extended leg back to quickly reload for another push. Next time you going long-boarding, be sure to count it as your leg day.
Riding your long-board requires your body to be in constant motion. The benefits from long-boarding as a cardio workout is that oxygen is distributed to your muscles — which strengthens your heart. If you choose to casually long-board, you still will have completed a low-cardio workout. Overall, cardio workouts increase your heart rate and your lung capacity. An hour of long-boarding can contribute to hundreds of calories lost, depending on rigor and your overall fitness.
Cruising on a long-board is the most relaxed way to ride, but it still works your entire body. The best way to cruise is if you find a nice long hill road and to casually ride down. This type of long-boarding style requires little pumping action. To cruise, you engage your hip-flexers, quadriceps, and calves to maintain a steady balance and controlled ride. Position yourself in a constant squat to ensure control and you will quickly feel a burn in your legs. Depending on how fast you would like to go, you may use your calfs to lean you body weight forward and backward to weave down the pavements for a slower ride. This engages your core to remain strong for balance.
While you are cruising down a hill, but want a more thrilling ride, you need to tuck your body. This motion is where you squat as far down as you can. By doing this your body is in a more compact position, so there is less air resistance. In other words, you go fast! This motion is difficult, requiring complete control of the body, and a strong core to balance. Remaining in a tuck requires muscle endurance. If you tuck while long-boarding, you will engage your quads, calves, core, and lower back.
It takes incredible strength to balance while long-boarding. The longer you long-board, the more strength you will build over time to cruise for longer periods of time. Strength comes from your core and distributes to your arms from momentum and your legs for power. The strength comes from the constant engagement with your core, legs, and lower back in order to balance. Your muscles will gain strength over time. Essentially, the longer you balance, pump, tuck, and carve, the stronger your body becomes.
Need a workout other than just burning your quads when you push? Well, you do not even need to move your feet off the board to pump. Pumping is where you quickly transition your body-weight distribution from your heels to your toes repeatedly in a bouncing motion. This will propel your board in a snaking motion forward. While you bounce from heal to toe, your heart rate will also increase because your body is put to work making this an excellent cardio move. You need to swing your arms to maintain balance every jump. This really engages your entire body from you biceps to propel, to your calves and achilles.
Similar to pumping, carving is taxing on every muscle while you’re long-boarding. Carving is swerving in an ‘S’ motion without needing to push from your board. It is similar to pumping; however, the motion is more exaggerated and drawn out. Carving relies on focused balance and fast reactions. The motion of shifting body weight from the toes to the heals are similar to calf-raises and squats. Surfers use this maneuver to practice the body-intense motion of snapping the surfboard while riding the wave. Mastering this skill will improve your core and balance exponentially.
Part of maintaining balance and control while long-boarding relies on your body’s ability to adjust quickly to various positions. This skill opens up joints allowing for more flexibility in your body. Especially in the ankles and lower back. Long-boarding, as an exercise, physically stretches out important areas in your body. While pushing, your pushing leg extends stretching out your hip-flexor and your lower back. While you carve, your body moves in a wave motion stretching your neck, back, arms, and legs.
The core is the heart of long-boarding. It is where the power, strength, and balance is location in your body. The tighter and stronger your core is, the more control and stamina you will have for your next long-boarding ride. Core muscles work extra hard during a long-boarding workout. Balance and strength as two key elements to long-boarding, and they both rely on the core to guide their movements. Every ride will challenge your core muscles to activate. Over time, long-boarding will strengthen your abdominal muscles. A strong core will allow other muscles to strengthen as well during your ride.
Share your long-boarding work-outs in the comments below. Happy riding!
Feature Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/664914332473014153/
Julia grew up in a town just outside of Chicago. She currently lives in Memphis, Tennessee where she is a junior Creative Writing and Literature major at Rhodes College. Julia prefers to spend her days outside writing stories for others to find joy in. Other than story-telling, you will find Julia running on her college track and field team and traveling the world.