Snowboard Training with Jussi Oksanen
To improve performance and decrease injuries as the sport of snowboarding continues to grow, professional snowboarders have been turning to performance coaches for snowboard training to prepare them to outlast the competition. At EZIA we analyze the sport specific movements required by snowboarders and create programs involving strength, conditioning, balance and flexibility related to the movement patterns needed for the sport. We have worked with Professional snowboarders such as Lindsey Jacobellis, Pat Moore, Mason Aguirre, Brock Crouch and Jussi Oksanen.
Jussi is one of the world’s best backcountry snowboarders, and has been snowboard training at EZIA Human Performance to continue staying fit and injury free, while becoming a more fierce competitor on the mountain. Jussi says, “…snowboarding is progressing quite fast, tricks are getting bigger and the falls come in a lot harder, so you got to be on your game.” At EZIA we train athletes to excel past their competition through sport specific training, positively impacting the athlete’s abilities. Here is a breakdown of the 5 snowboard training exercises in the video Jussi performs so you can try them at your gym:
Long Jump: To master the kicker-take off and jumping onto boxes and rails while descending down the mountain, learning to do a standing long jump is beneficial to train the body to be explosive and powerful. Stand with feet hip width apart. From here swing arms back, sitting hips back (like into a chair), and forcefully throw arms forward while jumping forward, landing softly into a squat position. For snowboarders who are just starting, practice jumping straight up and landing in the same spot into a half squat. Landing soft is a key aspect of this exercise.
Rotational Box Jumps: Rotational twists and turns midair can be trained with rotational box jumps. This exercise will challenge the core musculature to control and rotate the body similar to when on the slopes. Stand next to a tall box (or on ground or short box if you’re a beginner) with feet positioned hip width apart. Swing arms behind you, sitting into a squat position and explode upwards. While in the air, use upper body and core to torque body into rotation turning 180 degrees. Land softly into a squat on top of box facing the opposite direction.
Depth Jumps: Landing hard off a big jump or rail slide can put the athlete into an unsafe position resulting in injury due to impact. Learning to perform a depth jump will help snowboarders land with proper technique. Stand on a tall or short box depending on ability level. Step off the edge of the box while holding onto a medicine ball. Land on the forefoot of both feet and quickly sit into heels allowing hips to sit back naturally, absorbing the shock. The goal is to land softly with minimal impact.
Indo Board Balance: Rail slides are common on the slopes and doing indo board exercises can perfect snowboarder’s rail sliding balance abilities. To perform this exercise, balance on an indo board with feet positioned near the ends pointed slightly outwards. Bend knees to get into an athletic stance while holding onto a medicine ball. Move the medicine ball to different points in space while adjusting body weight on the board to maintain balance.
Single Leg Stability Hops: When the powder is deep the landings have a little bit more give. Single leg stability hops prepare snowboarders for soft landings to avoid injury from faulty landing mechanics. Stand on top of an unstable object, such as a bosu ball or airex pad depending on ability level. The stance leg should be slightly bent with the upper body leaning forward with arms at sides to balance. The other leg should be positioned behind the body. When signaled, jump upwards by swinging both arms forward as the stance leg is fully extended, pushing the body into the air. Land on the forefoot and roll into the heel as the hips sit back into a single leg squat.
Want more snowboard training videos? Check out the blog Ankle Strengthening Exercises for Snowboarders by Coach Jason Maher.