The snow fall means prime conditions in the mountains. For all of you snowboarders, it's time to tune up your board and head to the slopes. Here are some quick exercise tips to keep your legs in shape for nice groomed runs or that deep powder.
Standing Single Leg Bends
Legs are your workhouse when you snowboard, so a good leg workout is essential. For example, if you are going to exercise your right leg, lift your left leg behind you in the air (slightly) and slowly bend your right knee (right knee cap does not pass front right toe), and then back up. When you get to your last repetition, I want you to hold it and count to 20 seconds, and then do the left leg the same way. You are going to do 4 sets of 30 repetitions per leg with a 20 second hold on the last repetition.
Basic Plank Exercise
Since snowboarding involves a lot of your core muscles for balance, you want to maintain that strength for the entire snow season. Do 4 sets of the basic plank and hold each set for 60 seconds.
The reason I am putting this exercise in is because for the novice or beginner snowboarder, you are going to be falling a lot. When you fall you are constantly going to be using your triceps muscles to push you back up to your feet. The easiest way to exercise this part of your arm is with a triceps dip. You can do them on a single stair or with your hands flat on the floor close to your buttocks muscles. Do 4 sets of 20 reps with 20 to 30 seconds rest in between.
For the snowboarders who like to ride the park and can do crazy jumps, tryplyometric hops on a 12" step or bench. You want to get into your ready to jump squat position and then blast up on to the step and then back on the floor. You want to do this for 10 jumps in a row and then rest 30 seconds for 4 sets.
More: Ski Exercises
If you can skateboard and you like the snowboard parks, you should practice the Ollie. If you can Ollie on a skateboard, this is the basic step of starting a jump or getting air off a lip of a run. In addition, you are going to be working your calf muscles that initially help you pop off the jump. If you can Ollie, do 5 Ollie's in a row and rest. Then repeat for 3 more sets of 5 reps.
The key to these exercises is to maintain your strength, but also to keep your muscular endurance when you're out on the slopes. One of the biggest complaints that snowboarders and skiers have is that their lower leg muscles fatigue too quickly. If you can incorporate these exercises into your fitness routine, your experience on the slopes will be more enjoyable and you'll be able to perform at a consistent rate versus fatiguing too quickly. Have fun out there!