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Life in Motion

Avoid This Snowboarding Mistake

Olympics, Sports & Exercise

To those who have never tried snowboarding, it may appear snowboarders simply glide effortlessly down the mountain. However, this Olympic sport is incredibly physically demanding, offering a great cardio workout while improving balance and building various muscle groups. One rookie mistake many make is not getting in shape before hitting the slopes. NEBH Athletic Trainers in the Sports Performance Center recommend building leg strength and core stability, and offer these three essential exercises to get you in snowboarding shape.

Exercise One: Squats
When you see higher level snowboarders, like those in the Olympics, you’ll notice they maintain a bent knee position and their upper body stays very still and quiet.  Your training should mimic these positions. A great exercise to duplicate this posture is a squat with forward arm raise.

  • Grab some light weight dumb bells or a medicine ball.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder’s width apart.
  • Squat down to a comfortable position while raising your arms out in front of you to shoulder height.
  • Try to hold the position for 5 seconds. This will strengthen your legs and train your core to maintain stability.

Exercise Two: Calf Raises
It is important to build strength in your calf muscles in order to keep you on your toe edge. The calf raise exercise will help strengthen your calves as well as the muscles in your feet and around your ankles.

  • Stand on one foot while the opposite leg is bent at a 90 degree angle.
  • Rise up off your heel onto the ball of your foot and lower down slowly.
  • Repeat 20-30 times.
  • Switch legs.
  • Hold on to dumb bells in each hand or a medicine ball in front of you to make the exercise more challenging.

Exercise Three: Pushups
Since most of us aren’t Olympic athletes, we will spend some time falling down in the snow. Continuously getting up on a snowboard can become exhausting, so pushups will help strengthen your body so no matter how many falls you take, you can keep going all day long.

  • Lie on the floor, face down, legs together with hands on the floor under your shoulders, and fingers pointed forward.
  • Ankles are flexed so your toes are on the floor.
  • Keep your back and legs straight while pushing up. Maintain the alignment of your head, shoulders and hips.
  • Now lower your body down without touching the floor
  • Push yourself back up.
  • Repeat.
  • You are working against gravity, so be sure to keep your abdominal (or stomach) muscles pulled in tight (pull your belly button in towards your spine) and do not let your back sag at your waist.
  • The level of difficulty for pushups can be adjusted. Try them in modified bent-knee position on the ground or standing with hands against the wall.

If you have any health concerns, be sure to consult your doctor before beginning a new exercise routine.

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