is skateboarding cardio?

Yes, skateboarding can be considered a form of cardio exercise. It involves continuous movement, which raises your heart rate and improves cardiovascular endurance. Whether you’re cruising down the street, performing tricks, or riding ramps, the physical activity involved in maintaining balance, pushing off the ground, and controlling the skateboard engages various muscle groups and keeps your heart pumping.

The intensity and duration of your skateboarding session will determine how effective it is as a cardio workout, but overall, it provides a fun and dynamic way to boost your cardiovascular health.

how does skateboarding compare to other cardio exercises like running or cycling

Cardiovascular Benefits

Heart Rate Elevation

All three activities effectively elevate the heart rate, a key component of cardiovascular exercise. Running and cycling are often more consistent in maintaining an elevated heart rate, especially over longer distances and durations. Skateboarding, while it can raise the heart rate significantly, might have more variable intensity, especially during trick performance or navigating urban terrain.

Calorie Burning

Calorie expenditure is a crucial factor in evaluating cardio exercises. Running typically burns more calories per hour compared to cycling and skateboarding, due to the higher overall intensity and muscle engagement. However, skateboarding can still burn a significant number of calories, especially during vigorous sessions. Here’s a rough comparison for a person weighing 150 pounds:

  • Running (6 mph): Approximately 600-700 calories per hour
  • Cycling (moderate pace): Approximately 400-600 calories per hour
  • Skateboarding: Approximately 300-400 calories per hour

Muscle Engagement


Running primarily engages the lower body muscles, including the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes. The core also plays a role in maintaining stability and balance.


Cycling targets the lower body as well, but with a different emphasis. It engages the quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and glutes, with additional benefits for the lower back and core due to the posture required to maintain balance on the bike.


Skateboarding provides a full-body workout. Pushing off the ground and maneuvering the skateboard engages the lower body muscles, while maintaining balance and performing tricks involve the core and upper body. This diverse muscle engagement makes skateboarding a comprehensive workout, although it may be less intense than running or cycling in terms of consistent muscle activation.

Impact on Joints


Running, especially on hard surfaces, can put significant stress on the joints, particularly the knees and ankles. This high-impact exercise can lead to injuries if not done with proper form and adequate footwear.


Cycling is a low-impact exercise, making it gentler on the joints compared to running. It is often recommended for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.


Skateboarding falls somewhere in between running and cycling regarding impact. While it is generally lower impact than running, especially on smooth surfaces, falls and tricks can pose risks to joints and bones. Wearing protective gear can help mitigate these risks.

Accessibility and Equipment


Running is highly accessible, requiring minimal equipment—just a good pair of running shoes. It can be done almost anywhere, making it a convenient option for many.


Cycling requires a bike and, ideally, some additional gear like a helmet, gloves, and appropriate clothing. It also requires a suitable environment, such as roads, trails, or cycling paths.


Skateboarding requires a skateboard and protective gear like a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads. Access to smooth, safe surfaces like skate parks or urban areas with minimal traffic is also important. While it might require more specific environments than running, it is still relatively accessible.

Enjoyment and Variety


Running is straightforward and can be very enjoyable for those who like repetitive motion and endurance activities. It offers limited variety in terms of movement but allows for changes in terrain and pace.


Cycling can be very enjoyable, offering a sense of speed and the ability to cover long distances. It provides more variety than running in terms of route options and the type of cycling (road biking, mountain biking, etc.).


Skateboarding offers a unique blend of physical activity and creative expression. The variety of tricks and maneuvers provides endless possibilities for progression and enjoyment. It combines physical exertion with skill development, making it engaging for those who enjoy learning new techniques and challenges.

are there any mental health benefits unique to skateboarding compared to other cardio exercises


Skateboarding is as much an art form as it is a sport. Skaters have the freedom to create and perform tricks in their own unique style. This creative expression is a significant mental health benefit, providing a sense of individuality and accomplishment that is less prevalent in more structured cardio exercises like running or cycling.

