Pre-Snowboard Trip Workout

photo of Liz Barker
Liz Barker
December 12, 2019
contributing author:
people in the gym in snowboard equipment
Skiing Image

Train off the board to maximize your time on the board & generally be more awesome!

Snowboard Pre-Season Fundamental 1: Leg Strength

It is essential to build up leg strength before hitting the slopes. Leg training for snowboarding is like wax for your snowboard base!

Much of the time spent on a snowboard is spent in doing squats. Shallow squats, deep squats, or explosive squats. You just keep doing them all day long and that takes leg strength.

Train your legs before hitting the slopes. There are two exercises that any snowboarding pre-season workout program should include: squats and lunges.

Squats should make up the core of your pre-season snowboarding workout program. It will build that foundational leg strength needed to keep going.

Lunges help train the legs independently. Plus when you add in several lunge variations to your snowboarding pre-season workout you will help train your legs to adapt to moving in different directions. Include forward-lunges, reverse-lunges, side-lunges, and jump-lunges in your pre-season training.

Snowboard Pre-Season Fundamental 2: Explosive Power

When you focus on building leg strength you are building your foundation, but your pre-season workout program should include some specific training to help build explosive power.

Part of the fun of snowboarding is getting some air, finding that pop from the board, flying off a roller, or even kicking it off a jump. To get the most air out of each you’ll need to make sure your legs are ready with explosive power.

One word comes to mind for building that explosive power … plyometrics.

(plyometrics: exercise involving repeated rapid stretching and contracting of muscles (as by jumping and rebounding) to increase muscle power

Add into your training some form of plyometrics conditioning. That could be as simple as including jump squats, box jumps, jump lunges into your training. The key is making sure that your legs not only have the strength to keep moving, but can move with explosive speed and power. Practice jumping, landing, and jumping again. That will help you prepare for maximizing your snowboarding time on the slopes.

Snowboard Pre-Season Fundamental 3: Cardiovascular Endurance

While conditioning for both strength and explosive power are essential they won’t be useful if your heart and lungs can’t keep up. To be able to maximize your snowboarding gear this season you’ll need to train your body to increase your cardiovascular endurance.

One of the most efficient means of increasing cardiovascular endurance is through interval training. Finish off your snowboarding pre-season workouts with a tabata training session and you’ll quickly build up your cardiovascular endurance.

Ski Image

Skiing Image

Warm up before you hit the Slopes and come home in once piece.

Its sure is nice and snuggly in our Bombr thermal base layers. You’re excited, you’re warm… but that doesn’t mean you’re WARMED UP and ready to ski or snowboard. By the time you’re in your bindings, hopefully you’ve already done your pre-season training to get your body ready to handle whatever the mountain throws at you. Now you need to “rev your engine”, so you can shred the hill, without tearing up your body! And it would be helpful to be able to walk the next day.

Contrary to popular belief… DON’T STRETCH before you get out there. You need your muscles to be elastic and ready to spring into action. This is especially important for skiing and snowboarding as your muscles have to be able to react quickly to make sure you stay on your feet. Static stretching (holding stretches for an extended period of time) can actually reduce your strength in those muscles for up to an hour afterwards and doesn’t keep you from being sore. Stretching is important to help you cool down, but don’t do it before you get on the mountain.

So how do you make sure you’re ready? Whether you’re on the baby slope or shredding off-piste, the trick is to prepare all aspects of your skiing or snowboarding. This means getting your body warm, sharpening up your reactions and getting yourself ready for random balance shifts. The best way to make sure you don’t get stiff and sore is by gently moving your joints through their full range of motion before you get out there. 

Here are some ideas for your ski/snowboard warm-up.

  • Cardio warm-up: Try marching in place, doing step-ups, or going up and down the stairs in the lodge a few times. This will get the blood flowing.
  • Range of motion exercises: Stand on one leg and swing the other forward and back. Move your arms, like you’re running. These should be controlled swings that take you (gently) to the end of your range of motion.
  • Repeat on other side. Also do some squats or lunges to get the knees moving and some spine rotations and pelvic tilts.
  • Balance: Stand on one leg, knee slightly bent and swing the other across, in front of your body and back out to the side. Repeat this a few times, then switch sides
  • Jump forward to balance on one leg, knee bent. Repeat other side.
  • Ski-specific: hop side to side, from one foot to the other, pausing to balance in between

Snowboard-specific: stand on both feet, about shoulder width apart, jump to balance forwards (toe-side) then backwards (heel-side)

You spent a lot of money on that lift pass, so why not spend 10 minutes before you get on the hill to make sure you get the most out of every day, and come home in one piece!