Warm Ups For Skateboarders: The Full Guide With Program

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Warming up can have a huge effect on your skate sesh performance, yet in my time as a skater I can count on one hand the number of skaters I’ve seen warming up at the skate park. Why is that?

Is it because no one wants to get on the manky ground to perform their warm up exercises?

Perhaps you don’t want to be seen warming up in front of the homies for fear of losing cool points?

Are most skaters just way too pumped to get to the spot and feeling rushed to get into it? Possibly.

In this post we aim to cover warm ups 101: Not only shedding some light on why warm ups are so important for skaters and the benefits they have, but also how to do it with minimum time and maximum carry over.

Injury Prevention:

Warm ups are massive for preventing injuries because they improve range of motion and mobility prior to skating. This leads to greater functional outputs in a skate-specific setting as well as decreased risk of injury since you have a more active range of motion available to you.


Not often thought about when skipping your warm ups but performance in pop and power can be severely hindered due to a shitty warm up.

Why is that?

A warm muscle will always contract more forcefully and relax quicker than one that is cold. The ability to prep like this is HUGE for skaters and will be a part of everything you do on a skateboard. A great skate-specific example here is the contraction and stiffening up hard for the pop, then relaxing to drive those legs in the air before the contraction and stiffening of muscles again to absorb the landing.

Priming the Nervous System – Clumsy Falls & Waking the Fuck Up!

“It was so random, I do way harder stuff then that but I don’t know what happened”

Those clumsy early sesh falls are always the worst because they are usually the ones that impact you the most and on top of that you don’t even have a cool story about how you got injured. Ever wondered why they happen? You guessed it, Shitty warm ups!

Warming up a muscle increases the sensitivity of nerve receptors and their transmission speed. This increases both speed and reaction time and is referred to as “waking up the nervous system”. This is often why we fall prey to “clumsy” injuries or mistakes early on in the sesh as our speed and reaction time simply is not firing to match the intensity of what we are trying to do.

Even the simple things you do on a board are way quicker than what your nervous system and body are primed for at rest, so whilst you are thinking, “easy trick”, your body, brain and nervous system is still operating at the speed of “being at home chilling on the couch”. This is a recipe for disaster.

Now that we have the benefits, let’s see what a good warm up actually looks like. A warm up can be broken up into two phases:

General: A group of specific exercises that will help you begin to raise your body temperature and “get loose”, bringing you out of positions of tightness adopted throughout the day (for example sitting all day at work) or even tightness from the last skate. This is where we take care of mobility and priming drills, and look to restore the body to a base level of operation.

The basis of the general phase will be utilising things like foam rolling, dynamic stretching and mobility drills. It’s important to note that static stretching in the warm up has been proven to impede a muscle’s ability to contract more forcefully, so if maximum performance is the goal it’s not advised. This will have big implications to your power and pop.

Specific: These are exercises that build up to your activity and need to be as specific as possible. This will include slowly exposing yourself to the activity you are about to perform, i.e. skating, as you slowly perform short bouts of more intense drills that mimic positions and forces you will be exposed to when you skate.

As mentioned earlier I have rarely seen skaters warming up at the spot and I feel a great deal of this is due to most warm ups requiring them to get comfortable on the manky ground and performing their warm up drills, and to be honest, not even I want to do that.

This is where I got thinking of a solution: Perform the general warm up at home. This will allow you to get on the ground comfortably, take your time and do things properly. Most importantly no one has to see it. Then when you get to the skate spot you can perform your specific warm up. Now remember these exercises need to be as specific to skating as possible and ain’t nothing going to be more specific to skating then, well, skating. So this is exactly what you’ll be doing with a little guidance on how to do it properly.

Let’s get in to it:

General Prep Phase: At Home

The first program will be the general warm up you perform at home. I‘ve given you two here. The first is a more extensive warm up to work on the qualities you will need to express when you skate, breaking you out of bad patterns and beginning the process of firing the nervous system.

