Preparing for a full day on the mountain means tuning up your board, packing your gear, driving to the mountain and purchasing a lift ticket. For many snowboarders, the pre-riding routine doesn’t include the stretching that’s needed to help prevent injury and improve performance on the mountain.
Even worse, many riders take their last run on the mountain and hop in a car for an hour (or even longer) drive home. This is when muscles really start to stiffen up, lactic acid builds up, and by the time they step out of the car, their legs are already sore.
Follow this simple stretching routine before riding and after your final run to increase your flexibility, aid in injury prevention and help reduce the chance of sore muscles that might keep you off the mountain for days.
Forward LungeStand with both feet together. Step forward with one foot and bend down until your rear leg is flat on the ground. Push your hips toward the ground as far as is comfortable. Hold this pose for 15-20 seconds. You should feel a stretch in your hips, groin and thigh muscles. Switch legs and repeat.
- Keep one foot flat on the ground and take a big step forward with the other foot. With both feet facing straight ahead, transfer your weight onto your front leg until you feel a stretch in the calf of your rear leg.
Hamstring StretchStand with your feet together and your legs straight. Bend at the waist and reach toward the ground (or your toes) until you feel the stretch in your hamstring muscles.
- Step your right foot forward into a lunge position and drop your left knee to the ground. Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee and reach your left arm straight behind you while twisting your torso to the left. Hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds, then switch legs and perform the stretch with your left elbow on the inside of your left knee.
Shoulder StretchHold a towel (or even a jacket) above your head with your palms facing forward and the towel stretched tightly between them. Slowly lower your arms until the towel is behind your head. You should feel your shoulder blades squeezed together, while the front of your shoulders and chest are opening up. Keep your back straight and hold the pose for 1-2 minutes.
Jump SquatsMore of an exercise than a stretch -- these jump squats will loosen your muscles and improve your stability before you hit the slopes. Spread your feet shoulder-width apart and bend your legs into a squat position. Spring into the air from the squat position and repeat the exercise 10 times.