Snowboarding, like any sport or activity, is performed in a very chaotic environment. Anytime you strap on a snowboard you can’t predict what kind of terrain or obstacles you are going to encounter on your ride. Like any marathon runner who prepares for his run weeks in advance, there are exercises and modalities a snowboarder can perform in the off time to be prepared for any situations faced on the hill.
We generally won’t be able to prepare for contact injuries. Yes, being in shape will help your recovery time and ability to react if you manage to run into another rider or tree; however, there are common non-impact injuries suffered by snowboarders that can be significantly reduced by training.
Wrist – When a snowboarder is unable to balance properly, leaving them at risk for falls, they outstretch their hands to soften the landing.
Ankles – Generally when people fall they try to put one foot forward. Unfortunately, in a snowboard, this is not an option. Ankles, calves and tibia endure stress while in somewhat of a locked position causing all type of trauma.
Knees – When the rider is locked in a position sideways but going forward it is easy to sometimes rotate the upper body slightly at the knees when performing a jump, an unexpected turn or a collision.
Snowboarding Workout: Perform each for 10-15 reps and 3 sets.
One-Leg Squat Off A Bench
Action: Rise off the bench with one leg, keep the pressure mid- foot. Ensure the knee stays in front of the big toe. Start your descent by shifting the hips back towards the bench and slowly sitting down.
Purpose: Develop coordination and stability within the ankle and knee joint.
Dorsiflexion of the Ankle
Action: Put the ball of your feet on a plate, heel on the ground push your foot forward without letting the ball or heel move stretching the calf.
Purpose: Increase range of motion in the ankle and calf.
Action: Keep the box at knee height and jump from the balls of your feet keeping the knees straight ahead. Ensure that knees lock out after you land at the top and you plant firmly on the heels. Keep in mind the knees should stay over the toes and never cave in.
Purpose: Create stability in the legs as you land.
Side to Side Step Over A Box
Action: Drive through the mid-foot fully extending your leg as you propel yourself upwards and to the side. Touch down with the opposite foot shifting the hips backwards and landing with soft knees.
Purpose: Engage and strengthen the muscles in the outer thigh and improve your balance.
Dumbbell Front Squat
Action: Elbows face forward throughout and chest is upright. Drop your hips back maintaining a tight stomach and lower back. Try to reach chair height or lower. Drive through the midfoot as you make your return to the top.
Purpose: Strengthen the core, thoracic spine, quads, glutes, and hams. It will also put the body under stress that will force it to balance in an awkward position.