Sick of waiting for the winter season to come and want to do something to prepare for it?
Then check out these 3 exercises for snowboarding that you can do in the off season to make sure you can hit the season in tip top shape ready to go.
Why Train for Snowboarding in the Off Season?
Nothing can fully prepare you for the first day of the season – you are going to be sore the next day!
But there are some exercises that you can start in the off season that will not only prepare your body for the rigors of snowboarding but will also ensure that your performance will be at its best.
Each exercise below will train different parts of your body.
Note: I’m not a personal trainer or anything like that. These are just the exercise that I feel give me a good all round balanced workout that will help me out on the mountain for when the season starts.
Of course doing some sort of cardio will also help with fitness levels too.
Exercise #1: Swiss Ball Balance
If you don’t have a swiss ball or access to one then I suggest you get one. They’re pretty cheap and really useful.
This exercise is pretty simple but is good for snowboarding for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, this exercise will help with your balance.
Secondly, and most importantly this exercise will strengthen your core muscles, including all the little balancing muscles.
How to Perform the Swiss Ball Balance
Find a good amount of space and somewhere where you aren’t going to break anything, particularly if this is your first time performing this exercise. And if you can try to get some padding underneath you I find that’s a good idea too- a gym mat is a good way to go if you are in the gym.
Simply get yourself up onto the ball on your knees and try to balance as long as you can.
- Your legs are straight between the knees and hips
- That you are focusing on engaging your abdominal muscles to keep you balanced (don’t use your legs to balance)
Try to hold this for at least a minute at a time if you can and do at least 3 sets in a session. If you can’t hold it for a minute then hold it for as long as you can and try to build up to a minute over time.
If 1 minute isn’t challenging for you or 3 sets of 1 minute isn’t challenging enough then hold each set for longer or do more sets.
You can also start trying some of the exercises as per this video – the guy is a bit quiet in the video so you may need to turn up your sound if you want to hear what he’s saying.
Exercise #2: Squats
Yes this is a simple exercise but it’s also extremely effective at working a lot of muscle groups at one time – meaning it’s a really great exercise to cover your legs.
It’s also a very natural movement which will help to convert into real strength for when you get out on the mountain.
And squats will really work your quadriceps, which take on a huge workload on the mountain. When you’re snowboarding your knees are always at least slightly bent. Squats should do a good job of conditioning your quadriceps to handle and excel at this task.
How to Perform Squats
It’s really important that you perform squats with the right technique so that you get the most out of them and so that you are performing them safely.
Check out the video below which I have found to have the best technique from what I’ve been told/shown in the past.
If you haven’t squats before or if you haven’t done them in a while I find it’s a good idea to start out just doing these bodyweight only. You can always add weights later if you feel you need more of a challenge.
Exercise #3: Push Ups (a.k.a. press ups)
Again this is a very common exercise but there is a reason why – it is very effective at working a lot of muscle groups in the upper body and in a natural way.
You might be wondering why you would need to work out the upper body for snowboarding?
The main reason for this is for picking yourself up off the ground. I don’t know about you but I feel like if I’m not wiping out then I’m not pushing myself and I’m not improving. And if you are wiping out you have to pick yourself up off the ground to get going again.
And if your strapping in sitting down you will need to get yourself off the ground each time.
I’ve often come off the mountain with a sorer upper body than lower body.
How to Perform Push Ups
Again, like squats, good technique is the most important thing here – not how many you can do and certainly not how fast you can do them. In fact, doing them slower will improve their effectiveness.
Performing with proper technique is the safest and most effective way to do push ups – you’ll get the most out of them that way and you’ll reduce the chances of injury.
Check out the video below to learn push ups with good technique.
A Few Final Words
With all of these exercises I like to build myself up slowly so that I don’t burn out. I like to challenge myself but not go too crazy – or I’m not likely to want to do them again for a long time!
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps with your off season training and, more importantly, helps you to ride better and for longer when the winter comes back around!
If you have any other exercises you like to perform in the off season or have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them in the comments section below.
Note: This is not professional advice in any way whatsoever. This is just my opinion on what I like to do to get in shape for the snowboarding season.