With the snowboard season just around the corner, many will be wondering how to go about getting themselves into peak condition to be the best they can be out there.  At the very least how to not be completely useless after the first run…

As is the case when preparing physically for anything, you need to ask yourself
“how much time do i have before the event?”and “how much time am I willing to put into training, per week, between now and then?”.

Once we have the answers to these questions we can begin prioritising our time accordingly.

Things to consider when training for snowboarding are;
– muscle activation
– joint mobility
– core stability
– muscular endurance

And for the more advanced;
– power
– rotational speed and strength

On a personal note, I don’t claim to be a great snowboarder (the man who asked me to write this article will verify that). In saying that I was fortunate enough to spend 2 full seasons in North American winters, in both Whistler and Park City riding almost everyday. I’m very familiar with the physical demands and how to program appropriately.

snowboard fail
He should have stretched?!?

Training Smarter

How often have you been on a long run and felt that your quads were going to explode if you didn’t rest? The reality is, if you’re using your lower body efficiently there should be far more of an emphasis on your glutes than your quads for a majority of the positions (not all) that you will find yourself in when riding.

So what do I do with that information? We transfer that thinking to our programming and structure our programming to reinforce an emphasis on glute activation, and hip hinging (correct squatting, deadlifting, step ups). We hold these patterns in the bottom position for longer than the standard (much like riding). Then we incorporate hip mobility before during and after our sessions, making it far easier to slip in and out of these positions. This reduces the chance of lower back irritations that might bring our trip to a premature end.

This introduces the dreaded “red headed step child” of strength and conditioning, Soft Tissue Work (SMR, self myofascial release). What does that mean?

You should get Rolling

Anybody who has been into a gym in the last 10 years would have seen foam rollers lying around (normally blue in colour) . What you likely haven’t seen is somebody putting them to good use. Soft tissue work is at its efficient best when you apply pressure DEEP into the muscle fiber. The average punter has a tendency to roll quickly up and down on whatever area it is that they are “working on”. Subconsciously (or not), they are avoiding deep penetration into the area that needs the most love. Which is the area where you are feeling the most discomfort. Foam rollers are the absolute entry level tool for getting the body to its fullest function. You’ll be using lacrosse balls, steel pipes and kettle bells in no time.

If you’ve ever had a deep tissue massage (keep it clean gentleman), you’ll notice that the masseuse makes slow deliberate movements, looking for these points of tension. When they are found they aren’t slid over and avoided, they are targeted specifically with varying techniques. This is to restore full range of motion to the surrounding limbs. This methodology needs to be adopted to the soft tissue work you do on yourself. Only then will you restore full function to the way you move and react. Only then will you ride pain free, and ready to be a better rider than you were yesterday.

foam rolling
Good form…

I will go into the points mentioned earlier in more detail in the coming articles. Between now and then you can contact me directly by heading to my Facebook business page, Joint Preservation Training and hitting the “like” button. You’ll find plenty of information and videos about what we’ve discussed.

Click here for a foam rolling technique designed to restore correct shape and function to your lower back

and check out more great snowboarding fitness and training techniques here