Starting June 3, for $1.99, skateboarders can stretch with P-Rod. Provided they have an iPhone or iPad, that is.
The first in a series of stretching and conditioning apps from Paul Rodriguez and his trainer, Alexandra Laws, the iCoreSkate Stretch app is the first workout app targeted specifically to the action sports set. "Growing up skating, the mentality is anti-athletic and rebellious," Rodriguez says. "That works well and good when you're 15 and invincible. But when you're 20 and start feeling pains in your legs, you have to do more than just skate. If you love skating and can't see your life without it, you need to stretch."
When Rodriguez, now 27, was in his early 20s, he says didn't stretch regularly and started feeling sore and unmotivated to skate. "I noticed a lot of kids get to around 23 or 24 and they start hurting, but they think it's just part of getting older," he says. "I want them to realize, like I did, that 23 is young and there's no reason for your body to be sore all the time."
Three years ago, Rodriguez began working out with Laws after Rob Dyrdek introduced him to her. Laws had been training Dyrdek for years, and also worked with skateboarders Danny Way, Colin McKay and Bob Burnquist. "I wanted to find a way to prolong my skateboarding," says Rodriguez, who now stretches before and after every skate session and works out with Laws two to three times a week. "Alex opened up a whole new world for me. My stamina is much better. I can skate hard, recover and skate again the next day just as aggressively. My body feels better than ever. I feel like I'm 17."
Laws says she began her early sessions with P-Rod in the same way she's chosen to roll out the apps: with lessons on stretching. "We collaborated and decided these are the nine most important stretches for skateboarders," Laws says. "Three of them are done on a foam roller and we talk about the importance of rolling out your muscles."
In her years working with action sports athletes, Laws, a former competitive triathlete from Australia, found that the key to introducing conditioning into a skateboarder's routine is to focus, just like when learning tricks, on progression. "Of all the sports I work with, skateboarding beats up the body the most," she says. "I find that most skaters are incredibly tight."
Rodriguez says he realizes that, for many skaters, the biggest deterrent to stretching and working out is the worry that it will damage their image. "You don't need to put on a yoga outfit to stretch," he says. "You can do it in your regular street clothes like I do in the video. Stretching for just 10 minutes before and after you skate will stretch your skate prime. It has for me."