Here’s our purpose: to strengthen our bodies in order to do more of what we love. Of all the motivations we can cycle through, that’s the one that never changes. Which is why, over the years, we’ve published many fitness for snowboarding articles, including last fall’s extensive preseason fitness series.
Here’s what’s next: our 13 favorite full body movements to train for snowboarding. The best thing that all of these movements have in common is that you can do them on your own, wherever, whenever, because they don’t require any equipment. Over the next few months, we’ll create a variety of circuits you can perform that incorporate these moves, for workouts that build strength and endurance, as well as protect you from injury.
Please note that sets and repetitions are recommendation only. Different athletes at varying levels of fitness will need to figure out where is best to start, and then set goals to build up.
1 – Squats
Squats are an essential component of training for snowboarding by strengthening the quads, hamstrings, hips, and butt. Think everything: from getting off the chairlift, to riding all day long. The stronger your squat, the longer you’ll last.
Points of performance: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and keep your weight in your heels. Keep your core and lower back tight as you sit back and drive your knees out over your toes to second position. Make sure your knees track directly over your toes, not inward.
There are different squat depths you can achieve. Focusing on a 90 degree angle at your knee and not lower will help protect your knees.
3 sets of 10 reps is a good place to start, building in more sets as you gain strength.
2 – Jumping Squat
Same points of performance as the standard squat. From position two, check that your core is engaged and jump up with an explosive hip extension to position three. Land back into position two, making sure your weight is still in the heels and core is tight.
Jumping squats are cycled continuously and unbroken until your set is finished.
Start with 3 sets of 10 and build up.
3 – Lunges
The lunge focuses on the same muscles as the squat, with an increased focus on glutes, inner thighs, and balance. Most often, athletes step forward into the lunge. Stepping backward works balance even more.
Points of performance: Legs shoulder width apart. Take a big step forward while keeping your upper body straight. Front thigh should be parallel to the floor as you drop your back knee toward the floor. Alternate legs (a lunge on both sides is considered one rep).
Start with 2 sets of 10 and build up.
4 – Jumping Lunge
A plyometric variation of the lunge: jump explosively between lunge positions, working balance and coordination while boosting your heart rate a bit.
Same points of performance as the stationary lunge. From position two, engage your core tight before an explosive hip extension upward, alternating your legs in the air and landing in opposite position.
Start with 2 sets of 10 and build up.
5 – Single Leg Deadlift to High Knee
This movement helps coordinate and strengthen the muscles of the hip, knee, and ankle, enhancing strength, control and balance.
Keep your weight-bearing leg straight and squeeze the core and glute as you extend one leg behind you. Extended leg and torso should be parallel to the ground. Check that you are tight and engaged as you pass through start position and extend the leg forward and into upward lunge.
You can start using a wall or other object as support. Complete 15 reps per leg before switching legs. Start with one set and build as you gain strength.
6 – Hollow Hold
This is an extremely challenging move that builds core strength. Don’t get frustrated. It’s not easy.
Lie down flat on the ground with your back and belly button pushing toward the floor; your lower back will want to come up, but it should be touching the ground. Keep your abs and butt tight at all times. With your arms overhead and your legs straight with toes pointed, slowly start raising your legs and shoulders off the ground, lifting your head with the shoulders (ears between shoulders). Stay tight through your abs and butt while you find the lowest position you can hold, without letting your lower back come off the ground. Starting with your limbs higher will be easier to start.
Goal is thirty seconds. Once you work up to that, try it out again with your limbs lower to the ground.
7 – Superman
Lie face down in start position with your neck neutral, arms and legs straight but not locked, and torso tight and still. Simultaneously lift arms and legs several inches off the ground. Stay tight through your core and squeeze your glutes.
2-5 seconds x 12 repetitions.
8 – Standard Pushup
There are many variations of the pushup. Below are the standard and wide variations. The standard pushup focuses on strenthening the triceps and shoulders, the wide pushup works more on chest strength.
9 – Wide Pushup
There are varying standards for depth, but going to 90 degrees with elbow instead of chest to floor will protect your shoulders. Keep your core and glutes tight as you fight to keep your body in a straight line (no sagging hips) through all positions.
If you’re unable to do the pushups above, start out on your knees. Body should still stay straight and tight throughout.
Start with a set of 12 repetitions, and build to two or three sets.
10 – Plank
Like the pushup, there are many variations of the plank, with a focus on strengthening the core. Below we give offer three variations.
This is the first variation of the forward plank, which is essentially the starting position for a pushup. with your hands underneath your shoulders, core and butt tight, hold this for twenty seconds at a time.
This is the second variation of a forward plank, and may be easier to start. Bend your elbows to 90 degrees and rest your weight on your forearms, with elbows underneath your shoulders.
In both variations, your body should form a straight line from head to feet (don’t sag at your mid section).
Start at twenty seconds and build to two minutes.
11 – Side Plank
The side plank, compared to the forward plank, has an increased focus on the obliques.
Again, the body should form a straight line and you should be focused on lifting your hips toward the sky rather than letting them sag down.
Start at 20 seconds and build to two minutes.
Modify the side plank by lifting your top leg into the air (this will make it more challenging). Once you have two minutes on the standard side plank, this second variation is a new challenge.
Start at 20 seconds and built to two minutes.
12 – Chair Dips
Chair dips are a great and convenient way to work your triceps when you don’t have a gym. Think about helping yourself up after a fall or a short break on the hill. Strengthening your triceps will make it easier to get up and get going.
Start with your legs out in front of you and your hands on the forward edge of the chair behind you, as shown in the start/end photo above. Bend your arms to a ninety degree angle for position two, before straightening your arms and pressing back up into start/end position.
Start with a set of 10 repetitions and build up to two or three sets.
13 – Burpee
The Burpee is a full body exercise used for strength and aerobic training, of which there are many variations. Here’s the basic Burpee.
Points of performance: Begin standing with feet shoulder width apart. Drop into a squat and touch hands to the ground (position two). Kick feet back to position three (plank) before pulling back to position two, and then jumping into position four. Your set should be performed unbroken. Remember to keep your core tight through the entire movement.
Start with 3 sets of 10. ∆