Back to school, back to work. I’m excited for the passing of the seasons and that even this summer could come to an end. I look forward to a new season and plan on starting it by being fitter than ever. And I would like to share the training program with you so you can do the same.
So we’ve just started the preseason training here at the National Snowboard Academy, which includes strength training, acrobatics, coordination and cardio. As I wrote the strength program for the second graders (12th grade), I thought to myself: If I believe in this program being one of the simplest ways to get my students stronger, why don’t I try it out for myself?
So I will. Starting today I will do the same strength program as my second graders and see where I end up in a couple of weeks. If you didn’t know it I’m a big fan of the KISS!-rule, which means Keep It Simple Stupid!, especially when strength training for sports. (You can read more about my views on strength training for snowboarding and sports here .) The program in itself is really simple and built up around two whole body sessions per week with quite moderate volume. This is because we do train a lot of other stuff during the weeks and adding extra volume in the gym would be detrimental for the quality of the other workouts. The aim for the program is getting stronger in the squat, the bench press, and the deadlift, so pretty standard powerlifting, just to keep it simple.
I started out by testing my max in the three lifts. I got a 135kg squat, a 95kg bench press and a 150kg deadlift. This is for evaluative purposes so I know if the program worked for me. You can start with a max if you want the opportunity to evaluate your progress. If you just want to try the program out you don’t have to.
If you are new to powerlifting you shouldn’t try to max out! This program is aimed towards intermediate lifters who know the proper technique. If you want to get proper technique, contact an educated trainer.
For the program, start out with weights around 70% of your max in the three powerlifting lifts and try to increase the weight a little each week. For the accessory lifts the percentage is less important, but you should be within 3-4 reps of failure. Try getting 48 hours of rest in between the two sessions and keep the quality of the sessions high. Good technique before adding weights.
(The set and reps are written in this manor: sets X reps)
Warm up with open barbell
Overhead squats 3×5 (keep it light, this is for warmup and mobility)
Powerclean 5×3 (light and fast, if you can’t clean you can do front squats)
Deadlift 5×5 (main lift, keep it heavy)
Split squat 4×5/per leg
Bench press 5×5 (main lift, keep it heavy)
Pull ups 5×5 (add or remove weight so you can do 5×5)
Hanging legraises 3×10
Warm up with open barbell
Overhead squats 3×5 (warm up and mobility, keep it light)
Powersnatch 5×3 (If you can’t snatch you can skip this, it’s for technique work)
Squat 5×5 (main lift, keep it heavy)
Romanian deadlift 4×8
Bent over rows 3×8
Standing overhead press 3×8
Planche 3×1 minute (superset with reverse planche)
Reverse planche (dry swimming) 3×1 minute (superset with planche)
So, there you have it. A super simple strength training program that hopefully will get you stronger for the season. I’m not sure if there is enough volume in there if you are an experienced lifter. If so, you could probably do three sessions per week without being burnt out. I will try the original program out and see if I can hit my all time maxes later this autumn (Squat: 155kg, bench: 102,5kg, dead: 170kg).
As the level of competitive snowboarding reaches new heights the demands on the bodies of the riders who want to be in the game rises. Apart from having the coordination that is needed to learn tricks, being strong is perhaps the most important quality to have as a snowboarder.
Even though you might not be on an international competitive level you probably could benefit from becoming stronger. Stay tuned to learn why and how.
First of all we must establish what we mean when we talk about strength. Is it the ability to do a lot of work at a high pace? Is it jumping really high? Or is it just a matter of how much you squat?
Actually it’s all of the three.
To get an overview I like to divide strength training in to three categories:
Maximum strength – the maximum load you can perform a movement with.
Explosive strength – the ability to produce power quickly, loaded or unloaded.
Muscular endurance – the ability to do more repetitions with a given load.
You might, with all rights, argue for more types of strength but I like to keep it simple since I think that this is what we want to focus on in our training for snowboarding.
