Not only on the slopes: athletic preparation for snowboarding

Winter is here and among the most popular disciplines in recent years, there is certainly snowboarding, a relatively recent sport (born in the sixties in the United States) that consists of sliding and evolving on the snow while keeping in balance on a special board. It is the love for acrobatics and adventure that has given birth to many variants of snowboarding, such as Freeride (which corresponds to off-piste) and Freestyle (which is practiced in snow parks).
As it is easy to imagine - and as in all winter sports - to enjoy the slopes to the fullest and minimize the risk of injury, a good athletic preparation for snowboarding is essential. While it is true that sessions on the snow are the basis for improving technique, it is also true that indoor training is essential to achieve optimal physical condition, which naturally affects performance and endurance on the slopes. Ideally, three months of targeted training would be necessary to achieve an adequate preparation for the effort required by snowboarding. During this period, you will need to work on endurance, stretching, explosive strength and proprioceptive control skills.

Train endurance for snowboarding

In order to train your endurance in view of the descents on the board, you must first concentrate on the preparation of the cardiovascular system, which can take place through long and prolonged bottom (in this case the activity will take place on the treadmill or exercise bike and will last from 40 to 120 minutes or more) or with HIIT methods.
This acronym, increasingly in vogue in recent years, defines the High Intensity Interval training. It is an effective training method that is part of the large family of interval training, where short periods of high-intensity training alternate with periods of active or passive recovery. Several scientific studies have shown that this methodology, known for increasing the metabolic rate at rest in the hours following training, has the ability to reshape skeletal muscles. A HIIT training session can last from 20 to 60 minutes and consists of a warm-up phase followed by 6-10 repetitions of high intensity exercises, interspersed with moments of recovery. There are many protocols for high-intensity training, some of which can be done on the bike. This type of effort does not specifically train the technique for snowboarding, but you cannot think about boarding without working on endurance.

The importance of stretching

Stretching is fundamental for the athletic preparation of snowboarding, which will make the muscles more malleable, therefore able to assume unconventional postures and to withstand the stresses required by evolutions with the board. Today, a lot of attention is paid to stretching, and rightly so. This activity allows us to keep our body elastic. Regular stretching is very useful to work on coordination, improve strength and range of movement, and also to make the most of your energy.
Technogym's Flexability line is designed to make stretching exercises effective gradually and tailored to the most diverse needs. The idea is basically to test the flexibility of your body and to work on the exercises in a progressive and measurable way. But snowboarding can also be very stressful for the joints. In order to prepare them in the best possible way and make them adequately flexible, in addition to stretching, it is a good idea to devote oneself to proprioceptive training right from the start, using elastic nets, pads and, in general, anything that can stimulate the joints to continuous variations in position and load, just like on the ski slope.
This type of exercise is used to feed the proprioception, i.e. the awareness that we have of our body regardless of sight, and is indicated to develop jumping ability and power, to optimize coordination, to prevent sprains, tendinitis and overtraining. When practicing snowboarding, this type of ability becomes essential especially when the track is ruined: in these cases, in fact, stability becomes essential to cushion the "blows" coming from the ground and avoid falls.

Snowboarding: muscle preparation

Finally, let's get to the muscles. What are the right exercises to prepare for snowboarding? This sport involves many lateral movements, jumps, squatting and position changes that require strong leg muscles and core stability. Strength training, using weights to perform squats or leg curls, allows you to build strong quadriceps and calves. Finally, you can work on the strength of the core with abdominal crunches. However, the paravetebral and upper limbs should not be overlooked either, as they are still stimulated by this sport. How to work on all these aspects together? The first suggestion is to use specific circuits, i.e. a series of exercises to be performed quickly one after the other, interspersed with short breaks. This is a fast and effective workout, perfect for improving muscle strength.
You can practice the circuits with different types of equipment: from traditional gym machines and then move on to isotonic machines such as chest press, pectoral machines, leg press, etc.. and the most modern equipment such as Skillmill is the first non-motorized treadmill that allows you to improve power, speed, endurance and agility in a safe, engaging and effective way; Skillrow is the first fully connected indoor rower that allows you to perform both cardio and power training; Skillbike is the indoor bike with a real gearbox that allows you to experience the excitement and challenge of outdoor cycling and Skillrun, the treadmill that allows you to perform both cardio and power training, up to small equipment dedicated to free body training such as Skilltools.
The circuits will have to be repeated several times, alternating a lap with low repetitions and high loads to a lap with high repetitions and low loads. The aim will be to make the muscles strong and resistant so that they can change direction effortlessly and jump when needed.

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