By: Brad McNally
Unfortunately for snowboarders, winter comes to an end at some point. Unless you happen to live close enough to a year-round resort, this is a hard reality. Some snowboarders are looking forward to their next sport, but if you are just hoping to get back to the slopes, waiting can be rough. Just because the powder is gone from your local resort doesn’t mean you have to stop working on your skills. Here are a few ways to be sure you are ready when the snow comes back next season.
1. Hit the gym
Snowboarding works specific muscle groups, so hitting the gym and working on these will only help you when you start to board again. While general weight training and cardio are not a bad idea at all, you can target the muscles that will help you the most in order to come out ahead in the winter.
The obvious goal here would be stronger leg muscles. When snowboarding, you hold a squat position for an extended time. Focused training such as squats and lunges will make this muscle group stronger. Holding a squat position or wall sit can help build endurance as well.
In addition to this, abdominal and core muscle work is important because you use these muscles when you initiate spins as you jump. There are many core workouts available online that require very little equipment and can be done in as little as 15 minutes a day.
2. Alternative Sports
Just because it isn’t snowboarding doesn’t mean you have to discount it completely. Other sports are a good option for cross training. Cycling can be an option because it requires very little impact for the knees (as opposed to running). It also works the leg muscles very effectively. Another option for developing core muscles is swimming. Both of these can be enjoyable and will help your body get ready for the slopes.
Finding sports that involve similar movement is also an option. Surfing, skateboarding, or mountain boarding require the same basic movements. While there are major differences, these are sports that will work the same muscle groups as snowboarding, meaning you don’t lose the muscles you’ve built over the winter, but you also get to go out and have some fun.
3. Trampoline Snowboard
Just because it is 90 degrees out with no snow doesn’t mean your board has to sit on its snowboard rack. Provided you have access to a trampoline, you can get some really useful practice in. If you cover the edges of your snowboard so that they don’t damage the trampoline below you, you can strap in with your boots and bounce yourself along. Provided you have access to a trampoline, this is a low cost option to get in some practice, but it is also a rather safe way. You can bounce high and practice flips, spins, and grabs without worrying about wiping out.
What are some of your favorite ways to train during the off-season? Let us know in the comments!