You know the deal. Strapping in for the first time of the new season and your gut muscles are screaming at you “NOOO”. Your legs are on fire half way down the first run. Your back muscles are locked up and you’re struggling to twist and tweak out a simple shifty off a side hit. It’s not pretty, especially when you’re getting up in years like me.
So this year I decided to get a jump on the early season shred by sticking with an exercise routine that might just help me clear out the cobwebs. It’s a simple routine that doesn’t involve any professional coaching techniques or flavor of the week miracle machines. It’s just my attempt to get into some kind of shape for the snowboard season.
The first thing I do when I get up in the morning, instead of turning on my laptop and having an ice coffee, is head into the back room and settle in to my 15-20 minute work out and stretch routine.
This consists of around 50-60 reps of counter-rotations. The feet are planted at shoulder width. The head, shoulders and arms swing in one direction and the torso and hips go in the opposite direction. Back and forth like that. This gets the blood flowing into the back muscles, which in my case have usually ossified over the course of the night.
Then I do a set of 30-35 crunches, followed by 35 squats, and then 35 push-ups. And if I’m still in a decent mood I’ll hang about 5-7 pull-ups. The whole deal takes around 10 to15 minutes- not too bad. I’ll be huffin’ and puffin’ the whole time but it feels like I’m getting something done- at least it helps clear out my wind pipes and sinuses.
The second phase involves the stretching part. I’ve been told by a number of self-proclaimed workout specialists to warm up the muscles in your body before you stretch out. This is why the exercises come first.
I won’t get into the specific types of stretches that I’ve been doing- you can go online and find hundreds of good sites that show you how to do them. But the muscle groups I target are the hamstrings, quads, lower and middle back, hip flexors and probably a bunch of other ligaments I don’t even know exist.
Recently, I started doing stationary lunges and those really seem to stretch out a broad range of muscles and tendons. All of the stretches I’ve been doing target the back, core and upper leg regions of the body- the stuff we use all the time to shred. Again, these are light stretches that I do and usually only take around 10 minutes total.
Another part of my plan involves one of my dogs, Hudson. Hudson is a young Coonhound who needs to be walked and run at least 3 times a day or he starts losing his mind. I like to run him up and down the steep ledges that skirt our local watershed. It’s a large wooded area with lots of rocks and winding trails, and in the winter it makes a great place to set up stash parks. But you get the picture, burning legs, scrambling up cliffs, out of breath, chasing dog etc etc. All good stuff for getting ready to shred.
I feel that getting in shape for the snowboard season doesn’t have to be some arduous, task-driven pursuit. It could be as simple as having a daily routine that involves some basic calisthenics and stretching. You should probably also get outdoors everyday and blow off steam. Trail running, mountain biking, skateboarding, surfing and best of all paddleboard! Go have fun!