As the old saying goes, “there is more than one way to skin a cat”, which is much like training for the board sports (surf, snow, skate). There are so many different training styles and approaches that are applied to these sports. Some better than others, some very strength and conditioning/sports science focused, some very much specificity focused and some that are well… very questionable as to why the exercises have been selected or the purpose behind it all.
An extremely important component of training is understanding the why we do, what we do! If there is no real focus on what we want to achieve, or the focus is too much on the “oh this is new and fun side” yet has no scientific backing whatsoever, then the training itself is going to probably produce very minimal gains.
Here are 5 goodies that I feel cross over nicely into all of the board sports and the reasons behind how they help and why they should be implemented. They are ‘unique’ as they are often ones that are rarely seen in social media/sports training posts etc. but are actually really good exercises to do. Some are harder than others and some do require very solid technique to implement correctly – but the benefits are high!
Info: Essentially lateral squat patterns are loaded mobility exercises that are great for developing single leg strength, getting into end/low ranges and developing strength specific to the stresses that occur during board sport – think of those lateral movements/turns.
Why we like it: Lateral movement patterns are great for improving single leg strength and in particular, developing Ab/Adduction strength in hips that help protect the knees, as well as hip mobility – which is a must have!
How it correlates to board sports: Board sports are implemented in lateral movement planes and when we implement turns, landings and weight transfers from front leg to back leg etc. we need the strength to withstand the demands and importantly, have the flexibility to get into those funny end ranges of movement.
High Plank Weight Carries
Info: The High Plank Weight Carry is designed to strengthen the core with an isometric hold, stressing the abdominals and provide shoulder stability/strength during the hold and mobility/strength during the arm rotations with when moving the weight.
Why we like it: Simple, yet highly effective in hitting serval key muscle groups needed in the sports (more so for surfers). Only need a small weight and will have your core stressed in no time (I.e. oblique sling – cross the body) and the shoulders too!
How it correlates to board sports: Core strength is needed across the board for all board sports and is highly beneficial for surfers due to the weight carry – surfers shoulder health is big one to keep mobile and strong from all the paddling!
Reactive Box Jumps
Info: The Reactive Box Jumps is a plyometric exercise designed to work on ground reaction time, stretch shortening cycle and the development of fast twitch muscle fibers (utilized for power work like jumping). With practice, box jumps like these will improve your explosive power, reactive strength, jumping ability and sports performance.
Why we like it: Easy to do and easy to change up for different loading mechanics. Very effective in developing fast twitch muscle fibers – key for quick powerful movements required in all of the board sports when rapidly compressing and extending, landing and for all the jumps implemented in these sports. Does need to be implemented well though! Not only are we developing power but also safe landing mechanics too.
How it correlates to board sports: Snow and skate sports have loads of jumping movement patterns associated with the tricks/maneuvers (I.e. jumping onto a rail and landing) and surfers have to quickly react to the wave for doing quick turns and also for implementing airs.
Info: Your abductor muscles are responsible for moving your leg away from your body’s midline, while the adductors are responsible for moving the leg back towards your body’s midline. The main functions include providing stability during daily activities and supporting explosive movements such as jumping and running for athletes. The adductors are mostly known to absorb force in change of direction movements.
Why we like it: Injury prevention! The Ab/adductor Disk Slides is designed to strengthen the abductors and adductor muscles as well as provide knee strength such as helping protect the MCL – which takes a hiding in these board sports.
How it correlates to board sports: Adductors and abductors sometimes get overlooked in these sports, but are very important in looking after knees from all of the impacts, rotations and dynamic, funny end range movements that are very common in these board sports that sees the knee inwardly compressing down to the board etc.
Info: The Turkish Get-Up is a total-body strengthening, stabilizing, coordinating and mobility movement pattern. The full-body exercise a complex movement pattern, requiring leg, core and shoulder strength, as well as coordination and shoulder stability. It also trains the simple (but necessary) skill of getting off the floor and keeping stable. While it is an advanced exercise, it has very big rewards once the technique is mastered – making it an exercise to learn to build into and learn how to implement correctly before loading.
Why we like it: Great total-body exercise! It uses many of the movement patterns we recruit in everyday life: rolling over, kneeling, standing, reaching. Performing these actions helps overall athleticism, aid in injury prevention while also improving strength, mobility and stability.
How it correlates to board sports: Think of all the dynamic end ranges board sports athletes get into. Deep squats, upright torso and the need to be very stable to execute maneuvers well…this is how it all crosses over. It’s everything!