Stretching for the Rad Life

If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking forward to the start of the snow season as much as I am. Deduction… it’s time to start that stretch for the season.

Take it from me as a guy who’s spent many a sore day after months of not using certain muscles regularly allow them to become underactive. This increases the risk of injury. In my experience, the most common of such injuries occur in spots like the lower back, hamstrings, groin muscles and knees.

I’ve had some people ask me how I get ready for snowboard season, so I thought I’d share my personal routine. To help prevent these injuries, I’ve been prepping for the season with a few easy exercises. Doing some simple moves a few minutes each morning in the weeks leading up to my first day out makes the difference. I’ve appreciated an increase in flexibility leading to a much more enjoyable first day out.

Here’s how I get down*:

I stretch my back with simple twists:

• Sit on the edge of a chair, turn to look over your left shoulder and hold; then repeat on the right. It’s so easy and it feels so good!

Next, lie on your back and pull your knees toward your chest:

•Slide your arms out to the side at shoulder height, and slowly let your knees fall to one side; hold several seconds and repeat on the other side.

While I have you on your back, try this next stretch to help protect yourself from a pulled hammy (one of the most common):

• Lie on your back with your legs through a doorway.
• Keep one leg flat on the ground.
• Lift the other to rest on the door’s side and then slide your ass forward as far as is comfortable.
• Hold for 10 seconds and then repeat with the other leg.

“Shredding the rad life”, as I like to say, does require balance, which can do a number on your knees. I find a great way to improve balance is through yoga. Although, I’m a far cry from being an advanced yogi, a good place to start is to become familiar with…

The Ol’ Tree Pose:

• Stand with both feet facing forward.
• Slowly lift your left foot so the bottom rests inside your right thigh, toes down, knee out.
• Put your hands in prayer pose in front of your chest; then lift your hands above your head and look up. If you’re still standing on one foot at this point, nice work.
• Now hold for several seconds, and then repeat with your right foot.

My final stretch helps open my hips and helps to… Prevent from pulling a groin:

• Sit on the edge of a chair and put your right ankle on your left knee.
• Flex your foot and lean forward as far as you can.
• Hold for 10 seconds and repeat with your left leg.
• Then I sit my ass down on the floor and make like a butterfly for as long as is comfortable. I think we all know this one.

Before and after I stretch, I’ll get my blood flowing for a couple of minutes by doing some jumping jacks or taking a short, brisk walk.

OK, that’s it. Take it easy at first, and build up to deepen your stretch. Remember, this is supposed to feel good, so be gentle.

Feel better? Now… #WinterHere, #DontMissTheBus!

*Although George is not a certified fitness professional or yoga instructor, He has been shredding the rad life for nearly 2 decades. One of the East Coast’s veteran snowboarders, you can find George on the OvR bus & on the hill showing you how it’s done.

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