Shawn White, Who? Train to Be the Best Snowboarder.

Key Points

  • There are many ways to train for snowboarding, even in the off-season.

  • It's possible to train for snowboarding within the comfort of your own home.

  • Mobility exercises are essential for any snowboarder.

  • Professionals engage in year-round training regimens that are fairly simple to implement.

The sun sizzles the snow, leaving your favorite slopes dry until next winter, yet you still want to shred. Tragically, the lack of snow makes it hard to snowboard. Your next best option is to train for snowboarding.

Winter sports of every flavor are fun but require serious physical abilities. Don't kid yourself. Shawn White is not a couch potato all summer. He trains his butt off! You're not going to shred the gnar like a pro if you lounge around during the off-season.

Like throwing a baseball, speaking in public, or entering the dating arena, snowboarding takes practice. You need to be in shape. A proper training regiment, or even just a few workouts a week, helps you to be the gnarliest snowboarder on the hill come winter.

Don't be the awestruck gaper watching others shred with drool trickling down your chin. Instead, be the one stomping the half-pipe after a sick grab. What is the best way to make that happen? Off-season training!

Pro Snowboarder Training


Whether you're Shaun White, Hannah Teter, or Torah Bright, nobody masters the art of snowboarding overnight. It takes consistency, patience, and perseverance. In the upper echelons of snowboarding, professionals train full-time in preparation for events like the X Games and The Olympics.

Professional snowboarders typically have a structured and intense training regimen that helps them maintain their physical and mental condition, improve their skills, and perform at a high level.

Professional training includes mobility exercises, strength conditioning, agility drills, and on-snow practice. Boarders also prepare themselves mentally for the potentially dangerous actions required of them to succeed. Behind every gold medal and champion are hours upon countless hours of training. To them, snowboarding is not just a hobby but a career.

Every Great Snowboarder Trains

Your muscles work when snowboarding. Even hardcore boarders get hit with a hefty dose of soreness after a long day of riding. When you're shredding, your body uses almost every muscle. The ones below the waistline carry most of the burden, as do the abs and heart.

No wonder snowboarding requires training. It's an aerobic and anaerobic exercise.

Aerobic exercise refers to physical activity that requires oxygen and sustained effort over an extended period, leading to an increased heart rate. Snowboarding is aerobic because your heart rate rises while cruising down the mountain. Your breathing becomes heavier as your body works to deliver oxygen to your muscles.

Anaerobic exercise refers to physical activity that is high-intensity and short in duration. These bursts occur when your muscles don't use oxygen, instead relying on stored energy sources such as glycogen. Snowboarding is anaerobic when you perform tricks or sudden movements, such as jumping or carving hard, as your muscles work at high intensity over quick bursts.

Be sure to get these muscles in shape before opening day. Your quads, glutes, hamstrings, calves, abs, and heart are all firing when you snowboard. The effects reach well beyond snowboarding into every aspect of your life; exercise makes you sleep better and aids in balancing your mental health. Use the off-season to bring your body up to peak snowboarding condition. 

A Wealth of Ways to Train Off the Slopes

Given the high fitness level required from snowboarders, training must be a foundational part of every boarder's life. Any activity is better than nothing. Seriously. A five-minute jog beats a five-minute keg stand any day, especially if you want to shred with the best.

Snowboarding demands a combination of strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. To appease the gods of this craft, commit to doing at least a few of the training methods listed below.

Cardiovascular Fitness

Cardiovascular fitness is the perfect place to focus your training as a snowboarder. Your heart does not know the difference between swimming, running, and snowboarding. Each of these activities gets your heart firing on all cylinders. Building endurance by doing laps in the pool or hiking up mountains spills over to snowboarding. A strong heart equals a strong snowboarder ready to go at it all day.

Strength Training

Hit the weights. Focus on the lower body and abs. A few consistent months of squats and planks build the strength to snowboard effortlessly. 

Balance and Coordination

Staying upright on a snowboard is tricky. Moguls are notorious for shifting your board in ways you don't expect, causing you to come crashing down. Defeat them by displaying Zen-like balance.

Improve your balance by practicing on balance boards, Bosu balls, or just standing on one leg. Try yoga and pilates to enhance balance and core muscle strength for a more rigorous routine.

Improve your coordination by incorporating agility drills into your workout routine. Ladder drills are a killer workout. To do them, set up a ladder on the ground and practice stepping in and out of the rungs as quickly as possible. This agility drill builds the muscles, flexibility, and the control you need on the slopes.


Stretch first thing in the morning, before bed, or in the shower — it doesn't matter when. Just do it. Stretching prevents injury and improves your range of motion. Focus on stretching your legs, hips, and back, as these areas are essential for snowboarding. 

Doing the scorpion is one of the nastiest falls a snowboarder takes. Flexibility makes the difference between taking the spill with humor or having the ski patrol carry you off the mountain in a bright red sled. 

