As winter approaches, snowboarders’ thoughts turn to carving down mountains and spending time in the snow park and chest-deep powder. The problem is that many of us don’t move our bodies in a way that prepares us for winter sports. This can mean we struggle on our first day, and we don’t snowboard with good form. That’s where these exercises for snowboarding can help.
We can also experience muscle soreness during our trip, making the experience less pleasant. You should start preseason training 6 to 8 weeks before heading to the mountains to make the most of our snowboarding time. But what should you work on?
Table of contents
- Training For The Snowboarding Season
- The Best Mobility Exercises For Snowboarding
- Strength Training For Snowboarding
- Improving Your Balance For Snowboarding
- Improving Your Cardio For Snowboarding
- Wrapping Up The Best Exercises For Snowboarding
Training For The Snowboarding Season
Snowboarding is a physical sport, and there are five things you need to work on to make sure you are fit enough to perform well. This will also mean we can have as much fun as possible. We will give you a short overview, then go into the best exercises for each aspect of your snowboarding fitness.
Work On Mobility
By performing mobility exercises, you will have a good range of motion, allowing you to move with fewer restrictions, allowing you to snowboard at your best. Moving freely will improve your snowboarding in all aspects, whether you are just cruising the groomers or hitting features in the snow park.
Build Muscle Strength
Building strong muscles, especially your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, is essential. These lower body muscles are the ones you use most when riding. Leg strength is incredibly important when snowboarding as it will help you ride all day with power.
Good balance is essential for snowboarders. It helps you react to changes in snow conditions and perform all the necessary movements efficiently.
Improve Your Stamina
Stamina is crucial when snowboarding. When you get tired, your technique is compromised, and you stand a higher risk of injury. Tiredness is the leading cause of injuries in winter sports. Also, you’ve paid a lot of money for your lift ticket, so you want to be able to ride from the first lift to the last lift to get your money’s worth.
Work On Your Cardio
Not everybody enjoys cardio workouts. However, your snowboarding will benefit if you add it to your fitness routine. It will improve stamina and how you generally perform. You will likely be at a higher altitude than you may be used to, which can take it out of you just walking around.
All this may seem like a lot of exercises; however, with a good training schedule, you should be able to fit this into your weekly routine. It will ensure your body is in the best physical condition for snowboarding.
How To Improve Your Snowboarding Fitness
We will now go through the best exercises to improve all the aspects of your fitness we mentioned above. However, if you have any doubts, please consult a fitness specialist or doctor before starting a new fitness routine.
The Best Mobility Exercises For Snowboarding
There are quite a few exercises that improve your mobility for snowboarding. Most of these exercises are yoga-based. So in the run-up to your snowboard trip, you may want to join a yoga class or do some yoga at home. There are many online resources and lots of great yoga instructors on YouTube with snowboarding-specific yoga routines.
Even if you don’t do yoga, there are a few stretches. You should do every day to improve your mobility for snowboarding. These are also great to do in the morning as a warm-up before heading up the mountain. To make your legs nice and supple for snowboarding, stretch your quads, hamstrings, groin, and glutes.
Then move on to your upper body by doing shoulder stretches, the cat-cow yoga positions, and hip flexor stretches. These movements will put you in good stead for snowboarding at your best and reduce your chance of injury.
Strength Training For Snowboarding
You need strong muscles for snowboarding; strength training is the best way to ensure your muscle groups are up to scratch. Here’s what you need to do:
Developing Leg Strength
Strong legs give you explosive power for snowboarding. One of the best exercises you can add to your snowboarding workout is jump squats. To do this, take a deep squat position and explosively jump into the air while reaching up with your hands. Remember to land softly with bent knees before repeating. If this is too intense, start with air squats or squat pulses and build up to jump squats.
You also need strong lower legs and will be thankful for them after a long toeside traverse. One of the best ways to strengthen your calves is with calf raises. Stand on the edge of a step on one foot with a dumbbell in your hand. Lift yourself up on the ball of your foot 20 to 30 times before switching legs.
You can also improve leg strength with lunge variations. For example, you can do lunge jumps, walking, lunges, or backward lunges. You can even add weight to increase the intensity to suit your fitness level.
Developing Upper Body Strength
Some snowboarders don’t bother improving upper body strength. But having strong shoulders and arms helps you get off the ground when you fall. Also, you have good stability and improved balance if you have a strong back. In addition to this, your body becomes more robust and can withstand impacts from crashes more. With this in mind, work on push-ups, pull-ups, and shoulder exercises.
Improving Your Balance For Snowboarding
Strengthening your core muscles is the best way to improve your balance. Good core strength allows you to stay upright, move efficiently, and make rapid changes in your body position. The following exercises are ideal for improving balance.
The plank is one of the most basic exercises for strengthening your abdominal muscles. If needed, you can start in the plank position with your knees on the floor and build up to a full plank. Hold the position for 30 seconds, and increase the duration each time. Do this three or four times every other day for the best results.
Snowboarding requires strong oblique muscles. You can strengthen these with Russian twists and oblique twists. You can make these exercises more intense with a medicine ball. Side planks can be brutal but are excellent for core strength. These are great for hard, powerful turns and Euro-carving.
A large part of having good balance is the ability to react to changes in the snow conditions. Therefore, you can perform many exercises while standing on a Bosu ball to create an element of instability. As you progress, why not challenge yourself by using a balance board? Most exercises you usually do standing can be done on a Bosu ball. Doing so improves ankle stability and your natural ability to restabilize on choppy snow.
Improving Your Cardio For Snowboarding
Cardiovascular fitness is essential for your overall fitness as well as your snowboarding performance. Therefore it’s a good idea to get your heart rate up at least a couple of times a week. There are many ways to improve your cardio health, but cycling is one of the best cross-training activities you can do. It improves your endurance so you can take on those big mountain descents without needing to stop on the way down. You can also run or swim to improve your cardiovascular endurance.
Use a heart rate monitor to get the most from your cardio training. This will allow you to train in the different heart rate zones to allow you to achieve your goals.
Wrapping Up The Best Exercises For Snowboarding
If you are going snowboarding in a week’s time and have yet to do any exercise, unfortunately, you left it too late. But you should at least start stretching to improve your body’s ability to cope with the rigors of snowboarding. Instead, you may want to start working on your alcohol tolerance for the après scene and nightlife.
However, if you are a few weeks or months away before you head to the mountains, you have plenty of time to start the above exercises. Starting as soon as possible is the best thing to do to get into good shape for snowboarding. You can build strong legs, a robust core, flexibility, balance, and endurance.
It’s a good idea to start off with low intensity and increase the duration and weights as you get fitter. But make sure you focus on the most important areas. Going to the gym is a great idea, but you can also do bodyweight exercises at home. You can often increase the intensity with simple equipment, such as a resistance band. The most important thing is to exercise within your ability and with proper form. This is where a gym instructor or personal trainer can help you the most.
If you feel unwell or in pain as a result of a series of exercises, stop working out and consult a doctor for advice. You don’t want to injure yourself before you go snowboarding and ruin your trip before it’s even started.
Tom is an outdoor enthusiast and writer based in the French Alps. Most days, you can find Tom shredding the slopes on a snowboard or splitboard, exploring the mountains on a hike, or hitting the trails on a mountain bike.