Ready to hit the slopes? You’ll need to do more than just grab a helmet and board to get ready. Snowboarding requires a combination of functional movement, flexibility, and muscle strength. Plus, it’s important to practice cardiovascular and aerobic endurance so you have enough energy to skillfully move your way down the slopes all weekend.
This article will provide you with some helpful tips and exercises to get you ready for the season!
Why should you exercise to prepare for snowboarding?
Correct form while snowboarding is crucial to preventing injuries and maximize the efficiency of your movements on the hill. Throughout the day, your fatigue causes your form to deteriorate, leaving your legs feeling out of control. You’ve probably experienced that close call before quitting for the day, where you couldn’t muster the leg strength to get your board pointed in the right direction fast enough. Pre-season training will also decrease the soreness you get on your first day back on the slopes.
What muscles do you use while snowboarding?
While snowboarding, you use your quadriceps and hamstrings to push forward and your calves to guide and turn the board. You also engage your core to remain balanced as well as your feet and ankles to stay upright. Having flexible joints will reduce the chance of damaging tendons and ligaments. Keep reading for ways to stretch and strengthen all of these muscles.
What to Focus on During Training
Prep Body for Challenging Movement.
Snowboarding is aerobically challenging, especially for those who live at lower altitude levels. Start with aerobic exercises to extend your range of motion and increase your tolerance to lower oxygen levels. Aerobics also help to create the angles necessary for high-quality carving. This technique requires flexibility, particularly in the hips and lower body.
Build Muscle Strength.
Tired legs and sore muscles increase the risk of injuries. Work on the lower body muscles you use most when snowboarding: glutes, quads, hamstrings, thighs and calves. Strong muscles increase stamina and endurance, making it easier to last longer on the slopes.
Work on Balance.
Balance is key to good riding because you spend so much of your time keeping your body stacked over your board. Snowboarding helps increase your flexibility, which aids you while changing directions and pace frequently and suddenly.
Get your Heart Rate Up.
Snowboarding can be one of the most exhausting activities because it works almost every muscle in your body. Some exercises ideal for snowboard training would be HIIT. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) requires short bursts of intense activity. These workouts will help train your body to tolerate, and quickly recover from, long periods of snowboarding. These same exercises will help strengthen your heart and improve your lung capacity.
5 Practice Exercises Working Upper and Lower Extremities
Here are a few exercises to work into your daily fitness regime to get you ready for snowboarding!
Oblique Twists with Medicine Ball - Works many muscles in your core. Using a medicine ball adds tension to the core muscles, increasing your balance.
- Sit on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor.
- Hold the medicine ball directly in front of you with both of your hands.
- Contracting your abs, twist slowly from your torso to your right and touch the medicine ball to the floor beside you.
- Contract your abs and twist your torso back to a neutral position, then proceed to touch the medicine ball to the floor on the left side.
- Repeat for a desired number of reps.
Hip Clock - Improves balance and stability while also strengthening the muscles in your hips and legs.
- Stand with your weight balanced on your left leg and knee slightly bent.
- Keep your back straight and weight centered over the standing knee.
- Imagine that you’re at the center of a clock. Lift and extend your right leg, reaching forward toward 12 o’clock.
- Bring your leg back to the center.
- Repeat the movements toward the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. (As you reach for each position, stay balanced over the standing leg and don’t let your hips shift side to side)
- Repeat for a desired number of sequences.
Push-Ups with Bosu Ball - An advanced progression of a basic push-up, strengthening the chest, triceps, and shoulders. The unstable surface of the Bosu ball helps improve balance and stability.
- Place the Bosu ball on a flat surface, semi-sphere side face down.
- From a kneeling position, firmly grasp the hard outer edge of the Bosu ball.
- Place the feet back behind the body to fully extend the hips.
- Initiate the movement downward by flexing the elbows, lowering your torso.
- Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then extend the elbows to return to the starting position.
- Repeat for a desired number of reps.
Squat with Heel & Toe Raise with Resistance Band - Targets the glutes, quadriceps, and calves.
- Place the resistance band above your knees (easier) or around your ankles (harder).
- Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, squatting down like you’re going to sit in a chair.
- With thighs parallel to the ground, lift both heels off the ground at the same time and then lower them.
- Then lift both toes up at the same time and lower them.
- Alternate between heel and toe raises.
- Repeat for a desired number of reps.
Single Leg Deadlift with Dumbbell - Engages the core muscles and increases balance, flexibility, & stability.
- Keep your weight-bearing leg straight and squeeze the core and glute as you extend one leg behind you.
- Extended leg and torso should be parallel to the ground.
- Slowly return to the upright position.
- To increase stamina and balance, try using a lightweight dumbbell in one hand on the same side as you are standing on your one leg.
- Repeat for a desired number of reps with each leg.
Don’t Forget Aerobic Exercise & Stretching
Aerobic exercise allows you to gain optimal physical performance for sustained periods of time, like when you’re snowboarding all weekend. Aerobic endurance maximizes your body’s ability to consume and distribute oxygen to your muscles more efficiently. Your pre-snowboarding workouts should involve Low Intensity Interval Training (LIIT) activities. Some of these workouts include running, swimming, cycling, and boxing. Performing any of these exercises for 30-60 minutes, 3-5 times per week will help you immensely on the slopes.
Ending your workout with some static stretches highly benefits you while training for snowboarding. You’ve increased circulation to the muscles and joints during training, allowing for more flexibility. We recommend 7-10 minutes of stretching to help loosen tight muscles.
Stretching the lower body loosens up your hips and moves your pelvis, offering an increased range of motion. A piriformis stretch works on stretching the lateral rotators of the hip. Overly tight piriformis muscles can press against the nerve and cause all sorts of pain in the lower leg and back. It’s also important to stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings, hip flexors, and groin after exercise.
For more support, use therapeutic probes and massage applicators, such as the Theraband Foot Roller, to relieve any remaining pain and soreness starting at the feet.
Follow these exercises and you’ll be prepared for snowboarding in no time! If you found this guide helpful, don’t forget to share it with your friends to help them prepare for their first day snowboarding!
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Tual, Guillame. (2019) Get Your Clients Snow-Fit. Australian Fitness Network. Retrieved by https://bit.ly/34uz0y1.
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