Advanced Snowboarding Exercises

Suppose you churn out 57 squats without breaking a sweat and plank for an entire episode of The Office. If this is you, congratulations! You are in good enough shape to snowboard. 

However, if you find your strength waning in the offseason, these exercises are perfect for keeping you in shipshape. 

Box Jumps

Box jumps are a great plyometric exercise to level up your power and explosiveness on the mountain. Start with a lower box and gradually increase the height as you get stronger.

Single-Leg Deadlifts

This exercise strengthens your legs, hips, and lower back, which are crucial for snowboarding. Start with body weight and progress to adding weights as you get stronger.

Medicine Ball Twists

This exercise improves your core strength, which is vital for maintaining balance and stability on the mountain. Start with a lighter medicine ball and gradually increase the weight as you get stronger.

For a leg workout, take the ball outside, squat, throw it in the air on the way up, catch it as it comes down, and repeat for a stellar workout. 


Pull-ups improve your upper body strength. Your upper body maintains your control and balance on your snowboard. Start with assisted pull-ups and progress to unassisted pull-ups as you get stronger.

Agility Drills

Improving your agility ups your reaction time. In the blink of an eye, you must make precise movements on the mountain. Try agility ladder drills, cone drills, or other agility-focused exercises.

Combine these exercises with proper stretching and recovery to prevent injury and improve your overall performance on the mountain. As always, start slow and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workout as you get stronger and more comfortable.

Snowboarding and Weight Training

Perform all exercises with proper form and choose challenging but manageable weights. Incorporate upper and lower body exercises into your routine to improve overall balance and stability. As with any workout program, warm up before starting and end with a cool-down activity followed by stretches afterward to prevent injury.

Front squats, deadlifts, medicine ball slams, weighted rope slams, and dumbbell lunges are great exercises for weight training. Almost any exercise assists you in becoming a better snowboarder.

Snowboarders need a dynamic body capable of bending, twisting, squatting, and moving in specific ways. The best way to develop such flexibility is through mobility exercises.

Mobility Exercises for Snowboarding

Mobility exercises are a type of exercise that focuses on improving the flexibility and range of motion of joints, muscles, and tendons. They enhance movement patterns and reduce the risk of injury by increasing the ability of the joints to move through their full range of motion.

Dynamic Stretching

This type of stretching involves active movement through a joint's full range of motion, such as leg swings, arm swings, or lunge walks. Dynamic stretching is typically performed as part of a warm-up to increase blood flow, improve range of motion, and reduce the risk of injury during physical activity.

Static Stretching

Static stretching involves holding a position that lengthens a muscle, such as a hamstring or a calf stretch.

Foam Rolling

This mobility exercise involves a foam roller to apply pressure to specific muscles and promote blood flow, reducing tension and knots.

Myofascial Release

A myofascial release is a form of soft-tissue therapy that involves using a foam roller, massage ball, or other tools to apply pressure to specific body areas to release tightness.


Yoga is a form of exercise that involves a series of postures and movements designed to improve flexibility, balance, and strength — practicing yoga aids in overall mobility, reducing stress and tension, and increasing mind-body awareness.

Foot Exercises

Your feet are the most crucial part of your body in snowboarding. They connect you to the board.

When shredding, a snowboarder shifts from toe to heel and back hundreds, if not thousands, of times. Keeping these anatomical structures healthy is a must. Try out some toe raises, heel raises, and calf raises to keep them strong and flexible.

On the Slopes Snowboarding Drills

In sports, it's never enough to simply do the activity. Often athletes — and if you snowboard, you are an athlete — do specific exercises to improve their craft. For example, basketball players practice chase-down layups, and baseball players catch pop flies.

Specific exercises or drills are part of a great training routine. Drills help athletes to practice moving in scenarios they are likely to encounter in their sport. This builds muscle and muscle memory. For snowboarding, training drills include carving, weight shifting, jumping, spinning, and agility. This list of drills below is for boarders practicing on the mountain.

Find a well-groomed, green-circle run and go through a set of exercises specifically for snowboarding. There are many to choose from. Green circle runs are the easiest and least steep trails on the mountain. They are generally wide, smooth, and groomed and don't have any obstacles or rugged terrain features, such as moguls, jumps, or steep drops. Start slow and gradually add more difficulty to each drill as you improve.

Carving Drills

Start by riding straight down the slope and gradually apply more pressure to one edge of your snowboard. Get a feel for how your weight affects the board's movement.

Once comfortable with basic turns, try making wider, more aggressive turns. This builds up the strength and control needed to make quick, precise turns on the mountain. Practice carving from heel to toe to improve your overall balance and control.

Weight Shift Drills

Start by riding straight down the mountain, then try shifting your weight from one edge of the board to the other. Next, practice leaning forward and backward to control your speed and movements.

As you get more comfortable, make turns while shifting your weight to develop a feel for how your center of gravity affects the board.

Box and Rail Drills

Start by riding down the mountain and jumping onto a box or rail. Practice sliding and jumping back onto the snow. Gradually progress to performing more advanced tricks, such as spinning or flipping.

