The snow is falling, and before you know it, the lifts at your favorite mountain will start turning. If you’re particularly lucky, maybe they already are…we’re only a little jealous. 😉
This. This is what you’ve been waiting for all year.
The only problem is, you’re afraid no one is in good enough shape to be able to hack full days on the mountain all season long…and, you’re probably right.
The kids are back in school. You’re exhausted. They’re exhausted. Everyone’s exhausted.
It’s okay, we get it. It’s not your fault. It’s society’s fault. I mean, who’s bright idea was it that we (and our kids?) needed to be on the go from sunup to sundown Every. Flipping. Day? And, then, make healthy dinners, take out the trash, and drive across town to renew your emissions. Oh. And, don’t forget to take your kid to that dentist appointment. You know, the one you’ve rescheduled three times already? 😬
Maybe your weekends have turned into sheer survival mode. You know, the ones where you order pizza and let everyone binge watch YouTube because having to add one more thing might make you pull out every last hair on your head?
It happens to everyone. Seriously. Just ask our kids what we did a couple of weekends ago… 🤷🏻♀️
That’s why we like to have a list of things to pull from to help the kids build up their strength that can take as little or as much time or energy as we have. We’ve pulled together some of our favorite non-workout workouts to get the kids (and us) moving in this post. Your kids might not even realize you’re duping them into getting in shape. 😉 And, the best part is, since we know you’re crazy busy, most of them can be done in and around your neighborhood. That way, you can still be moving towards that sweet sound of your bindings clicking into place as you head down the mountain run after run.
Right after you unstrap and hike halfway back to the lift to help your kid find the glove they’ve already dropped, that is. 🤷🏻♀️
An addition of a trampoline to your backyard is a fun way to build that fitness level. It’s a great way to get kids’ heart rate up without them even realizing they are doing cardio. Now, we know that there can be concerns with trampolines. And, we definitely had all those same objections in regards to safety at first.
However, in searching for the best trampoline for us, we did a ton of research and ended up with this one from ACON. We’ve been super happy with it, and it addresses the main safety concerns we had. It has a safety net inside the springs, which helps to keep the kids from getting an arm or a leg caught in the springs. The springs themselves are also covered with a thick mat to prevent injury. In addition, the bounce on this particular trampoline is terrific. We can all get out there and jump on it together (although we can’t technically recommend that 😉), and it handles all of us without any difficulty.
We think ACON has done a spectacular job of answering parental concerns while still making a quality product. Plus, it was about half the cost of a springless. Of course, the potential for injury is still there. But, we finally decided that most of the other activities that we do also carry risk. And that ultimately, it’s about minimizing those risks and having fun.
Hiking is another great way to build leg strength and endurance. Sometimes it can come in the form of real “hikes,” but even walks around your neighborhood are excellent ways to increase physical activity. Make it a family affair, take the dog, and change up the route and distance to keep it interesting.
Throughout most of the year, it’s our goal to try to head out on an actual hike a few times a month. But, when schedules get crazy or after school and work during the week, walks in our neighborhood are sometimes more feasible.
When you go on more significant hikes in the woods, make it a goal to vary the distance and difficulty. Mix it up for the kids with a variety of longer easy hikes and shorter, more challenging hikes. You know, similar to how a runner (clearly NOT me) would train.
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For example, on our Wahkeena Falls hike, it was around four miles total. However, there was a relatively significant amount of elevation change in those first two miles. When you look at that hike on AllTrails, they rate it as a moderate hike. But, with kids, we’d really consider it to be more of a strenuous hike. It was pretty steep! Thankfully, they handled it pretty well for the difficulty.
Conversely, we have also recently hiked the Trail of Ten Falls, which was about ten miles long. However, that ten miles was moderate only because of its distance. If you mix it up and continue to create small challenges, you’ll be surprised at how much your kids will eventually be able to do.
In addition, if you choose your hike strategically, your kids will be more engaged. They get bored of hiking just to hike incredibly fast. Choose a trail with something for them to look forward to or to see along the way. We love to plan hikes with lots of wildlife or to waterfalls, rivers, or killer views. We find it makes them much more willing to continue when it becomes more challenging.
Bike rides are another great way to build strength and endurance. If your kids are old enough, maybe they can ride through the neighborhood on their own. But, consider taking family bike rides as well.
You can change these up to be everything from easy rides in the neighborhood, to several miles on a rails-to-trails network, or even branch into mountain biking. Regardless of your choice, if you vary the distance and difficulty of these bike rides, they will be will on their way to a good shred season.
Skateboarding is another activity to consider for getting your kids ready for snowboard season. It strengthens their leg muscles, improves balance, and can help them get used to the feeling of a board under their feet.
John has been skateboarding for years, and Tomer has recently taken an interest in it. It is something that they can do together at a skatepark or even alongside the rest of us on a walk. I, however, am totally NOT skilled at it. I’ll just stick to my yoga, thankyouverymuch. 😉
Something you may not have thought about as a way to get ready for the season is a balance board. We have the Revolution FIT 3-in-1 and love it. There are several different versions, but we chose this one for the versatility it provides for everyone. It is GREAT for rainy days when the kids seem like they are bouncing off the walls. It takes up relatively little space and is something active to do inside.
Besides, it’s an excellent way for them (and you) to start practice mechanics that they are going to need when snowboarding. It helps them figure out their center of gravity, build their core, and get used to the feel of an unstable board under their feet.
Over the last few months, it’s really been impressive to see how much the boys have improved their balance. We are stoked to see how that translates to the slopes this winter!
Last, but not least, consider including yoga in your season prep. Getting kids to slow down and participate can sometimes be a challenge. However, we are working on getting them to recognize that their bodies will benefit from it. Ultimately, we don’t force this one on them, but we do encourage it.
Yoga is excellent for building core strength, leg strength, body awareness, and balance. All of those things translate incredibly well on the mountain – not to mention that it keeps us all more flexible. As a kid, I didn’t really do much stretching or yoga, and the boys don’t always see the importance of it since their kid bodies bounce back so quickly. But, it’s an excellent habit for them to start now, so they can continue to snowboard for many years.
Final Thoughts on Snowboarding Workouts for Kids (and You!)
If you can spend a little bit of time preparing your kids (and yourself) for your weekends on the slopes, it will totally pay off! Spending some time intentionally building up their strength can keep you from disappointing days where no one can hack it for more than a few runs. Have a plan to prep before and during the season and you’ll find yourself spending less time helping your kids adjust to the physical demands on the slopes and more time finding your stoke.
Do you have a favorite way to stay in shape for shred season?