Snowboarding for extended periods of time puts stress and tension on several muscles in the legs. The bending combined with side to side torso twisting also places continual pressure on the lower and upper sections of the abdomen and back muscles. Collectively, casual snowboarding provides moderate exercise, though professional athletes and hobbyists tend to enjoy the sport as a purely fun and enjoyable activity.
Dry Land Stretching
As with most board sports and physical activities that require the use of accessories and equipment, a number of basic stretches can help prepare the body. These following stretches are to be performed before your feet get strapped into the board. They mainly focus on loosening the muscles that become hard to target while attached to the board.
- Dry Land Stretch #1. Stride forward into a lunging stance with one leg in front of the other. This stretch simulates running, but with much deeper transitions between steps. Holding this stretch with each stride helps improve balance while loosening the quadriceps muscles. Performing a few sets of lunges before snowboarding will help reduce the risk of leg injury and help you stabilize the board while at low to moderate speeds.
- Dry Land Stretch #2. Place both feet together with your legs completely extended and stiff. Bend at the waist and touch the toes or the ground in front of them for a hamstring stretch.
- Dry Land Stretch #3. With feet spread at a shoulder-width distance, squat down and jump on the way back up. These jump squats will help with stability and balance when on the board. They will also loosen the leg muscles.
These stretches will take place once the feet get strapped in to the boots and are fastened to the board. Perform all of these exercises on flat ground away from areas with inclines for optimal balance.
- On Board Stretch #1. Lock the knees and extend the legs into a stiff posture. Reach for the outer ankles and hold the position without bouncing. This will help stretch the hamstrings.
- On Board Stretch #2. Sit on the ground with both legs extended outward. Reach for the rail of the board and try to wrap both hands around to the bottom surface. This stretch acts much like the toe touching exercise performed on dry land.
- On Board Stretch #3. Much like the jump squats performed on dry land, doing the same motion while strapped onto the board will help the body adjust to the added weight and fixed position. This exercise stretches the legs and helps with balance and stability as well.
- On Board Stretch #4. Stabilize the board and then twist the body at the waist from side to side to loosen the back muscles and the core. These muscles frequently undergo pressure during turns on the board.
- On Board Stretch #5. Extend both arms straight up. Bend at the waist and touch the right hand to the left foot, and then come back to the straight extended position. Bend at the waist again, but this time touch the left hand to the right foot. Repeating this motion provides a stretch for the torso and the hamstrings.