Extensive Warm up Series:

A1Hamstring Curl Pulsehttps://youtu.be/ZopezRgLNJ8 10-20 pulses2-3
A2Bridge Reachhttps://youtu.be/wh7XcvuYKyI 8-10 total 2-3
B190/90 W Reachhttps://youtu.be/hi0mbtC6Ltc 10 total2-3
B2Adductor Rock Backhttps://youtu.be/u2XJF7Nz_FY 8-102-3
C1Cat Cowhttps://youtu.be/5UpyPD7Cis8 2-3
C2World’s Greatest Stretchhttps://youtu.be/55881iFLgy0 8 total 2-3

The second is my go-to quick warm up: 3 exercises and you’re done. This is for those times you are in a rush and need to rush down to skate. Make no mistake, what seems simple on paper is complex in thought and these 3 exercises are designed to have maximum efficiency in hitting all the right things skaters need to be doing for their warm up.

Quick Warm Up Series:

A1SLDL Wall Openerhttps://youtu.be/wIyJxDQ0hFw 82-3
A2Hamstring Curl Pulsehttps://youtu.be/ZopezRgLNJ8 10-20 pulses2-3
A3World’s Greatest Stretchhttps://youtu.be/55881iFLgy0 82-3

Specific Phase: At the Spot

This second program will be done at the spot. Here you will look to perform simple drills to put the finishing touches on what you began at home in the general preparation phase, mixed in with bouts of skating in between. Both ramp up in intensity over a period of time. It’s important here to pay attention to how the body is feeling before you move on to each stage. There is no given time frame or number of rounds you should do in each stage. This should be done by feel as some days you can move through these stages quickly whilst others will take time.

Each skater will be unique here and the level of tricks you will perform at each stage will be dependent on your skill set.

Stage 1:

Click here for follow along: https://youtu.be/tiG2m7gdPiA 

AAnkle Rotationshttps://youtu.be/0FebdR7WHIg 20-30 secs1-3
BSquat holdshttps://youtu.be/YjD1iqlQ0OI 20-30 secs1-3
CSupported Calf Raiseshttps://youtu.be/iDz0sRFK78s 20-30 secs1-3
DSkating: light pushing, mannys, and general rolling around2-3 mins1-3

Stage 2:

Click here for follow along: https://youtu.be/Qm-UHNl18NM 

ASquat Holdshttps://youtu.be/YjD1iqlQ0OI 20-30 secs1-3
BHip Circleshttps://youtu.be/-WJuymV1DaQ 20-30 secs1-3
CBoard Bounceshttps://youtu.be/8vZKxeLadpo 20-30 secs1-3
DBoard Swingshttps://youtu.be/-iB3jfFB_SM 20-30 secs1-3
ESkating:light popping movements/tricks at a lowered intensity, mannys, pushing and rolling around2-3 mins1-3

Stage 3:

Click here for follow along: https://youtu.be/GIqlf912op4 

ASquat Hold w Calf Bouncehttps://youtu.be/hd0AXN27C9w 20-30 secs1-3
BAdductor Side to Sidehttps://youtu.be/kUUFBoBe-j0 20-30 secs1-3
CBoard Swingshttps://youtu.be/-iB3jfFB_SM 20-30 secs1-3
DLeg Swings: Forwardhttps://youtu.be/KEvXqtzEpGA 20-30 secs1-3
ESkating:Increase intensity of speed and power of the tricks being performed in stage 2.2-3 mins1-3

Stage 4:

Click here for follow along:  https://youtu.be/L5VhiLowTYM 

ASquat Hold w Calf Bouncehttps://youtu.be/hd0AXN27C9w 20-30 secs1-3
BLeg Swings: Forwardhttps://youtu.be/KEvXqtzEpGA 20-30 secs1-3
CLeg Swings: Sidehttps://youtu.be/BWOwuUurOpc 20-30 secs1-3
DBoard Swingshttps://youtu.be/-iB3jfFB_SM 20-30 secs1-3
ESkating:Begin performing all your tricks at full speed, intensity, power and performance. It is still advised that you stick to tricks you are comfortable with at this stage for a little while longer before you begin working on things you want to land.

Remember, some days you can move through this process quite quickly and others it will take more time. Warm ups are a chance for you to get to know your body and when it is working optimally and at its peak. Essentially when it’s ready to push. If you pay attention in the warm up process it will give you far more feedback and education on your own body then you ever thought possible.

To see how this process goes down be sure to check out the Instagram post where I walk you through a great example of how the specific side of the warm up is done.


Hopefully this now gives you a great idea of how to warm up effectively for skating so you can reap all the benefits associated with it and keep skating injury free.

To get this entire warm up series in an easy to use app plus all the programs you will ever need for a lifetime of skate performance be sure to check out the Skateboard Strength App 📱