Let’s connect the different types of strength to snowboarding:
Maximum strength is what we need when we land. The stronger you are the better you will be att stomping heavy landings, simple as that. It also affects your ability to do multiple laps.
Explosive strength is what we need when we pop, turn quickly, initiate and stop rotations, etc..
Muscular endurance is what keeps you going through a banked slalom course or down a long powder run. It has a great influence on your ability to do multiple laps through the park.
So, how should we train strength for snowboarding?
As i discussed in my text on specificity it’s easy too fool yourself into doing a lot of weird activities that you think will have a large carryover to snowboarding but won’t actually get you better att much more than the specific activity.
In my opinion you should do strength exercises that are proven to get you stronger in a safe way. Even though the strength isn’t directly transferrable to snowboarding you will get a bigger buffer that you can adapt to snowboard-specific strength. It’s easier and safer to get strong by squatting in the gym than it is to bomb drop yourself strong with your snowboard on.
To make things as simple as possible I have chosen to do less technical movements with high loads to train maximum strength and technical movements with little or no load to train explosive strength.
Gym training for maximum strength:
For my athletes with less gym experience I often prescribe a simple powerlifting program. Powerlifting is a strength sport where you compete in lifting the maximum amount of weight in three movements; Squat, Bench Press and Deadlift. These are fairly simple movements that you can learn to do in a safe way quite quickly and that will get you hella strong if you stick to a program! In my opinion the more we can focus our time in the gym on building strength the better, so compound movements that require little technique work is preferable. Some might argue that olympic weightlifting has a greater carryover effect to sport, but looking at the complexity of that sport and the time you need to work on technical details I think you benefit more from doing the simple movements and getting good at them. However I often introduce my more experienced riders to the olympic lifts to diversify their training and introducing speed into their strength training. Keep reading to see how I implement the explosive training.
The powerlifting program will aim to get you stronger in the three exercises cited above. Of course you will do other exercises, but they will be aimed at assisting in getting you stronger in squats, bench press and deadlift. I argue that if you show good strength and form in these exercises you are pretty strong overall. Since we only focus on three exercises it’s also really easy to track our progress.
If you are new to the gym or to powerlifting, I suggest you first find a trainer who can show you the proper technique. This will minimize your risk of injury and maximize your gains. For sets and reps I suggest the following basic template for a two day per week program: (N.B. this is not a complete program, just a sketch up to get an idea of how to think)
Back squat 3 x 10
Romanian Deadlift 3 x 10
Bench press 3 x 10
Accessory exercise leg: 3 x 10-15
Accessory exercise shoulders:3 x 10-15
Deadlift 3 x 10
Front squat 3 x 10
Shoulder press 3 x 10
Accessory exercise pull: 3 x 10-15
Accessory exercise push: 3 x 10-15
This is a really simple sketch but the main point is that you keep the “goal exercises” (squat, bench, dead) quite heavy and the accessory exercises quite light. As your strength progresses you increase the load on the bar and when you feel comfortable in all the movements you can progress to heavier weights and fewer reps. I suggest a 5×5 set/rep approach to start with when working towards more maximum strength.
It might be wise to incorporate some rotational core work since we have to deal with a lot of rotational forces as snowboarders. A good approach here can be to practice both resisting rotational forces for example doing a deadlift with just one hand for resisting or throwing a medball sideways for producing force.
Sprint and agility for explosiveness:
Explosive strength is your ability to produce or absorb a large amount of force in a short time frame, in sports science it’s known as Rate of Force Development (RFD).
There is a correlation between RFD and maximum strength, however it’s is commonly thought that you need to train on applying the force you can produce in a short time frame for it to have a carryover effect to explosive strength.
A big part of the ability to produce force quickly is good neuromuscular control and coordination. So to become better at producing force quickly we need to learn how to move in a way that we can do so. In my opinion it’s always good to keep things simple and train on becoming better at things that you easily can fathom. In this case sprinting and jumping is my go to training to focus on RFD.
