Warm up and warm down sessions are an important routine to include during your snowboard outings. Properly warming up will get your body prepared for a day of snowboarding, and it can also improve your exercise tolerance and overall snowboard performance. Stretching and warming up also improves your agility and flexibility, so you can finally do those moves you’ve always wanted to nail.
It can be difficult to motivate yourself to warm up – after all, the snow is waiting – and to warm down – you probably just want to grab a hot drink and rest. However, you shouldn’t skip these vital steps, as there are some real benefits to warming up and down before going snowboarding.
Benefits of doing warm-ups
Apart from raising your temperature to help you face the freezing weather, warming up also has other benefits, such as:
- Helping to prevent snow-related injuries
- Relaxes your muscles, reducing muscle stiffness
- Helps you focus
- Increases blood flow
- Slowly raises your heartbeat in preparation for exercise
Benefits of doing warm downs
We understand that after a day of snowboarding you just want to rest or head out for some apres-ski, but it’s important not to skip this step. Warming down will help in:
- Accelerating the recovery process by reducing lactic acid buildup
- Allowing your heart rate to return to its resting state gradually
- Reducing your adrenaline levels
When and where to warm up and cool down
The best time to stretch is when your muscles are relaxed and warm. Therefore, you can warm up in the comfort of your own home, just make sure to wrap up, so your clothing layers protect the heat immediately. If there are more than 10 minutes between your warm up and you hitting the slopes, then another quick-warm up is required once you reach the top of the slope. Once you’ve finished, you need to warm down immediately, before your muscles have a chance to cool down.
What to do
Both static and dynamic stretching is required to warm up and warm down. For static stretching, you need to hold a position while slowly stretching your muscles, while dynamic stretches require more movement. Do a combination of these stretches for ten minutes before and after snowboarding, and you’ll feel the difference!
For warming up, you can do the following:
- Walk up and down stairs or jog in place for 3 minutes
- Jump squats, which will warm up your quads
- Trunk twists to warm up your back
- Stretch and warm up the following: wrists, ankles, neck, back, abs and shoulders
When it’s time to cool down, your cool down should last around 10 minutes. Once you’re about done for the day, decrease your intensity level gradually, and walk a bit after you’ve unstrapped your snowboard. Afterwards, do some static stretches.