Whether you’re a complete beginner or a seasoned pro, snowboarding is physically demanding and can really take it’s toll on your body. So it’s important to prepare your muscles each day before you ride, making sure they are both strong and relaxed.
Which muscles are used the most?
Medial (inside) and lateral (outside) ankle ligaments, which connect the bones of your ankles and providing the control of your feet, and the medial (inside), the two ligaments combined provide stability to your ankle during movement.
Calf muscles provide the energy and power for making turns on your board, flexing, pressing and turning the ankles to alter the angle of the board.
Knees, the four major ligaments provide stability to the knee joint to turn the board while riding: the medial collateral ligament (MCL); the lateral collateral ligament (LCL); the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL); and the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).
Thigh muscles, control the flexing of your knee.
The core muscles of the lower abdomen provide you with balance and an overall stability to your stance during tricks and turns. They also help to stabilise and support the movement of your hips while riding. They also help to absorb some of the shock during a fall to protect your back muscles.
The most typical snowboarding injury is a broken wrist, along with wrist sprains, elbow contusions and dislocations. The shoulder takes a beating with contusions and rotator cuff injuries. Broken collarbones, concussions, and other head and neck injuries are also common.
Useful stretches for snowboarding
In a standing position lift one of your feet until you can grab your ankle.
Point your knee to the ground and pull your foot towards your backside.
Stretch until the front of your leg muscle (quad) feels tight.
Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other leg.
Sit down on the floor with one leg straight and the other bent making a V.
Reach towards one of your feet with both hands.
Stretch until you feel the back of your upper leg tighten. Keep your knee flat to the floor and let your back relax by breathing. Hold for 20-30 seconds and repeat on the other leg
Sit on the floor with the soles of both feet together and hands gripping each ankle.
Hold your ankles and gently press your knees towards the ground.
Breathe and relax whilst holding for 20-30 seconds.
The shoulder stretch focuses on the rotator cuff and the back of the shoulder.
Whilst standing grab the left wrist with your right hand.
Pull your left wrist across your body and stretch your shoulder until it feels tight. Hold for 20-30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
Other ways to prevent injuries
Protective equipment: Wearing a helmet, back protector bum pads and wrist guards can really reduce the risk of injury in the most common areas. Also supports for the knees and ankles can be really help any weaker muscles caused by previous injuries.
Ride within your limits: Be realistic about how far you can push it and listen to your body. Try not to get over confident once the adrenalin starts to kick in.
Terrain and conditions: Gradually work up to more difficult and technical terrain and adjust your riding to the conditions. When visibility isn’t good, slow down!
Balance Boards: A really fun way to improve balance and strengthen vital muscles and ligaments used in snowboarding.
Yoga: A great way to take your stretches to the next level, a very effective discipline that can help to improve any physical activity. Combing flexibility, focus, balance and core strength.