Most people know how to jump and sprint and can learn how to do it safely pretty quickly. Therefore they can progress to more complicated drills or increase the load and see their progress.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to sprint and jump drills but the main focus’ should be stability in the hip and knee joints, and maximum effort. This doesn’t mean that you should do maximum box jumps until your shins are bloody but that when you do a squat jump or a broad jump you focus on jumping as high or as far as possible, every single rep.
Working in different planes of movement is also a good idea here since it’s something you seldom do at the gym. For example you can practice jumping and landing sideways or you can try sprinting backwards to increase coordination and neuromuscular control.
Here is a little workout I did a while back that you can find some inspiration from:
Muscular endurance, for your banked slalom comp or your Japow trip:
We’ve all felt that burning sensation that you get during a great, long pow run. Well, here’s a way to keep that sensation on hold for a bit longer and, hopefully, recover quicker for the next run.
It’s quite simple really, do more work with less rest and push yourself to endure for longer. It’s not fun, it will suck, that’s kind of the point. However you can be really creative in designing your workouts so that they don’t become too repetitive. Look to Crossfit for inspiration, they’re pros at designing workouts that really suck but are quite fun as well.
A good test of endurance in your leg muscles is choosing a weight and see how many repetitions you can do before failing. A weight that you can do 3 sets of 10 or maybe 12 is pretty good to start with.
Another way of testing your endurance is to choose a time cap and see how many repetitions you can do within this time cap. Both of these tests requires you to have good form performing the exercises so be cautious of your form and don’t push yourself beyond your technical limit. If you’re in doubt, have a spotter to check your form and call you out for “technical failure”.
You can work your way up to really many reps in some cases but at some point you will lean over to more of a conditioning aerobic exercise where it’s not your muscular endurance limiting you, but your aerobic capacity. Training in the rep range of 20-50 reps is not uncommon for muscular endurance training, it’s also not uncommon to train to failure. In this case it’s quite safe since the load you need in order to do 20+ reps must be low.
For the muscular endurance training it might be beneficial to incorporate some isometric exercises, for example planches or wall sits. A caveat when performing isometric exercises: Try to keep the tension tight all the way through your set! Don’t try to make it as easy as possible just to last the time out. It’s better to do a 30 second planche with high tension than a 1 minute planche with sloppy tension. In the latter you might last longer but not due to getting better endurance but because you just found a more efficient way to do the exercise.
Don’t forget to rest!
As to how often you should train these three qualities it’s important to remember that the higher the load of the workout the more rest you need. You will need more rest after a workout where you’ve maxed out your squat than when you’ve done 3 sets of 10 at 60-70% of your max. This goes for the sprinting and jumping as well as plyometrics are pretty strenuous on your ligaments and joints.
A good rule of thumb is to rest at least 24h between the gym workouts and 48-72h between the sprint workouts.
The endurance workouts aren’t as strenuous on your joints and ligaments since you have to keep the load light, but you might experience muscle soreness since you do a lot of volume these workouts. Rest as needed and be aware that you can be subject to overtraining if you just push on through the pain for a long training period.
If you experience daily muscle soreness and a decline in performance on your workouts it’s probably a good idea to take a few days of and get a good amount of sleep and good food.
The science of strength training is not easily fathomable but in this text I’ve tried to simplify and connect different areas of training to snowboarding qualities. As it’s a simplification there are a lot of exercises and types of training that aren’t mentioned that might be really good for snowboarding.
When you plan your training try to incorporate some of the following:
Lifting something that’s really heavy.
Sprinting and jumping far and high.
Doing something that makes your muscles burn.
It’s not as simple as that, but it’s a start and int will get you a long way and get you fitter before the upcoming season!
If you have any questions feel free to contact me at email@example.com or via instagram @rehncoaching or on Facebook.
Have you ever failed to reach a goal? Maybe you planned on doing a trick this season, but the opportunity to try it never really seemed to appear? Maybe the conditions were shit every day of the season? Or perhaps you need to start focusing on the small steps you can take every day to master the trick.
