The offseason certainly does a number on any skier or snowboarder's performance once the mountain opens. When early season conditions are less than favorable, as they usually are, it helps to be fit on terrain that isn't exactly invigorating, especially for the benefits of injury prevention.
Pro snowboarder—and one of the best halfpipe riders in the world—Mammoth Lakes' Luke Wynen is incorporating a class at Snowcreek Athletic Club in Mammoth just for that purpose.
"Wherever it is you're working out, you want to simulate being active," he says. He suggests grabbing a partner or an entire group of friends and heading to a park for your training session and starting with a warm up of Frisbee or soccer, or riding there on your mountain mike. "When you make your exercise more social and active, if you're not at the gym with a professional trainer, you're going to be accountable for it. Otherwise, you'll just end up grabbing another piece of pumpkin pie."
Of course, the other option for the self-disciplined is to do your workout at home or go down to the park on your own. But he stresses getting outdoors. "I've been working out for years," he says, "and there's nothing more boring than standing in front of the mirror with a set of dumbbells."
Most of Wynen's class focuses on balance work, from the hip joint down. Here are some examples of fall workout routines he employs in his training class to help his students get in shape for skiing and snowboarding:
Start with some exercises like jumping jacks, ladder jumps, pushups or squat jumps. Do 10. Then, without rest, find a wall and wall-sit for 30 seconds (or for as long as you can handle it). Then, without rest, do 15 of your jumps/pushups/whatever. Take a two-minute rest. "I almost always set up something dynamic and static together," says Wynen. "It works on your power and endurance simultaneously and in a short time."
More: Pre-Ski Foot Fitness