Snowboarding: Pregame Warm-Up

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Winter is here and we have finally had our first real snow! With more snow on the horizon in the next few months, more and more people will be hitting the slopes and snowboarding. While it’s great to head out there and have fun, it’s equally as important to do some activities that prepare you for the challenges associated with snowboarding to limit your risk of injury. Whether you’ve been snowboarding forever or this is your first time, a good routine will help keep you on the slopes enjoying winter longer.

In this post, New York City based Physical Therapist Philippe Corbanese, PT, DPT, will go over a warm-up routine that will target the most commonly used muscles in the sport. When snowboarding, the most commonly engaged muscles are your core, quads, calves and shins. You need to be able to get up from low surfaces, rock back and forth, rotate from your core, and get up from a forward and a backward position. The following is a list of the exercises Philippe would recommend as a warm-up routine to be performed prior to heading out. These exercises do not need to be performed in the order listed. And, as always, before participating in any activity be sure to check with your doctor.

Exercise 1: Side to side trunk rotation. Begin this exercise by standing with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and without moving your legs rotate from your waist back and forth from left to right throughout your full range. Try your best to control the motion and not just use momentum. Perform 15-20 repetitions, going through the full range for 2-3 sets.


Exercise 2: Toe touches with opposite hand. Start with feet shoulder width apart and while keeping your knee as straight as possible bring your leg up and touch your toes with the opposite hand. If you can’t quite touch your toes it’s okay just try your best to maintain good form. Perform 10-15 repetitions with each leg for 2-3 sets.


Exercise 3: Body weight squats. Start with your feet approximately shoulder width apart and feet in a neutral or close to neutral position and squat as low as you comfortably can. Perform 20-30 repetitions for 2 rounds.


Exercise 4: Static lunges with trunk rotations. To perform this start with feet shoulder width apart and bring one foot back so that you are in a long stride stance. Keep your weight primarily through your heel on the front foot and toes on the back foot. Focus on bending your back knee and bringing it close to the ground. When you reach the bottom of the range rotate towards the front leg, back to neutral and then back up. Perform 10-15 repetitions for each side.


Exercise 5: Calf stretch against wall with straight knee and bent knee. To perform this exercise place one foot forward and one foot back behind you while keeping your knee straight and hands against a wall. Press back and direct the force through your heel. Hold for at least 30-60 seconds and repeat on both sides for 2-3 repetitions. Get back into the same position but instead bend the back knee while keeping your heel down and shift the weight towards the front of the back foot. Hold for at least 30-60 seconds and repeat on both sides for 2-3 repetitions.

With this warm-up you should be better setup to enjoy the slopes and limit the risk of injury.


Philippe Corbanese Physical Therapist SoHo NYPhilippe Corbanese, PT, DPT, is a staff therapist here at Thrive PT in NoHo New York. He has worked in a variety of settings and has treated patients with neurological, orthopedic and sports injuries. These experiences led him to his specialty in sports and orthopedic injuries. For the past five years, he has worked extensively with professional athletes on the US Women’s Rugby team, and the Harlem Wizards as well as collegiate and recreational athletes. (read more)