Almost anyone who is involved in sports will tell you that it is important to set goals. And most people who are a bit serious with their riding will tell you their goals for the season if you ask them. But what people (both coaches and riders) have a harder time to explain is how you reach those goals and land those tricks.
In this post I will focus on trick goals. Trick goals for a season are pretty easy goals to work with since it’s easy to make them SMART . They are specific, binary (you either stomp or you don’t), easy to set within your limits, relevant to you and your creativity and since you often set them in the start of a season they’re time-bound. What I will present here is a template to use to work towards your trick goals so that you won’t have to be disappointed in yourself at the end of the season and wonder why you didn’t reach your goal.
If you’re waiting for the perfect day, it won’t come.
This is not some sort of play on Murphy’s law but just a matter of mindset. If you’re walking around every day just trying to feel if everything has lined up in your favor for you to try that trick, you probably will find some sort of excuse not to try it. There might be wind, the landings aren’t slushy enough, and if they are you don’t get speed, or when the weather is great you have a loose binding or your feet are cold or you’re “just not feeling it”.
Just try harder, right?
Well, both yes and no.
In my line of work I’ve seen riders beat themselves up on hard tricks for 30+ tries without them landing the trick and I’ve seen riders who “only” have been training on 5’s and 7’s learn double corks all of a sudden. In my opinion you should be somewhere in between these two types. You need some of that do or die mentality to even try the hardest tricks, but you need to get to those tricks by working methodically and letting your body learn the movements in order to minimize the risk of injury when you try the biggest tricks.
What you need to do to get to the mentality that you can do it, and have the skills to back it up, is to become more process oriented in your day-to-day riding.
What is process oriented and where do I buy it?
A process oriented approach puts your focus here and now while maintaining the end goal in the back of your head. In short you will focus on doing the “right things” that will help you reach your goal every day, instead of waiting for the perfect day to practice on that big trick. A 30 min. dedicated training towards your goal every day will add up and make it easier for you to land that trick, just because you’ve actually trained for it and not just tried to send it.
To keep the process oriented approach going you should evaluate each day and think about what you did good that will help you reach your goal. And this is regardless of the result of the day! If you had a bad day but kept focus and worked in the right way, you should focus on that, because that’s what will get you to your goal. Every day can’t be a success but with a winning process your results will add up.
The sum of it’s parts.
To be able to work process oriented on a specific trick you will need to break down the trick into parts that you can work on and perfect even when conditions are sub par. For example if you want to do a backside double cork 1080; you have a backside takeoff, an open landing and two flips (basically a bs5 to a cab underflip).
So here we can start to think about what we can work on in order to eventually land the bs double 10.
Since you can divide a bs double 10 into a bs 5 to a cab underflip, those two moves is what I would try to perfect, and especially the cab underflip since that’s the landing trick.
Do cab underflips everywhere! If you haven’t done a bs double 10 you can’t be sure how you’re gonna come out of it, if you’re gonna flip it more or less. So if you know cab underflips off of everything and everywhere, with more cork, with less cork, off the toes, you will have a multitude of movements that you know and can use instinctively whilst in the air. When you can “cat” your way out of every cab underflip scenario you can be pretty sure that you wont mess up when doing the bs double 10.
Corked bs 3s might be really good to try aswell if you should find yourself in somewhat of a late dip in the trick.
The same goes with the bs 5. Do it with more cork and with less cork. And most importantly: know when you do what. Be in control of the cork, that will give you more air awareness when you want to step it up with another flip.
This is just an example trick that breaks down quite easily but to summarize:
Break down the trick into smaller parts
Identify what type of takeoff and landing you need to practice and make things challenging.
Practice those parts every day
If you do something every day the time spent practicing will add up. You don’t need to practice a whole day but set aside 30 minutes and do it every day, you will get results!