Box and rail runs are typically in terrain parks at ski resorts. Terrain parks are specially designated mountain areas with various obstacles, such as rails, boxes, jumps, and other features. They are for snowboarders and freestyle skiers who want to perform tricks and jumps. Often they are at the base or near a chairlift.

Spinning Drills

Start by riding down the mountain and hitting a small jump. Practice spinning in one direction and landing back on the snow. Gradually progress to spinning in multiple directions, and try to incorporate spins into your tricks.

Agility Drills

Set up cones or obstacles and ride down the mountain while jumping or dodging them. Practice riding at different speeds and changing direction quickly. Try incorporating these drills into your snowboarding routine as you get more comfortable.

Most ski resorts do not allow individuals to bring obstacles for agility drills on the mountain. Sometimes, there are opportunities for individuals or groups to work with park staff to design and build custom features for use in the terrain park.

These features are typically built in a controlled environment and must meet specific safety and design criteria. Consult your nearest ski resort to find out what their policy is.

If you cannot bring your own obstacles, use objects naturally found on the ski hill. Many trails weave in and out of moguls, trees, and rocks, allowing you to practice agility.

You don't have to do it alone. Every ski resort has experts ready to train you.

Find Quality Snowboard Training Near You

If you live in Florida, finding quality snowboard training is impossible. The great thing is you don't need to pay top dollar to train. All you need is yourself. Anyone, anywhere, holds the potential to prepare for snowboarding. You don't need to live in a place with snowy winters to practice. 

If you want to pay for classes, ask for recommendations from friends, family, or fellow snowboarders.

Another option is to search online. Be sure to read reviews and check the certifications or qualifications of the trainers before committing to a facility. Another option is to look for ski or snowboard schools in your area. These schools typically offer lessons and training for individuals of all levels, including beginners and advanced riders.

Check local gyms or fitness centers to see if they offer snowboard-specific training or classes. When choosing a training facility, ensure the trainers have a lot of experience, knowledge, and certifications. 

Look for facilities and trainers with a good reputation and positive reviews. This ensures that you receive high-quality training that leads you to achieve your goals and improve your skills on the slopes.

A Snowboarding Workout to Tryout

Any combination of the exercises mentioned above makes for a quality workout. The most important aspect of training is consistency. Pumping out squats like a crazy person a week before the opening weekend is ineffective. It's more effective to do a mixture of leg workouts several months before snowboarding and during the season. 

Create a rough template of the exercise you want to do, along with the number of reps.


Warm-up with 10-15 minutes of light cardio, such as jumping jacks or jogging, to get your heart rate up and warm up your muscles. Dynamic stretches, such as leg swings and arm circles, improve your range of motion and prevent injury.


A simple workout routine includes all the classics. Rotate between these exercises three times for a full-body workout:

Squats: Three sets of 12-15 reps, using weights if desired. 

Lunges: Three sets of 12-15 reps per leg, using weights if desired. 

Push-Ups: Three sets of 12-15 reps. 

Medicine Ball Twists: Three sets of 12-15 reps per side, using a moderate-weight medicine ball. 

Pull-Ups: Three sets of 8-10 reps or as many as possible with proper form.

Cool Down

Cooling down with 10-15 minutes of light cardio brings your heart rate back down. Static stretching or holding stretches for 20-30 seconds each improves flexibility and prevents injury.

This is just a sample. Adjust the intensity and duration based on your goals and fitness level.

This template is a perfect workout to get you in shape. However, some more exercises are available if you're a gym rat looking to use weight lifting to boost your snowboarding games.

30-Day Snowboard Workout

30 days is really just an arbitrary number. More than one month is typically needed to train for snowboarding, though one month is better than none. If the snowboarding season is a month out and you're underprepared, a good 30-day workout gets you closer to being ready. 

A 30-day program must include strength training, cardiovascular work, mobility, flexibility, balance, stability, and rest days. Make every day different. Your body develops faster when exposed to new forms of exercise.

If you like one particular activity, that's okay too. If swimming comes easier to you than sprinting, then swim a lot! However, if you're not fond of jogging, don't do it. They provide the same benefits.

Listen to your body, rest, eat healthily, get a good water bottle to stay hydrated, and sleep well.

Most importantly: Get out there on the slopes and do some drills on your snowboard!

Snowboard for the Fun of It

Many people shoot hoops but don't aspire to be Michael Jordan. The reason you do anything must be because you enjoy it. This applies to snowboarding as well. It's an incredibly challenging sport, filled with thrill and adventure. 

As the three-time Olympic gold medalist Shawn White said, "Some people attach snowboards to their feet. Very few attach them to their souls."

If you do it for pleasure and can't get enough, do some training in the off-season. The benefits of doing so extend far beyond snowboarding. An active life is healthy, and nothing gets you moving like snowboarding. Grab your board and get going. The flakes are falling and the snow is calling!

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