Best Stretching Exercises for Snowboarding

Here are a few of the best stretching exercises for snowboarders

Snowboarding is a graceful, but demanding sport that requires strength, agility, endurance and flexibility. To prevent injury and perform your best, it's important to warm up and stretch well before you hit the slopes. Before you stretch, you may want to learn: The Most Common Snowboarding Injuries.

Hip Flexors and Psoas Stretch

young man doing hip flexor stretch in gym
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The hip flexors are used over and over while snowboarding. They are the muscles that bring your legs and trunk together, whether by raising your leg towards your chest or bending your chest to your leg. They include the psoas major, iliacus, rectus femoris, pectineus and sartorius. We often have weak and tight hip flexors from sitting too much. Get them stretched out with this easy flexibility move.

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Standing Calf Stretch

woman doing standing calf stretch against tree
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The gastrocnemius muscle at the back of your calf helps you point your toes and make explosive movements in jumping. The standing calf stretch is the simplest calf stretch you can do with the best results.

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Hip and Lower Back Stretch

Hip and Lower Back Stretch
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This is an important stretch for snowboarding to open the hips while stretching the muscles of the hips, groin and lower back. This one also targets the hip flexors and psoas as in the first stretch.

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Standing Quadriceps Stretch

woman doing quad stretch in gym
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The quadriceps (quads) do the majority of the work while boarding. They are the muscles at the front of the thigh that extend your leg while straightening the knee. Here is a simple stretch you can do while standing.

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Seated Hamstring Stretch

Hamstring Stretch
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This stretch can help maintain length in the hamstrings and lower back which is often tight and short in boarders. The hamstrings often work in opposition to the quads. They are at the back of the thigh that flex the knee and extend the thigh to the backside of your body. They are commonly used in walking and running..

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Standing Shoulder Stretch

women in gym doing shoulder stretch
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This basic shoulder stretch can help open the chest and upper body and keep you from rounding forward too much. Be sure to keep your head up and resist the urge to bend your neck forward.

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Lying Piriformis Stretch

Man doing piriformis stretch
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After you get inside, use this stretch for the piriformis muscle in the glutes (buttock). The piriformis geta a workout when you make sudden changes in direction, as you would when snowboarding. It rotates the hips and upper leg outward. When it is tight you can feel a pain deep in your hip and buttock.

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Iliotibial (IT) Band Stretch

Iliotibial (IT) Band Standing Stretch
Iliotibial (IT) Band Standing Stretch. Photo © Elizabeth Quinn

Don't forget the iliotibial (IT) band -- the tough fibers that run along the outside of the thigh that stabilizes the joints. Boarders need it loose.

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Achilles Tendon - Heel Stretch

young woman doing achilles heel stretch against wall
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The Achilles tendon isn't commonly injured during snowboarding, but, along with the calf, it's good to keep it loose after you come in for the day. 

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