I like going to a gym with access to multiple types of workouts and equipment to be at my best for the snowboard season.
I get my heart rate up by doing cardio for at least 30-60 minutes, then I do strengthening for 30-60 minutes. Some exercises I recommend are elliptical, stationary bike, swimming and yoga. My go to exercise is the elliptical machine. Elliptical is very minimal impact on your joints, you burn a lot of calories and it works your whole body. It’s great if you’ve had injuries because of the low impact to help heal your joints. It gets blood flowing through your whole body. Your back is straight so if you’ve had issues with your back the elliptical keeps your body in a natural position. The stationary bike is another good option and low impact but it only works your legs and you’re sitting so it’s not as good for your back. Swimming is excellent because while in water you float and no impact. A lot of physical therapist have you exercise in water first after injuries because you’re floating and no weight on your joints. Yoga can count as both cardio and strengthening plus it really helps with flexibility. You really want to be flexible as a snowboarder to Prevent Injury By Being Snowboard Fit. If you’re tight and stiff you just don’t move as well. If you fall while snowboarding you don’t want to fight the fall and spread it out. If you’re tense you’re more likely to fight the fall and absorb the impact on one area of your body.
For strengthening I use free weights if I can rather than machine weights. Don’t do the same workout every time. Alternate your workouts. Do lower body and legs one day. Squatting, deadlifts and calf raisers are exercises I do on leg days with weights. Glute Med Activation and Hip Abductions are exercises that really help snowboarders. This is the muscle that stabilizes your inward rotation of your knee. Upper body days include bench press, incline, decline, shoulder press and a multiple of dumbbell exercises. Core Workout days I use the cable pulley machine to do cable core rotations, cable chest press, cable rows etc., I do a lot balancing on one leg while exercising with the cable pulley machine to increase core strength. There are a variety of plank positions as well.
I recommend to workout 3-4 times a week to stay Snowboard Fit. Any sport that you’re on a board will really help your riding improve in the off season. Wakeboarding is an excellent activity in the off season because you’re on a board looking sideways, you have bindings just like snowboarding and your stance is almost identical to snowboarding. A lot of the body movements are similar so that helps with muscle memory. Skateboarding, Longboarding & Surfing you’re on a board sideways either left foot forward, regular stance or right foot forward, goofy stance just like snowboarding but with no bindings so it’s harder to stay on your board. Mountain biking is great exercise when going uphill and downhill has a lot of similarities and physics to snowboarding. Hiking is perfect because unless you get a lift up the mountain you’re hiking and you hike a lot when you’re in the backcountry snowboarding.
The most common injuries while snowboarding are upper body injuries especially the wrist. You’re balancing on your snowboard. If you lose your balance the first thing to hit the ground is usually your hand or shoulder. A closed fist is stronger than an opened one. Try to punch the snow rather than slapping it and spread your fall out like a baseball player sliding into home. Don’t absorb the fall with one arm or leg. If you’re out of control get low and if you can, fall up the mountain. Toeside edge would be my knees hit first, then stomach then arms. Heelside edge lift your arms up and let your butt hit, then back then arms. If you fall down the mountain gravity pushes and has more force. If you fall against gravity or uphill you’re balancing out that force more. Try to have your head up the mountain as well when you fall. In steeper terrain when you fall you keep going down and might hit obstacles if you don’t stop. If you fall you want to get your board perpendicular to the slope, rollover to your butt and your head uphill. This is called the Self Arrest Stop. You have two edges; heelside and toeside. You want to keep your weight on your uphill edge because if you put your weight on your downhill edge you’ll ‘catch your edge’ causing a forceful whipping action that can cause dangerous injuries. Some falls happen so fast that you just react but if you know these tips and practice these techniques it’s less likely you’ll get injured.
Skiers use poles and one ski on each foot. They face down the mountain and not sideways like a snowboarder. Unless you’ve done a board sport or a sport where you’re sideways like batting in baseball being sideways may feel awkward at first. Muscle memory is already there for skiers because their bodies are positioned just like walking or running. It’s easier for them to keep their balance with 2 skis and 2 poles. That’s why when snowboarders stop they usually go to their knees or butts. Like a bike when you’re stopped it’s difficult to balance without putting your foot down. You need momentum to keep your balance. Since skiers have 2 skis they do get crossed up and the common injury for skiers are their knees and legs.
Snowboarding and skiing aggressively burns about 1,000 calories/hour and is very healthy. It’s so much fun that it doesn’t seem like work. Snowboarders leg muscles increase especially quads and butt muscles. As a beginner you use a ton of upper body because you’re getting up a lot and may not know how to strap in your back foot while standing up. Once you get better you’ll be using more efficient movements and will be able to go on more difficult trails. When there hasn’t been much snow Snowboarding Moguls will give you more of a workout than just riding flat groomers. Bumpy terrain causes you to use much more movement in your legs. You’re Active Versus Passive Absorption. You’re legs are absorbing independently. Your front leg may be bent/flexed while your back leg is extended. You’re more active moving fore and aft on your snowboard. Racing gates is another great way to snowboard more aggressive and burn more calories. Not every resort has a race course setup and it usually is an extra fee but you’ll feel the burn when racing. When you snowboard powder there are less bumps but you’re moving a lot more snow which is a lot more work. You may hike to get to the good Pow or splitboard up the mountain which is an excellent workout. My legs burn after a day of powder snowboarding or hiking. You don’t always get powder conditions so if you’re looking to get more of a workout while snowboarding hit the bumps, race course or hike.
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