In-season or off-season, Snowboarders have year-round opportunities to improve fitness and flexibility. One of the most critical skills that amateur and professional snowboarders agree on is balance. Balance is not just some natural skill that some are blessed with, while others woefully lack; balance is the product of both small and large muscle groups activating with coordinated precision. If you are looking to improve your carving, or just getting ready for your first trip up the mountain, improving balance starts with some simple exercises featured on Dale Maynor Fitness. Beginners, be sure to have a chair or wall nearby for safety!
One Footed “Tree Pose”:
Yogis will be familiar with this simple but highly-effective posture. Standing on one foot, place the bottom of your other foot against the inside of your supporting leg (think flamingo). Find control and stability in your upper body while reducing leans and shakes. Switch legs after 30-60 seconds. This posture will improve ankle flexibility and overall balance.
Bozu Ball Rock:
Grab your Bozu Ball and once you can find some balance when simply standing upright, lower into a slight squat (similar to your riding stance) and then slowly rock back and forth. It will train your muscles on what proper carving should feel like. Start with slow, small movements and work up from there.
Bozu Ball Squat:
Once you’ve mastered the Bozu Ball rock, time to kick it up a notch! Snowboarders gain speed and precision through the power generated in their legs. To develop your legs while improving balance, stand on your Bosu ball, and squat down. Again, start slowly (and carefully!) and work up to faster, lower, and stabler squats.
One Footed Bozu Ball Balance:
Now that you are the ultimate balance machine, the last exercise combines the one-footed pose on the Bosu Ball! This will activate every lower-body muscle and develop expert-level balance skills.
Now that you’re in the balance zone, head over to LiveAbout.com for eight more stellar exercises that will challenge your balance abilities, concentration, and push your muscles even further. Like all new skills, these can be tricky; but razor-sharp carving, lightning-fast reactions, and complete control over your next snowboard run will be a well-deserved reward for your hard work!