It's time to get ready for the snow season. Every year around this time I start getting really excited that snowboarding is right around the corner.
It's probably been more than eight months since you have skied or snowboarded and you just want to tear it up and down that mountain.
So it's your first day out, and you have all your cool new gear and look like a pro. But if you haven't been working out, boy are you going to be in for a surprise.
On your first day it is likely that after a few minutes your legs will be burning and you will be panting and out of breath.
Be careful, because you have an increased chance of being injured. The next day you will feel so sore that you may feel like taking the season off just to recover.
Whether you're new to the snow or a pro, there are fundamental key exercises you can do to prepare yourself. Strength, endurance, flexibility, and balance training will increase your performance and enjoyment of snowboarding.
You will be able to ride longer, better, and decrease your chance of injury.
In this article I am going to show you a 4-week plan on how to physically get ready for the slopes. Let's get started!
Jump squats are one of the best ways to increase leg strength and explosive power for snowboarding. This will especially help you clear that big jump you've always wanted to hit.
Start in a deep squat position with your hands by your side. From this position, explosively jump up as high as you can and reach for the ceiling with your hands as you jump.
Oblique Twists With Medicine Ball
Oblique twists with a medicine ball will strengthen your core while improving your turning skills in snowboarding. A lot of snowboarding is twisting back and forth through your abs.
Sit on the floor on a mat and hold a medicine ball with both hands out in front of your abdominals with your arms slightly bent.
Lean back slightly with your upper body and elevate your legs off the floor. Rotate from side to side and touch the plate on the floor on either side.
Remember to contract your midsection throughout the entire exercise as you twist from side to side.
This exercise will strengthen your upper body and, because of the impact involved, it will also prepare your body for the falls you will most likely experience. Start with your toes on the floor and place your hands slightly more than your shoulder width apart.
Keep your head aligned with your body by looking down at the floor. Inhale as you lower yourself to the floor slowly, bending your elbows slightly back behind you. Exhale pushing your body away from the floor, while straightening your arms out. If this is too difficult start on your knees.
Those long toe side traverses on a snowboard can really take a toll on your calf muscles.
The calf raise exercise will help strengthen your calves as well as the muscles in your feet and around your ankles. Stand on one foot holding a 20-pound dumbbell in your hand. Raise up on the ball of your foot and raise down. Repeat 20-30 times. Switch legs.
The lunge is a great fitness exercise to make your legs strong for snowboarding. While standing, take a large step forward and lower down until your back knee almost hits the ground. Keep both knees at 90 degree angles. Push up and step forward, then continue on with the other leg.
Some people ignore their upper body in preparing for snowboarding. Keeping a strong back plays a huge role in stability, support and balance. That way your turn will look sharp.
Grab a pullup bar with an overhand grip with your hands just beyond shoulder width apart. Simply lift your entire body upward as high as you can.
Bike Riding Or Stationary Cycling
Bike riding is an excellent cross-training exercise for snowboarding. It really builds endurance in the legs so you can go on long runs without having to stop every 30 seconds.
Here's the workout program for the next four weeks.
Do each exercise 3 times with a 1-minute break in between. Then ride the bike for 15 minutes at a steady pace.
If you hate bike riding try doing some stair climbing.
Go through each exercise one time with 30-second breaks. Then repeat until you have done it 3 times.
Ride the stationary bike very hard for 30 seconds and easy for 1 minute. Continue until you reach 15 minutes.
Get a stop watch and time yourself 1 minute on each exercise. Repeat 5 times with 1-minute breaks.
If 1 minute is too difficult decrease to 30 seconds or increase the rest time. As it gets easier decrease the rest breaks.
Make sure you stretch all the muscles that you worked after you are finished exercising. Hold each stretch for 30-45 seconds.
By following this simple program for the next four weeks you should be on your way to a great snowboarding season. An important thing to remember is to always ride safe!