Build confidence in sub par conditions
Ride when it’s icy and do easier tricks. Do your “practice” tricks when the visibility is poor. Try the jump when it’s a bit windy. This will give you the confidence to try your trick even if the day isn’t prefect.
Acknowledge your work
Take the time to evaluate your day riding. Focus on what you did right and keep doing it!
So the trick is not to try the trick until you land, but to set yourself up for success by doing little bits every day.
Some last words for thought
I see a lot of people shying away from a challenge just because they feel uncomfortable. I’d like to urge you to embrace feeling uncomfortable. Not that you should feel that way all of the time, but when facing a challenge that is your body’s reaction to it. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it, it just means you should step your game up and focus!
If you don’t accept feeling comfortable at times you won’t progress the way you have the ability to. Because even when the perfect conditions arrive, it won’t feel warm and cozy to do that trick. You will feel nervous and uncomfortable and think negative thoughts. But remember: that’s your body telling you to step it up and get your shit together and land this trick! Not an urge to you to back away.
Here you can find a lot of technique tips for weightlifting from Max Aita, you’ll get a lot of mobility tips and learn about biomechanics from Dr. Quinn and you will get a lot of good practical advice from Chad Wesley.
One of my favorite videos is about the squat and hip structure with Dr. Quinn. He makes some really good points and explains why everyone can’t squat in the same manner, watch it here!
It’s just a great channel for those of you who coach others, or yourself, or just want to learn more!
So my advice for you today is to go to their channel and check out the content. I’m sure you will learn something or get some new ideas.
So, last weekend I went to Iceland for the first time in my life to carry out the first part of the Snowboard coaches course that I announced earlier.
The layout of the course was three seminars and two practical training sessions divided on two and a half days. I arrived in Reykjavik on Friday afternoon and held the first seminar that evening. The course ended on Sunday with a seminar in the morning and a practical training session with focus on body awareness and acrobatics in the afternoon.
I am very happy with how the whole thing turned out and especially with the participants. They were engaged, interested and offered insightful views on the topics we discussed. I am really looking forward to going there again this spring for the on-snow seminars!
This course was tailored by me for the Icelandic ski- and snowboard association but the topics we covered are topics that I tend to cover on this blog as well. So make sure to keep up with the blog or follow me on Instagram (@rehncoaching) or on Facebook to get access to my latest thoughts about training for snowboarding, or in general.
If you have a request or any question whatsoever, please contact me on Rehn.firstname.lastname@example.org
As some of you may know, weightlifting is kind of my hobby after snowboarding. It’s hard though to combine snowboarding and weightlifting during the season since I want to have as much energy left for snowboarding as possible.
In this video I wanted to show you a typical workout for me when I’m also snowboarding. I try to keep the volume low but the intensity quite high so I get good quality from every workout. It’s a mix of weightlifting squatting and some monkeybusiness. Enjoy!
We have all heard about the 10 000 hours principle (or myth, but that is a topic for a different post), that you will get really good at something by doing 10 000 hours of it. But does this mean that you only should do one thing, or can you be too specific?
One of the most fundamental facts when it comes to get better at something is the SAID-principle. SAID is short for the Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands, i.e. your body will be better at doing the things that you do often. This principle is quite easy to understand, everyone knows that to become really good at something you have to practice – a lot. This has implications when it comes to complex sports like snowboarding where the off snow-training doesn’t resemble snowboarding at all. So is it even beneficial to enter the gym if you want to get better at a complex sport? And should you try to make your gym training more “snowboard like”? I will try to answer these questions and give you my views on sport specific training and tell you why I think some coaches has gotten this wrong.
Do we need to go to the gym?
Some sports require less variation in training and you can focus on sport specific training. That is if you get enough variation within the sport to train all the qualities required of the sport, in a safe way.
In some sports you can easily monitor the compiled workload over time and adjust the training intensity so that you maximize performance and minimize injuries. These are closed sports, for example weight lifting or power lifting, where you always know the conditions beforehand and you easily can adjust the load on the bar, even between sets.
