Snowboarding is a highly dynamic physical activity, which works almost every muscle in the human body. While balance, coordination and strength are the primary fitness requirements for snowboarding, flexibility is also crucial to the sport. Furthermore, the fact that snowboarding is usually performed in cold weather means that the body is more likely to get stiff.
Dynamic Flexibility Warmups for Snowboarding
People once thought that static stretching was the best type of warmup. Times have changed, and we now know that preactivity static stretching can cause injury. Here's why: Static stretching lengthens and thus temporarily weakens the muscles. Think of a rubber band. If you stretch it too far, it will eventually tear. The same applies to your muscles. If they are overstretched prior to riding, as soon as you dynamically contract your muscles, they could tear. Sports medicine experts now suggest that people perform dynamic flexibility workouts prior to athletic activity. These may include knee lifts, leg kicks, torso rotations and shoulder rolls.
Postride Hip Flexor and Quad Stretch for Snowboarding
After your ride, you will probably notice that your hip flexors, which connect your thighs to your pelvis, are rather tight. Since tight hip flexors affect your ability to walk properly, it behooves you to stretch them out. From a standing position, lift one leg and bend the knee. Hold on to your ankle, and pull the leg backward. In other words, the knee of the working leg should be behind the knee of your standing leg. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, and then switch legs.
Upper Body Stretches
You can perform this stretch during apres ski. Find the back of a chair. Place both hands on the top of the chair, and then step back until both arms are straight. Your back should be flat and parallel to the ceiling. Drop one arm toward the floor. Hold the stretch for about 30 seconds, and then switch sides.
Foam Roller Stretches for Snowboarders
A Styrofoam roller is a rider's best friend. These long, white cylinders combine flexibility with massage. You lie on the roller, and roll down until you find a tight spot. Then, let your body weight sink into the roller. Hold the stretch until you feel a 75 percent decrease in tension.
Article Written By Lisa Mercer
In 1999, Lisa Mercer’s fitness, travel and skiing expertise inspired a writing career. Her books include "Open Your Heart with Winter Fitness" and "101 Women's Fitness Tips." Her articles have appeared in "Aspen Magazine," "HerSports," "32 Degrees," "Pregnancy Magazine" and "Wired." Mercer has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the City College of New York.