(Me, Dan, Nik)
I must say, my passion to snowboard has bit me hard the last couple years. Although I havenâ€™t been able to go as much as I like, I guess you can say the quality of places Iâ€™ve gone to versus the quantity of places Iâ€™ve gone to is more. I have boarded in Stratton and Killington, VT these last couple years and now, as I visit family in Denver CO, I will be hitting Vale and Breckenridge.
Now I have heard this is where REAL boarding happens. What I mean is there is NOTHING like fresh powder and open trails, little to no ice, and the cool, crisp, Colorado air (Side Note: this air up here is CRAZY! I mean run up and down stairs and you lose your breath faster than losing your iPhone on a bar countertop). That said, I want to be in my tip top shape for my first few runs. I may or may not fall much the first few go rounds but if I can get myself warmed up just prior to hitting the trails, I still may or may not fall but Iâ€™ll be a hell of a lot less sore.
Snowboard, like any other sport, does require a high degree of muscle activation, joint mobility and stability, and strength. Although you may not be producing much force in to the ground as you would as an NFL running back, lower body strength and endurance as we well as good hip/ankle mobility and knee stability is KEY when hitting the trails. Many people take this for granted until they hit a mogul accidentally and they canâ€™t react, leaving a stiff lower body and possible breaks or strains.
What Iâ€™m going to do is lay down a warm-up I will be using this year as I learned from last season what hurt and what needed some work as well as explanations.
Â The science here is still not conclusive as we once thought BUT I will say thisâ€¦this shit makes me feel good and personally for me and most of my clients, it works for them on some level. The muscles I will roll will be:
- Bottom Of Feet (this was the #1 thing that was KILLING me after my first few runs. More on this later)
- Hip Flexors
- IT Band
Â Many might argue that this may or may not help but for me, it does. For you it may For you, it may not. The reason why I said my feet were killing me couldâ€™ve been for many reasons:
- Poor hip flexor mobilitzation
- Tight calves
- Boots too tightâ€¦who knows???
The body as a whole is so interconnected that as I learned from reading Dr. Perry Nickelstonâ€™s material, donâ€™t chase pain. The site of pain isnâ€™t always the site of the dysfunction. What might effect the foot may come from the knee or hip or even the shoulder.
Mobility Drills/Dynamic Warm-Up
After banging out some foam rolling, youâ€™re going to want to do a quick warm-up specifically geared towards the core/lower body especially. The reason for this is simple: snowboarding is a lower body sportâ€¦duh. LOL. If youâ€™re wondering why the core is incorporated here, itâ€™s because itâ€™s the toll booth of the body. The only way you can transfer force from the feet up or from weight overhead is through the core. It needs to be paid with excellent stability. If it doesnâ€™t get that, good luck trying toÂ stabilize your body in the most compromising or unique conditions that snowboarding brings. The warm-up movements now will be:
- Hip Flexor Mobilization – 5x/side (Hips)
- Squat-to-stands â€“ 8x (Hips, Hamstrings, Quads)
- Spiderman Walks â€“ 5x/side (Hips, Glutes, Hamstrings)
- Walk-outs â€“ 8x (Hamstrings, Core)
- Planks â€“ 5x/10s holds (Core)
Â In parentheses, youâ€™ll see the lower body aspect the warm-up move targets.
Â After the warm up is complete, finish off with:
- Jump Squats â€“ 2 Sets/10 Reps/60s Rest Between Each Set
Â I hope that when you hit the slopes, you do literally hit them. I also hope that you will incorporate this warm up as with any other sports, a dynamic warm-up really reduces the risk of injury. Have fun, look good, and flex down the mountain. I know damn well I will.