Warm up exercises prior to snowboarding

Snowboarding is fun. It’s a very dynamic sport and requires a lot of agility and physical strength. Yes, you can be very flexible, but going out in the cold slopes without prepping up could lead to muscle cramps, jumpy actions or even worse, untimely death.

Warming up prior to snowboarding is very beneficial, whether you are an amateur or an expert snowboarder. Warm up exercises enable you to utilize your muscles efficiently, and it conditions your nerves for the actual run, and warming up per se lets your body know that you are about to undergo a more intensive activity, making your body systems work in unison making you feel more relaxed, thereby improving your body posture and range of motion. There are two types of exercise to perform, namely pre-boarding (the actual warming up) and post-boarding (cooling/relaxing state after a warm up). You have to go through the sequence to achieve better results.

There are several warm up exercise that you can try, among are general, dynamic stretching, technical and speed warm up. You have to remember that with pre-boarding exercises; you really have to start with slow movements, gradually increasing intensity to full speed, just as if you are in the slopes snowboarding. With post-board however, you will just be using static exercises so your muscles and other body systems return to the normal, resting state.

I’ll be discussing the five commonly used warm up exercise that you can try for yourself. This should be easy and simple to perform, so you can master this in no time.
Toe and Heel walks – this type of exercise will generally help your calf muscles to avoid cramps. To do this, simply walk on your toes, at a distance of about 20 meters. Do the same while on your heels. Whenever you feel muscle ache, you could stop for a while.
Skipping – this is particularly useful in snowboarding, as usually you can encounter obstacles whilst in the slopes. Try the skipping exercise for 20 meters, landing with your mid-foot, not the heel or the toe. You also have to flex your knees slightly higher than the normal strides.
Hip Circles – it will make your buttocks and midsection more stable with the pressures in skipping or changing angles in snowboarding. Perform by having your hands on the hips, with feet together. Raise and bend one leg in front of you, rotate it up to your side and lower it. Do the same on the other leg, and do this ten times per leg.
Lunge – gives a stable forward thrust in the field. Do this by standing on your feet, and slowly raise your knees up to the chest. Release. Do this ten times, then on the opposite leg.
Inchworm – this can warm up your whole leg, with a good stretch to your hamstring and calf muscle group. Begin by assuming a push-up position. Slowly walk your legs towards your hand, and then walk your hands away to assume the push-up position again (like the inchworm). Repeat this for five to ten times.

After that, you will need a “cool down” exercise. This will prevent lactic acid buildup in the muscles, which can give that “sore” feeling. Basically these are static exercise, just to relax the muscles. Among are:
Calf stretch
Hamstrings Stretch
Groin, Back and Abdominal Stretch
Trunk rotation

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