Snow Sports for Training

I’ve been wanting to start a snow sports thread for a while so here goes.

You see a lot of info about Winter Olympians training for winter sporting events. But what about using winter sports for training? The reason I ask is I am an avid snowboarder. Been riding for 13 years and I am really into boarder-cross and freestyle. Other than the gym, it is really the only athletic activity I participate in.

I was wondering about everyone’s opinion of its benefits (if any)? Does it qualify as aerobic or anaerobic exercise? What is the general consensus on T-Nation of snow boarding being an actual “sport”?

I’d also like to know what I can do to better physically prepare myself for it. I have read Coach Davies talk about this along with skate boarding (which I also do, to a lesser extent) and surfing (hard to do where I live) so it might be good to hear from him / those that have used his training methods.

Sound off! I’d like to hear from other boarders (and skiers) on this subject!

I have been a boarder for 16 years and I would definitely say yes, it’s a sport. Given the load it places on the cardio-vascular system I have noticed that when I have been in better shape cardio-wise, I do ride more fluidly and with less fatigue.My style changes though according to terrain.I ride mostly at 7 springs in western Pa. We have a lot of ice and crud that forces the issue of having to really gash with your edges to maintain control.This burns the legs bigtime! In the moguls, same thing, but you also have to hop/twist your ass off.The powder, if you can find it, is a breeze compared to everything else.
As far as training goes-I’m clueless. I would guess that emphasis on posture chain and oblique abs would be great.I’ll have to check out what Davies wrote and go from there.

So, you consider it aerobic / cardio. I mean, I agree that it is. But is it quality? Where does it fit in the range of, say, hitting a heavy bag to jogging / cycling as far as cardio is concerned?

And how does sitting on a lift for 5 - 15 minutes between each run (mine average 3 - 5 minutes) effect it? I would think this is a very lop-sided train : rest ratio.

I’d say quads, hams, glutes, and abs play a huge role, at least for me. I guess those would be the areas that should be trained the most. But, anyone that has done it knows that a really good, long day of riding makes muscles you didn’t even know you HAD hurt. :slight_smile:


I am also a snowboarder (or knuckle-dragger as my buddy calls me). Snowboarding is great for the quads, glutes and hams.

My only concern now is with a heavy lifting schedule, I need to go light on the weekends.

[quote]Fuquad wrote:
So, you consider it aerobic / cardio. I mean, I agree that it is. But is it quality? …[/quote]

I would think that it’s a more explosive sport like a long sprint more than “cardio”, unless you live where the trails are long enough…or deep enough. I love riding hard, but I don’t find it to be a real cardrio workout; it feels more like a high rep liftin day to me…again finding muscles that you didn’t know you had.

I think lower back is also key here, keeping that arch in your back as you sleep left and right… I LOVE CARVING =)

I can see the connection to explosive… but I know t has to be at LEAST minimally cardio. It gets the blood flowin’ for sure!

Where’s Davies? I bet he can give some insight to these questions.

Like they say, if it was easy it would be called snowboarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I board, but unless you’re in poor condition it’s not going to do much to improve weight-room performance.

[quote]ChrisKing wrote:
Like they say, if it was easy it would be called snowboarding.

Don’t get me wrong, I board, but unless you’re in poor condition it’s not going to do much to improve weight-room performance.[/quote]

With experience, anything is “easy”. But I think it has a lot to do with how you ride; the types of conditions where you are, the amount of time you spend riding in a day, and the style. If you slap on a board and just ride down the mountain moderately and only take abour six runs it might not be that taxing. I think boarder cross and even serious freestyle riders would say it’s pretty demanding.

I just got “wacked” snowboarding a week and a half ago.

I have been snowboarding since I was 12, year 1982. Never have I been so damaged.

After a week and a half of no sleep, cant get in the wifes car, cant steer my ride with my left arm, cant lie on my back or my leftside, cant lift a gallon of milk with my left arm, can only do cardio on the treadmill all because of intense pain, I finally saw my D.O. today.

Quote:“If you didnt lift, you would have been crawilng into my office today even after a week and a half of recovery.!”

I landed with my left elbow in my waist, arm down my side bent with my fist in my upper chest. Along with the above, my shoulder and head all hit at the same time . “POP” is all I heard.

My ribs are bruised in the front and side only, tore my left trapezius muscle , and they believe my scapula “grated” of some meat on the rib cage in the rear. I start physical therapy tomorrow.

Besides ‘crashing instinct’, a helmet, muscle mass , and LIFTING on a consistent basis, I would have set myself up for faliure, big time.

I havent lifted since understandably; moreover, it has given me time to focus on new strength and lifting techniques to incorprate into my iron routine(s) since this event.


  1. neck exercises with harness and chain. Flexion and extension

  2. Shrug, more than less.

  3. Hyper Extension

  4. Incorpration of various deadlifts instead of just two.

  5. Step-up and sideways step-up squat.

  6. Continue with various cardo routines

Lift, get big and or get fit, stay healthy, and prevent more serious injuries.

Ahhh… yet another side of the discussion: recuperation after an accident. Anyone that’s been involved in these types of activities definitely feels your pain (figuratively and literally).

My right shoulder still pops since a hard wreck I had about three seasons ago. I often wonder if it will ever go back to normal.