Some sports doesn’t put a lot of strain on structures in the body and can be done in higher volumes without increasing the risk of injury, for example swimming, cross country skiing or cycling.
The gym is a great place to go to if you want to get stronger with minimal risk of injuries. Contrary to popular beliefs lifting heavy isn’t linked to injury proneness if it’s done right, with good technique and proper programming you can get great results without risking your career. So if the sport you’re doing demands you to be stronger (for example to stick a landing) it’s safer and more beneficial to go to the gym and get stronger legs than it is to try to stick that landing until you’re strong enough.
The gym is also a great place to go to work on stuff that you don’t get to do in your sport specific training. For example if you’re a golfer you always swing in the same direction and therefore you get different training on both sides of your body, if you swing left you get twisted a bit to the left. To compensate for the golfing it can be beneficial to even out the strength in your body to be even on both sides, since too much discrepancy could lead to pain and injuries.
So, do snowboarders need to go to the gym?-Yes and no.
If you can vary your training and workload on snow and progressively work your way up to bigger jumps and more intensity in your training both regular and goofy, in a structured way to minimize risk of injury. Sure, then you probably can do without the gym and any off snow training. But who rides like that?
So yes, you probably could do with some strength training before you hit the big jumps.
And here a lot of people point to skaters doing just skateboarding and being fine with it. And I have to claim that skateboarding is not snowboarding and that it isn’t as important for skaters to go to the gym as it is for snowboarders and here’s why: Skateboarding has a built in progression that snowboarding doesn’t because skateboarding is harder. In skateboarding you can’t go from ollieing a curb to ollieing eleven steps of stairs, hell, you probably can’t go from ollieing a curb to ollieing two steps of stairs without a lot of practice. So for each step you learn to ollie you have to do a lot of repetitions on the level you’re at, thus getting a lot of sport specific strength without overloading. And this is the key. In snowboarding, all you have to do to go from a small jump to a big jump is to get more speed, more or less. This means that you, in a matter of minutes, can expose your body to forces much higher than it ever has experienced and never gotten the time to get strong enough to handle. So yes, go to the gym snowboarder person.
What to do and what not to do, in the gym.
Getting back to the SAID-principle. If you want to get a little bit deeper into the implications of the SAID-principle it states that qualities aren’t always fluid in the way that getting better at one thing automatically makes you better at another. For example there is a correlation between leg strength and vertical jump height but just working on your squat max or leg press max doesn’t necessarily give you a better vertical jump. That’s because you haven’t been training on implementing your newly gained leg strength in the movement and speed that is a vertical jump. To get vertical jump gains you need to specifically work on the vertical jump movement and do so close to the speed that you will use when you tet your vertical jump.
With this in mind it’s easy to think that your strength training should aim to mimic the sport you’re training for as much as possible. And here is where I think some coaches takes specificity to unnecessary excess and makes strength training too complicated to get good gains.
In my mind we should, through knowing the sports demands, work on getting strong in movements necessary in the sport. We should also train our muscles in the contraction time most important to the sport. For example: Is it more important that your muscles have good endurance for repeated sprints or is it more important to be able to exert or withstand a maximal force in a minimal timeframe?
This doesn’t mean that we should get our snowboards in to the gym and start doing some circusy exercises that means you can’t put on any load due to instability. A lot of coaches uses balance balls and unstable materials to work on stability, first and foremost foot and knee stability. And they have their athletes standing on those until they are tired and learn to hold their balance. The problem is that when they really need that “stability” in their sport isn’t when you try to hold your balance on an unstable ground but in a change of direction or in a fall or in a battle with an opponent. And there you don’t have the time to find your balance and the forces are multitudes higher than those you will get on the balance ball. So maybe a better use of time would have been jumps, changes in direction, and squats with focus on speed to really strengthen the muscles instead of balancing like a circus elephant.
Don’t get me wrong, balance balls and their likes do have their place in sports, but then in rehab and not in sport preparatory strength training.
