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I'm a 33 year old male that has recently taken up skateboarding for the physical and mental health benefits.

For the first few weeks I became cardiovascularly and respitorially fatigued before becoming fatigued in my muscles and frame. After a month or so, my cardiovascular and respiratory stamina has greatly increased, and I can often skate until my muscles become weak, and often will because I am having a great time.

After skating I am always very sore. Mostly this is in my muscles, which is actually somewhat pleasurable as my brain uses the soreness as a motivational tactic (you're getting stronger, better, keep it up!) I also sometimes develop soreness in my knees, especially after vigorous sessions. The knee soreness is not pain. It does not bother me when I walk, but standing up from a sitting position and crouching into a squat position produce a dull strained feeling in my knees. I also sometimes feel sore in my ankles, but this is only rarely notiable. All the soreness I described has, so far, always gone away after a day or two.

I'd like to continue this hobby because it is having great benefits, but I do not want to injure myself chronically or acutely. I'm trying to take progress slowly, I'm careful not to attempt maneuvers am not prepared to learn, and I always wear wrist, elbow, and knee padding.

So, given where I am, my questions are:

  • Are there any signs here that I am risking injury, long or short term?
  • What strategies can I adopt to better prevent/lower risk of injuring myself?
  • Are stretches before or after a good idea? If so, what should I be focusing on?
  • Are other exercises a good idea? If so, which ones will help?
  • 1
    Can you narrow your question down a bit, se is a q&a format, not qqqq&aaaa. We are lenient here but 4 questions is a lot – Gunge Jul 25 '16 at 6:13
  • It seems like the primary question is how to avoid injury with a specific focus on stretches and exercises that might help. – Sean Duggan Jul 25 '16 at 12:37
  • Given that I got a really good answer, should I narrow my question to fit the parameters of that answer? – Matthew Drury Jul 26 '16 at 19:19
2

As an over 30's (nearly 40) skate boarder, surfer, and (mainly) snowboarder, I'll take at a crack at these.

Are there any signs here that I am risking injury, long or short term?

Well let's be clear that you're risking injury by skateboarding at all. You're one rock, one crack, or one obstacle away from flying onto the asphalt, and it will happen. If you're talking about exercise induced injury, you can pick up overuse injuries if you pump a lot of miles, especially in the beginning.

What strategies can I adopt to better prevent/lower risk of injuring myself?

Protective equipment. Helmet, wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. Most skateboarders don't wear these which is insane to me because in snowboards most folks wear helmets, and I'd much rather crash on snow than asphalt. It's just a style thing, but I stopped acting like a 13 year old a long time ago. Especially if you're pushing your limits, gear up.

Stop riding if you develop overuse injuries, which is basically "the -itis's" (tendinitis, bursitis). You can can get problems in your ankles, toes, and various parts of your feet (including the tops). Overuse injuries like this can take weeks for the swelling to go down. Get used to taking periods of from skating to let your body heal up fully.

Are stretches before or after a good idea? If so, what should I be focusing on?

Stretching is a big topic, it probably won't help you much. If you like it and it feels good, go for it.

Are other exercises a good idea? If so, which ones will help?

The biggest injuries in skateboarding come from crashing. And while you can't prevent it entirely, the more skilled you are and the more you ride within your skillset, the less you'll crash. If you're going to learn some new stuff or bomb some big hill, gear up.

Regarding exercises in particular though, these are ones that I find pretty handy for board sports:

  • Medicine ball squat toss. I usually aim for a wall in front of me, drop down with the catch, and jump/push getting my feet off the ground. For boards you want to be able to move your weight up and down fast.
  • Single leg romanian deadlift. Even on snowboards, and definitely on skateboards, you're frequently only really on one foot, articulating around. Having that strength and coordination is awesome.
  • Cleans. Probably the hardest thing to learn in a gym. Basically teaches you to move ridiculously fast, uses a ton of muscles, and super good for board sports it transfers through the ankles/feet.
  • Crab walking. As long as you have a conventional board you can crab walk/dance. It's especially good for rainy days in the garage.
  • This is an awesome answer. Thanks Eric. I'm glad I'm old enough that I don't care about looking silly. I've had a few spills already, but the pads have so far kept me safe, just a few bruises and a bit of soreness. I'll take a shot at those exercises. And thanks for the " Get used to taking periods off", that's useful for me to hear. – Matthew Drury Jul 26 '16 at 4:56

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