Skill Progression

The continuous learning and mastery of new tricks and techniques in skateboarding provide a constant sense of progression and achievement. This process of setting goals, practicing, and eventually succeeding can boost self-esteem and provide a sense of purpose and direction.

Focus and Concentration

Skateboarding requires intense focus and concentration. Skaters need to be fully present to execute tricks and navigate obstacles, which helps divert attention from stress and negative thoughts. This state of mindfulness is similar to meditation, providing a mental break from daily worries and enhancing overall mental clarity.

Stress Reduction

The combination of physical activity and creative expression in skateboarding can significantly reduce stress levels. The release of endorphins during physical exertion, coupled with the satisfaction of landing a new trick, can provide a powerful antidote to stress and anxiety.

Skating Culture and Community

Skateboarding has a vibrant and inclusive community. Skaters often gather at skate parks, forming social bonds and supportive networks. This sense of community and belonging can improve mental health by providing social support, reducing feelings of isolation, and fostering a sense of connectedness.

Positive Peer Influence

Engaging with a community of skaters can provide positive peer influence. Observing others’ skills and learning from more experienced skaters can be motivating and inspiring. The encouragement and feedback from peers can enhance confidence and promote a positive self-image.

Overcoming Challenges

Skateboarding teaches resilience and perseverance. Failing and falling are integral parts of learning new tricks. Skaters develop a mindset of persistence and determination, which can translate into other areas of life. This resilience helps in coping with setbacks and challenges, contributing to better mental health.

Coping with Fear

Skateboarding often involves overcoming fear, whether it’s attempting a new trick or navigating a difficult obstacle. Learning to manage and conquer fear in a controlled environment can build confidence and reduce anxiety in everyday situations.

Personal Control

Skateboarding offers a high degree of autonomy. Skaters can choose their own paths, set personal goals, and decide how and when to practice. This sense of personal control and freedom is empowering and can enhance overall mental well-being.

Outdoor Activity

Skateboarding is typically done outdoors, which adds the mental health benefits associated with spending time in nature. Being outside can improve mood, reduce stress, and enhance overall mental health, providing an additional layer of benefit compared to indoor activities.

Unique Challenges

Each trick and maneuver in skateboarding is unique and presents its own set of challenges. Successfully performing a difficult trick provides a unique sense of achievement that is distinct from the repetitive nature of running or cycling. This sense of accomplishment can significantly boost self-esteem and provide a sense of pride.

Individual Progress

The individual nature of skateboarding allows for personal progress at one’s own pace. Unlike competitive sports, where progress is often measured against others, skateboarding allows individuals to focus on their own growth and improvement, fostering a healthier self-image and reducing performance anxiety.

Practical Tips for Using Skateboarding as Cardio

Start Slowly

If you’re new to skateboarding, start slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your sessions. Begin with basic movements and cruising before attempting more complex tricks and maneuvers.

Wear Protective Gear

Safety is paramount when skateboarding. Always wear appropriate protective gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. This gear helps prevent injuries and allows you to skate with confidence.

Mix Up Your Routine

To keep your skateboarding sessions interesting and effective, mix up your routine. Incorporate different terrains, such as skate parks, streets, and ramps, to challenge your skills and keep your heart rate elevated.

Track Your Progress

Consider using a fitness tracker to monitor your heart rate and calorie expenditure during skateboarding sessions. Tracking your progress can help you set goals and stay motivated to continue improving your cardiovascular fitness.


Skateboarding is not only a fun and engaging activity but also an effective form of cardio exercise. The continuous movement, muscle engagement, and heart rate elevation involved in skateboarding contribute to its cardiovascular benefits. By incorporating skateboarding into your fitness routine, you can improve your cardiovascular health, enhance endurance, and enjoy the mental health benefits that come with this exciting sport. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner, skateboarding offers a unique and enjoyable way to stay active and healthy.

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