Specificity tips and tricks
The first thing to do is to analyze your sport. What forces do you face? Do you have to have endurance, stamina or maximal strength? What movements are key to the sport?
The second thing to do is to find your strengths and weaknesses within the sport. Do you have to be stronger, more agile, faster or have better stamina?
Once you have done this you can start to choose exercises to strengthen those specific qualities you want to work on.Off snow it’s a matter of good periodization and priority. Favor the training that trains the qualities you want to be better at and put the rest of your training on maintenance. If you want to get stronger legs, put an emphasis on a squat program and do less cardio. Remember the SAID principle, your body adapts to the demands it is presented with. You have to focus your effort where it matters.
When you have the opportunity to snowboard I of course think that you should snowboard as much as physically possible. This is the most sport specific training you could do and you have to train the qualities you want to better so…Furthermore if you try to stuff a lot of strength and endurance training in to the season when you snowboard the most, you probably will end upp either injured or exhausted due to overloading and lack of time for recovery. The training you do during the season should be aimed at either variety, recovery or light technique work.
Remember that you train to snowboard, not the other way around!
Today I would like to take the time to talk about one of the qualities that I believe is fundamental to snowboarders, acrobatics. This will be the second part of a series of posts where I discuss different trainable qualities that you might want to develop to be a better snowboarder. If you haven’t read part 1 of this series you can do that, or if you just want some training tips for acrobatics just keep reading.
“Can you do a backflip?” Yeah, you might have gotten this question if you’re hanging out in the park a lot. Flips and spins are cool and a big part of snowboarding, maybe the most relatable part to people outside of the sport. But before you do a backflip or a double cork in the park you might want to have had a bit of practice so you know that you will, at least, land on your feet. But how can you train these skills? I will try to give you a few tips below that you can try out during the summer and hopefully come well prepared to next season.
Can you practice snowboard tricks off snow? Well here we touch upon the specificity area, a topic all on it’s own which I plan on writing a text on soon. But to keep it short, you kind of can, but It’s unclear if there is a direct transfer to your sport. For example: people might be really good at snowboarding but really lousy at off snow-acrobatics, and there are gymnasts who are really great at their sport but can’t do a 360 on a snowboard. This ability to transfer tricks from a trampoline to a big jump is probably something that some people are better at than others. So it’s more of a “feeling”-type of thing. If you can feel the snowboard trick on a trampoline it probably can help you, some.
What’s the use of training off snow then? As I mentioned in the previous post training your acrobatic and air awareness skills could be a good way to stay injury free. If you, like cats, land on your feet when things go out of hand you should minimize the risks of trying out new tricks. This type of injury preventing training could be really basic acrobatic movements like different types of somersaults and other tumbling exercises. If you’ve been training Judo or Jujitsu you know the importance of training proper falling technique. Falling is inevitable so try to learn to fall as smoothly as possible.
I recorded a short video with some exercise tips that you could try out. Basically it’s just a lot of somersaults and some sort of agility course. Play around and have fun with it! I don’t mention this in the video but you should always do a proper warm up before these types of exercises, especially the neck and back so you don’t sprain yourself. Other than that you can do some of these movements before or after some other workout since it’s not that strenuous and if you’re looking to improve your acrobatic skills or your agility you should practice often.
I want to learn tricks, not learn how to fall! Alright cool man. I’ve already said that the transfer of skills between sports is somewhat hazy, but i do believe that you can benefit from practicing tricks off snow. If you feel like you can mimic the snowboard trick on a trampoline or off a diving tower, good for you. Otherwise I recommend you first analyzing the basic movements of the snowboard tricks you want to do and then try to mimic the same movement patterns. If you learn them well enough to automate them it should be easier to transfer them into your snowboarding. Here, filming yourself and analyzing your movements can be of huge help for you to break down what you’re actually up to when you’re spinning through the air.
