With 6 weeks to go in this year’s snowboarding and skiing season, it’s never too late to balance, strengthen, and warm up your muscles before hitting the slopes. Really, you could be in your kitchen or garden doing the same thing, as the principles are the same. Therefore I am going to share with you my top 5 quick snowboarding and skiing warmup exercise routine, that will take less than 5 minutes to execute. Your body will thank you for the warm up!
Hang on to your board or skis in front of you for balance. Notice my right leg is about as far back as I can get it, but from the side my left ankle is directly below my left knee. In this exercise I want you to feel the front of your right hip stretching as you drop down, and then drive through your left heel to engage the left glute as you come back up.
Most people tend to have their feet closer together thereby making it an all quad exercise. Try ten times each side, 2 seconds in duration, as long as you feel the muscles I have specifically described. Keep going a few more reps if you haven’t quite gotten the glute for instance to engage. Make absolutely sure you feel the same amount of work in each hip.
Again hanging on to your board or skis in front of you for balance. Twist away from your balancing hand and open up your hip and shoulder feeling the hip, shoulder and back all gently stretch. Since this is a warm up, do not hold this twist for more than 2 seconds. If we were cooling down, I would have you hold it for one and a half minutes.
Next is a little balance work. Board or skis off to your side, and you are hanging on for balance again. Reach the right arm forward and extend the right leg backward, feeling the hamstring on the ground get the stretch. Put your weight on the heel of the leg on the ground to engage your glute and therefore stabilize the hip. This will also hopefully prevent you from using your back excessively. Don’t forget: you are only holding your arm and leg in the air for 2 seconds. Try 10 reps on each side.
Your skis or board are in front of you. Hang on with your left hand and pretend you are sitting down in an imaginary chair. I find most people don’t kick their hips back far enough, thereby bypassing hip muscles like hip flexors, hamstrings and glutes and end up using their quads way too much. You are only down for 2 seconds, and drive through both heels to use your glutes and hamstrings to stand back up. Again try 10 repetitions but pay attention to the muscles you are actually using to execute the exercise.
Single Leg Squat Touchdown
Here is a little cross patterning for your brain and one of my favorites. Board or skis are on your left side. Left foot on the ground, right hand in the air. Take the right hand down and across your body touching the left toes and then drive through your left heel to engage your glute and hamstring and stand back up. Be very careful to bend at the hip and use it as a fulcrum, versus just bending over from your back. If you don’t use your hip your back will let you know very quickly. In this case switch sides and see if you can tap into hip muscles on the other side before returning to the first side.
Hope to see you on the mountain!
P.S. Here’s my new favorite piece of equipment for snowboarding: Flow Snowboard Bindings. Typically a snowboarder disembarks the lift, scootches over to the top of the run, sits down, and buckles in. These bindings allow you to strap in without having to sit down. They fit your foot like a comfy slipper and have one handed locking mechanism in the heel. Easy! Love It! Dry Bun-Buns!
Disclaimer: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and as such I get a small portion of any sales made through this link. Please know, I do not recommend lightly.