Skaters aren’t crusting over and dropping off like they used to. We still have Koston, B.A., Reynolds, Daewon, Mariano and even Tony Hawk regularly tearing shit up into their 40s. Of course, they could just be lucky but I’m willing to bet the secret behind this skateboarding fountain of youth has something to do with stretching and/or not doing meth.
I am a yoga teacher and a skateboarder specializing in Yin Yoga, which I feel is especially helpful for athletes (yes, skateboarders can be athletes too) because it accesses the connective tissue in the body. That means stronger, more resilient tendons, ligaments and a better range of motion in the joints (also, Google the word fascia). Yoga is much more than just stretching but reaping the physical rewards of the practice is easy and can help you stay skateboarding until you’re old as shit.
This is my stretching routine that I use to keep from becoming a shriveled-up-broken-off-crusty-old burnout-gimme-your-board-so-I-can-try-to-heel-flip-’cuz-I-used-to-skate-type-of-guy. It only takes 25 minutes to do so you’ll be done before your homie even finishes his blunt behind the bathrooms or whatever.
What you’ll need
1. Enough space on the floor to stretch your legs out in front of you.
2. A pillow (A skateboard, backpack or hoodie can be a good substitute, if needed).
3. A timer (I use my phone).
4. Headphones (Listen to music that will actually relax you, not Black Sabbath).
1. Hold each pose for 1-2 minutes (It’s going to suck but stay with it and breathe. If it hurts, back off a bit until it doesn’t).
2. Close your eyes, RELAX YOUR MUSCLES AND BREATHE. Disengaging your muscles and slumping over like a dead body is the most important thing to remember here.
3. Stay still (No matter how much you want to itch your balls – don’t).
This is meant for educational and entertainment purposes – we are not your doctor – so do each pose to your own limits / style. If you feel any pain, back off. If you want more information on how to get into each pose, we linked video tutorials to each title with detailed breakdowns. Don’t be an ass and sue us because you can’t read. Thanks.
1. TOE SQUAT
Start on your hands and knees. Bring your knees and feet together. Tuck your toes and sit back on your heels. Tuck the toes under and try to be on the balls of the feet, not the tippy-toes.
WHY?: Skating is especially hard on the feet. This is rejuvenating but also painful.
NOTES: If the pose becomes too challenging, stand up on the knees, relieving most of the pressure on the toe joints. When you feel you can handle it again, sit back down on the heels. If the knees are uncomfortable, place a blanket under them or a cushion between the hips and heels. You may enjoy a rolled-up towel behind the knees, which helps to release the knee joint.
2. ANKLE STRETCH
Sit on the bottom of your feet and lean back.
WHY?: Stressing your tendons and ligaments makes them stronger and more resilient. This means you’ll be less likely to injure your ankle when you land primo trying to kickflip in front of some babes at the park.
NOTES: Try each round for about one minute. This pose is relatively intense, this shouldn’t be held for a long time if there is a lot of discomfort. Placing a rolled-up towel or cushion behind the knees / between the thighs and calves may be required.
Sit between your feet. If you feel like your knees are going to explode, sit on a pillow or skip this one altogether. You should feel this in your thighs and lower back, not your knees. Then begin to lean back on your hands, elbows or all the way onto your back, (if you can). Once you’ve done it for a while, come out slow… like really slow.
WHY?: The quads and hip flexors are the primary muscles involved in the physiological process of skateboarding. They’re the targeted muscles in this stretch along with an opening in the sacral-lumbar arch. Not to mention the psycho-emotional-energetic unblocking you’ll experience – not my fault if you get a boner.
NOTES: Not suggested if you have a bad back or tight sacroiliac (SI) joints. Knees and ankles can be strained too much here for some people, so if you experience any sharp or burning pain here, come out.
Bring the bottoms of your feet together in front of you so your knees come out to the side. Fold forward. Round your spine and relax your neck.
WHY?: For maximum range of motion in the hip socket, and back muscle release.
NOTES: If the neck is too stressed, support the head in the hands, resting elbows on thighs or a block
WHY?: Drains bad stuff in your body and replaces it with good stuff. It also chills you out (Do it before bed if you can’t sleep or before a long flight).
NOTES: This is great after a long skate session to reduce inflammation of the feet and legs.
Stretching and stressing the tissues of the body makes them stronger, more resilient and fights physical deterioration, A.K.A. aging. So if you want to keep skating until you’re old as shit, give yourself a little time and love. Your body will reward you.