If you, like me, have trouble doing doubles on a trampoline you can try to divide the trick into two separate tricks. For example: a backside double cork on a snowboard is kind of a backside 540 to a cab underflip. If you can do those two tricks after each other, without hesitation, you could get a feel for the whole rotation and then try it out on the trampoline or on your snowboard.
I don’t have a trampoline. There are plenty of other ways to train your acrobatic skills. The best way for snowboarding is of course to do it when you snowboard, but this post is about off snow training so we’ll keep to that. Gainers or other flips off a cliff or a diving tower is a great way to, quite safely, practice your acrobatic skills and impress your friends.
You can play around, parkour style. I know that it looks pretty geeky but find some friends you can try it out with and watch a bunch of youtube tutorials and get at it! As long as you’re having fun, what’s the problem?
These are summer activities you can do if you’re not lucky enough to go snowboarding this summer. Try it out and plan for next season and come back with a deeper trick bag!
I would like to take the time and talk about my views on training, how you become a well rounded snowboarder (or human) and what I think might be beneficial to focus on.
I want to start off by saying that, although I base my views on training and fitness on a foundation of science proven facts, these are my personal views and how I feel is the best way to implement what i know. I always strive to be better than I am and to gain new knowledge in this field so I am up for discussion and would very much like to hear any other aspects of the subjects I will bring up here.Since I work in snowboarding, this text will focus on training to snowboard and snowboard well, but if you’re just after some good workout tips you can keep reading anyways. Let’s begin.
In this part we’ll start off by establishing what the sport demands of us and what physical qualities we need to develop. And then look at what we should focus on when we’re not snowboarding to be better at snowboarding and to get to snowboard more.
Freestyle snowboarding has become a sport where the top athletes are highly dependent on their acrobatic skills. Nowadays they need to be able to perform not only double corks but triples, and in some cases quads. Wether you’re a top level snowboarder or just a happy weekend warrior, acrobatic skills will benefit you in more ways than one. You’ll be able to land more tricks, making your everyday riding more diverse. You will have more fun, feeling that you can take your riding to the next level and doing tricks and spins every way possible. You will feel safer trying tricks you’ve already done off snow. You will be safer, being able to save unsuccessful tries and do as cats do and land on your feet. From my experience riders with great acrobatic skills but poor strength can be less prone to injuries than really fit riders.
Squat ’til you drop. No doubt about it, you need strong legs to be able to withstand the forces of impact when you overshoot a jump or drop that parking garage to get the ender for your video part. Other than brute leg strength you will need a solid core, mainly to keep you on your feet for a whole day and to keep everything together but also to minimize the risks when you fall. Other than those two key muscle groups you need to be overall fit just to minimize the risk of minor (but sucky) injuries like shoulder dislocations and broken wrists.
A beautiful long distance run on top of a mountain.
How bad do you want the shot? In some cases you will be forced to keep going even though your body tells you to stop. It can be when you’re hiking to that sick line you’ve been eyeing for weeks, waiting for snow. It could be when you’re out battling a rail in the middle of the night, trying to get that last shot. Or it could just be trying to land a new trick and being fit enough to try one last time to get it. Either way, it’s always nice if you can ride all day without your legs giving out and you can hike that line and be fit enough at the top to make the run count.
Some people have it and some people don’t. Sometimes you see someone ripping so effortlessly and you just want to steal their board control and feel what they feel. Maybe some people are born with it but most people have to work really hard (consciously or not) to get there. Just like any other skill this is one that is highly trainable, but there are a few things to keep in mind when you practice it.
I believe these are the key elements to snowboarding. If you break it down into trainable qualities that is. And I know a lot of people don’t want to think about these things and just snowboard, and that is great! I love just riding with my friends and not thinking about anything else than what’s in front of me. But I also know that there are people who do think about these things and like to get nerdy about stuff they like. So I guess this post is for the latter type of people.
This was the first post in a series. I don’t know how long it will be but I do like to discuss these types of things (it’s my job, duh). So if you like something or don’t, let me know. Or just enjoy the read.