He may have never shredded up the side of a mountain, but Benjamin Franklin is famous for saying, “if you fail to plan you are planning to fail.”
That perfectly sums up the sport of snowboarding. Nearly 25% of snowboarding injuries occur during the rider's first time on the board, and nearly half of all injuries occur within a rider's first season.
In order to get ready for snowboarding, you need to train your body: Understand which body parts are involved, then train those areas specifically.
You also want to mentally prep for snowboarding. Don't expect to be perfect the first time you hit the slopes. Prepare to experience difficulty and don't be too hard on yourself.
Ways to Improve Off-Season Conditioning
Snowboarders should make aerobic activities such as running, biking or swimming (or a less-popular but intense modality, jumping rope) a part of their regular routine.
Aerobic exercises work your heart rate and can improve stamina, which will come in handy when skiing or snowboarding. Perform cardiovascular exercises three to five times a week for at least one hour to achieve ideal strength and stamina.
Other ideal conditioning exercises include squats, jumping squats, lunges, high-bench step-ups, ab exercises, upper body exercises like tricep dips, and box jumps because these work the muscles used to hold your position while snowboarding.
These exercises can be performed by anyone. The more advanced you are, the most advanced your exercises can become: Add weights or up your rep count.
1. Building Reactive Strength
After you've developed a baseline of solid core strength, it's time to develop your reactive strength. This enables you to respond and adapt to sudden changes in terrain or situations.
To develop reactive strength and balance, stand on a BOSU (a dome-shaped balance device) to squat and lunge. (You can also stand on an uneven surface such as a balance disc or rolled-up yoga mat.)
Doing pushups and planks with a medicine ball (both hands on the ball in the center) works on core strength as well as reactive strength. While an elliptical machine (or spinning or step-machine) develops overall endurance, you can increase the balance challenge by adding slow walking or jogging backward on a 5 percent incline on a treadmill.
2. Do Pilates
Pilates, which focuses largely on core strength, is an ideal exercise for snowboarders. Try doing a Pilates workout at least once a week.
3. An Exercise for Your Abs
Sit on the floor or on the mat with knees bent at 90° and your feet spread the width of your hips. Place your hands behind the thighs and begin rolling back—initiating the movement from the pelvis. Feel each vertebrae of the lower spine touch the floor. Think about pulling the stomach away from the thighs as you complete the rollback.
With the same coordination and quality of movement (don't skip any of the little bones in your spine) roll back up to a sitting position. Inhale at the top, where there is no effort, and keep a long and smooth exhale as you roll down and up. Build up to 50 reps. Increase to three sets as you get stronger.
Diet plays a role in keeping in shape when training for snowboarding. Not only should you eat foods that are healthy, but you should also drink plenty of water.
Like this article? You’ll love our weekly newsletter
sign up here!
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.