Getting ready for snowboarding season requires creating workouts to address different areas of your fitness. When you’re on the slopes, you’ll need strength, agility, balance and the ability to perform physical activity for long periods. This requires conditioning that can’t be created on a single cardio machine or with a single type of workout. Mixing up your workouts can be enjoyable and effective in getting you ready to hit the powder.
Create a three-phase training plan that starts with strength exercises and aerobic workouts and ends with exercise routines that mirror what your body will experience on the mountain. Start with weights, resistance bands or weight machines to build muscle and a variety of aerobic workouts that challenge your legs with different movements. Move to muscular endurance training during your second phase of workouts and end your preparation with quick, high-intensity movements during your final weeks of preparation.
Build your strength using a simple workout called a "3 x 5." Perform five repetitions of an exercise and three sets of each exercise. Use an amount of weight or resistance that makes it hard to finish the last rep. Take a two- or three-minute break, then start the next set. After three sets of the same exercise, begin a new exercise. Perform your repetitions slowly to force yourself to use as much muscular effort as possible. Include leg exercises such as deadlift, lunges, heel raises, leg presses and squats that mirror the down-and-up movements of snowboarding. Work your core with a variety of body-weight exercises to improve your ability to make powerful turns and maintain your balance on your board. Work your arms between leg sets to give your muscles longer to recover from each set. Perform a variety of cardio routines such as using an elliptical, exercise bike and stair stepper, and include step aerobics and martial arts routines, such as kickboxing.
After three to four weeks of muscle building, reduce your strength training to once a week and switch to muscular endurance workouts. Reduce your aerobic cardio training to once a week and focus more on anaerobic cardio workouts. Use circuit-training routines to build muscular endurance using 50 to 60 percent of your intensity to do approximately 20 reps your exercises. Take a 30-second break, then start a new exercise. Continue this pattern for 15 to 20 minutes. Follow these workouts with 10 to 15 minutes of high-intensity interval training. You won’t be boarding in a straight line for 30 minutes without stopping, so traditional aerobic workouts aren’t your best choice as you get close to hitting the powder. Perform low-resistance exercises such as running, skipping rope or plyo jumping at a high heart rate for 30 to 60 seconds, then recover for one or two minutes before starting another round. Plyo box jumping simulates the down-and-up movements you’ll need during board rides. Check with a health professional to make sure this type of exercise is safe for you.
During the last few weeks of your training, focus on power, speed, balance and agility. Increase box jumping exercises, including those that require you to land on one foot, to improve your balance. Continue your core work, focusing on core exercises that work your obliques. Perform side-to-side movements such as Russian twists, bicycle kicks and oblique crunches done lying on your side. Mimic the moves you’ll make on your board and determine if you need to work more on your knee bend, push-off, twisting or turning, and perform these movements at a high speed.
Sam Ashe-Edmunds has been writing and lecturing for decades. He has worked in the corporate and nonprofit arenas as a C-Suite executive, serving on several nonprofit boards. He is an internationally traveled sport science writer and lecturer. He has been published in print publications such as Entrepreneur, Tennis, SI for Kids, Chicago Tribune, Sacramento Bee, and on websites such Smart-Healthy-Living.net, SmartyCents and Youthletic. Edmunds has a bachelor's degree in journalism.