This is something that most snowboarders in the world contemplate over.
After all, it is an Olympic sport... Shouldn't you train for it just like any other competitive event?
Do the top athletes actually train?
I can't say for sure because I don't understand how much the pros actually train myself.
It's extremely hard to tell to how much physical training actually influences performance.
Some of my students belong to the Japanese National Team, and they continue to train hard.
On the other hand, some of my other students, who participate in the video world, don't train at all.
Personally, I would say that physical preparation equates to snowboarding on a better snowboard.
Again, when comparing snowboarding and physical training to a car, it's like building a car with better parts.
As for a simple trick in simple conditions, it's hard to tell whether or not a better snowboard could increase your performance.
However, the higher the level of performance and tougher the circumstances, the more that difference comes to the surface.
For example, what if athletes participating in the World Cup use a snowboard that was made for beginners?
What if cars that debut in today's F1 races were made from materials that were used to make race cars 50 years ago?
That being the case, if it's only for your ordinary snowboarder to have fun, then simple daily stretching, walking, etc. might just be plenty enough.
However, if even for a moment, your average snowboarder puts an effort into practicing, it is for certain that his or her limits will be tested and pushed quite a bit.
Even when training for just a little bit like this, your rate of improvement would be higher than normal.
The reason for this is that it's the same as “riding in a good car” right?
Skillful, intuitive, athletic sense can make up for a top-level world athlete's physical shortcomings.
An example of this would be like having a good driver, but not a good car to ride in.
Therefore, you might be able to say that there are athletes who think that they do not need special physical training.
Tadashi Fuse says with confidence that, “I put physical training into actual snowboarding.”
He puts those words into action by snowboarding hard every day (and not just your usual snowboarding).
Of course, this type of training is not something that your everyday snowboarder can imitate. It appears that even people that snowboard and associate with him regularly simply just cannot follow along.
People that train like this give off the impression that they work this hard even when doing live photography and filming sessions.
There's probably no better way to train than this right?
The necessary performance ability is gained during necessary exercise. There is no room for wasted effort in this kind of training.
However, this is not something that people who only snowboard once a week can do.
So, how can your serious or average snowboarder train effectively without any waste?
Actually, it's simple.
You merely do an exercise routine that is exactly the same as snowboarding itself. During exercise you apply a burden equivalent to that of your snowboard and use the same direction, same speed movements, and furthermore, maintain balance.
To put it simply, you include the same weight as your snowboard when training your tecnique
I'll introduce and explain this thoroughly in a different tutorial, so please have a look.
To speak more from a training standpoint, rather than being a sport that is influenced by physical strength, Freestyle Snowboarding is a sport of balance.
For that reason, increasing muscle size and mass are not always effective. Believe it or not, big muscle can cause a loss of speed and furthermore, changes the body's balance.
You don't particularly need a strong upper-body, but you need muscle that supports your joints which in turn, will prevent injury. You also need muscle that will allow you to move quickly.
As for the lower-body, it should be muscular enough to absorb the heavy impact of landings and takeoffs, however muscle strength that will allow you to move in a quick rhythm is preferable.
The core of the body is extremely strong and connects the upper and lower body, but needs muscle that has quick response, agility, and flexibility.
It may seem obvious, but the larger your range of movement, the easier it becomes to adjust balance. The more your range of balance increases, falls become fewer and your risk of injury also decreases. By stretching every day, you can expand the mobility of your joints and muscles.
It's also important to keep in mind that if you don't have the image of sliding on the slopes during training, you won't be able to fully utilize the muscle that you have trained inside the gym outside on the snow.
Therefore, be sure to execute your training with an actual image of riding on the slopes.
When it comes time to snowboard, even if you have incorporated snowboard movements into your training, you won't be able to fully utilize the muscles you trained in the gym without having the picture in your head of how your training will translate to the slopes.
This is a definite fact from my experience that has cultivated athletes for more than 10 years.
Next time, we'll think about what kind of results you can expect from running.
What kind of training should I do specifically? We'll talk about that in a different tutorial!