Which muscles used to recover from heelside snowboard fall?
December 26, 2006 4:39 PM   Subscribe

What muscles are used to recover from a heelside snowboard fall? If one were bad at getting up from such a fall, which exercises at the gym would you recommend to improve?
posted by Malad to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Well, if you're lucky enough to fall with your butt upslope from the board it's abs and triceps. If the board is upslope, being able to do a back or shoulder roll is helpful to get righted. That would agaain be mostly abs.

I have to say, my stomach hurt like hell after my first few snowboarding days.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:43 PM on December 26, 2006

Triceps, abs, quads, glutes and hip flexors. Arm extensions, crunches and squats. The good news is, all of them will make you a better boarder in general, as well as improving your ability to stand up.
posted by frogan at 5:55 PM on December 26, 2006

If I understand your question correctly, I'd suggest working your core: abs, obliques and lower back. Squats (sans weightbelt) will work all these muscles.
posted by dropkick at 6:52 PM on December 26, 2006

Wow, planning to fall a lot eh? ;)

Actually, from my little experience, that is a good plan! Lotsa core muscle strengthening.
posted by The Deej at 7:35 PM on December 26, 2006

Unless you're really out of shape, beginners usually find getting up from a fall tricky not because of lack of strength but because you're just not used to the mechanics of how to move around while your feet are attached to the snowboard.

I wouldn't waste too much time in the gym focusing just on this. By the time you actually gain significant strength, you'll already be a better snowboarder.
posted by randomstriker at 12:32 AM on December 27, 2006

Oh god, I'm in pain just from thinking about getting back on the slopes (why is it so damn warm this season?!) Everyone's right: your abs will have far more to do with it than you think. Besides that, year, triceps and shoulders. I'd probably add some lat pulldowns for shoulder strength.

Not that it specifically helps with your question, but squats are invaluable to snowboarders. Hamstrings, quads, glutes: it exercises all the muscles that can prevent you from catching an edge in the first place.
posted by Plutor at 5:13 AM on December 27, 2006

Abs and triceps -- abs are probably more important, but you'll notice the triceps more. My first day of snowboarding I fell so often that I could barely get myself up again, because my triceps were toast. Also broke my wrist, but didn't notice cuz my arms were so burnt -- if you're still learning, wristguards and a helmet are mandatory!

Also, avoiding catching edges is way more technique than fitness level. Fortunately, pain is a pretty good teacher...
posted by LordSludge at 6:45 AM on December 27, 2006

Personally, I would just recommend rolling over and getting up on your toe side. It is what I tend to do. I normally only get up on my heelside if the slope is really steep, so there isn't far to go to stand up. This isn't a direct answer to your question, but it might help if you don't get the gym time in.

Second the wristguards and helmet. I recall laying on the ground after catching a heelside edge and thinking that I had just received every pennies worth of the cost of my helmet.
posted by procrastination at 7:18 AM on December 27, 2006

On leg day, start with squats - no Smith machine, no weight belt. This will give you strength and stability. Then work in a hip flexor raise in place of one of your quad exercises. I also find that my calves and lower legs get tired if I'm on lots of catwalks (specifically Adam's Avenue in Snowmass) as I shift back from heel to toeside. Adding a few high-rep sets of seated calf raises and reverse calf raises to leg day will help here.

On arms day, do a weighted bench dip. This works the muscles you use to push up after a fall.

On shoulder day, do your lat and front raises ona bosu ball (flipped upside down so the flat part is on top); this will make you more stable on the board. This is good for improving balance but could result in injury, so be sure to dial down the weight.

Finally, after every (or every other) workout, do 3 sets of 15 incline crunches and hanging leg raises for your abs. Do 'em quickly on the positive (up) and slowly on the negative (down) to duplicate what you'll want on the slopes - the ability to sit down easily and take a break when you want but to hop back up when recovering from a fall.
posted by charlesv at 8:53 AM on December 27, 2006 [1 favorite]

LordSludge: "Also, avoiding catching edges is way more technique than fitness level."

I should have mentioned that, yes, day one, day two, day three, muscles be damned, you'll be catching edges you didn't think existed on a snowboard. But once you have the technique down, the difference between calling it a wet, cold day at 4pm and being sad when they shutdown the lifts at 10 is the strength (and stamina) of your glutes, hamstrings, and quads.
posted by Plutor at 12:43 PM on December 27, 2006

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