4 Steps To Include In Your Snowboard Training Workouts To Become A Fitter, Stronger, Better Snowboarder This Winter…
In order to ensure you are covering all your bases with your snowboarding fitness training, you need to be including all 4 of the following components into your snowboarding workouts. If you include all of these you are going to build a fit, strong snowboarders body and enhance your snowboarding performance in record time…
Step 1 – Snowboard Training Dynamic Warmup
Perhaps most important part of your snowboarding training workout is the Dynamic Warmup as it will help prepare your body for the functional strength snowboarding exercises that follow. The dynamic warmup will also help improve your mobility and help to overcome any muscle or postural imbalances that you may have, which can help in preventing any injuries.
Your dynamic warmup should include the following…
Corrective Exercises – These will help improve common postural and muscular imbalances you may have. For example there are corrective exercises to improve the movement at your hips, which is a common problem as many people have a tendency to move more from their lumbar spine instead of their hips increasing the risk of lower back injury.
Mobility Exercises – Mobility exercises will help improve your ability to actively move through a full range of motion which can directly enhance your movement patterns when snowboarding by helping you to be more efficient, expend less energy and reduce your injury risk.
Activation Exercises – These exercises will help turn on any under-active muscles so that when you are performing the functional strength exercises your muscles are more likely to fire in the correct sequence. For example many people are quadriceps dominant and have glutes that are underactive. This can lead to inefficient movement when snowboarding and even injury. By performing glute activation exercises you can turn on the muscles so that they will used correctly when needed.
Step 2 – Functional Strength Snowboarding Exercises
The main part of your snowboard training workout is the functional strength component and should include the following…
Balance, Core Stability and Rotational Core Exercises – Stability is extremely important for snowboarding and therefore needs to be adequately trained in your workouts. Exercises should be included that challenge your balance and core stability. In addition, as snowboarding requires a lot of rotational movements, you need to train both rotational stability and rotational power.
Multi-joint Exercises – The focus of your functional strength training should be on multi-joint exercises that use multi-planar movements (the 3 planes of movement). Gone are the days of doing isolated body building exercises. Instead you need to be doing compound movements like Squatting, Lunging, Lifting, Pushing (horizontal and vertical) and Pulling (horizontal and vertical).
Power Exercises – Your snowboarding will also benefit from including some power exercises which are basically strength exercises performed explosively. This will help develop power in your legs which is important for snowboarders.
Step 3 – Snowboarding Specific Energy System Training (EST)
Energy System Training refers to the cardiovascular part of the workout. This can be done after the functional strength training part of your snowboarding workout, or depending on time you may choose to split it up and do it on a different day, alternating days between functional strength and cardio.
The most effective way to train your energy systems is with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). HIIT has been scientifically proven to significantly improve both your Aerobic (with oxygen – for more sustained efforts) and Anaerobic (without oxygen – more short burst energy) energy systems simultaneously.
Using High Intensity Interval Training also allows you to do a shorter workout and produce better results when compared to traditional cardio training.
The ultimate snowboard training cardio is when you use bodyweight exercises like squat jumps, combined with agility drills, so you can build leg endurance and snowboarding agility at the same time as increasing your aerobic and anaerobic endurance.
Step 4 – Static Stretching & Flexibility Exercises
Performing static stretching and flexibility exercises are most at the very end of your workout. Stretching will help your muscles recover and promote increases in flexibility. Static stretching can also be done everyday and anytime of the day (not just with exercise).
In fact to make significant gains in flexibility it is better to stretch frequently so your muscles will stay lengthened and not revert back to being short and tight. To make the most of your stretching you need a full body stretch routine that you can follow along step-by-step.
By Clayton Beatty BSc BComm
Exercise Scientist & Snowboarder