Why Does Snowboarding Make You Sore? | Core Reasons

Muscle soreness is a common experience after snowboarding, and you will likely feel the effects shortly after riding. If you have experienced soreness after snowboarding, this may be due to the vigorous twists, turns, and jumps you perform when snowboarding.

Snowboarding makes you sore because it is a vigorous activity that requires you to use body parts you do not actively engage in daily. The effects are more severe if your body is not well prepared for the sport since you’ll have insufficient muscle strength to sustain yourself during riding.

Riding engages your upper and lower body in various positions, causing them to stretch or compress beyond their normal levels. Below are details on why you may experience snowboarding soreness.

Reasons Your Body Feels Sore After Snowboarding

The main reason for soreness after snowboarding is muscle strain that occurs when you resume snowboarding after a long period of inactivity.

Lack of exercise is also a common cause of soreness as your body may be unable to endure pressure from the activities involved in the sport.

Falling from your snowboard can cause injuries that result in soreness as your muscles endure micro-tears, and your skin becomes bruised.

General reasons your body feels sore after snowboarding include.

1. Prolonged Period of Inactivity

If you haven’t snowboarded for more than four weeks, you may experience soreness after returning to the board.

The prolonged inactivity puts your muscles to rest until you stretch them again when snowboarding.

Your muscles that were previously at rest start to contract and expand to support your motion, exerting pressure on them, leading to soreness afterward.

Prolonged Period of Inactivity

2. Damage to Muscles

Your muscles endure stress and pressure when snowboarding, which can cause damage ranging from mild to extreme.

Micro-tears are a common form of muscle damage that can cause serious injury, but the primary outcome is soreness.

Besides muscle damage, physical activities like snowboarding prompt lactic acid production in your muscles that builds up, which also leads to soreness.

Muscle injury may not be felt straight away, and you may not know you were injured until you start feeling discomfort some hours or days after snowboarding.

3. Snowboarding for a Long Period

If you have been snowboarding for a certain period, say one hour daily, going beyond this time limit strains your muscles.

Engaging in intense activities outside your standard routine tests your body’s limits while overworking your muscles.

Gradual changes in your snowboarding timeline help reduce soreness as your muscles adjust to the pressure with time.

For instance, if you snowboard for an hour daily but want to go up to two hours, you can add 20 minutes to your usual time until you achieve the two-hour snowboarding time.

Preventing Snowboarding Soreness

If you are looking to prevent soreness from snowboarding, there are a few different methods you can utilize to reduce the amount of pain felt.

1. Stretches

Muscle stretching is essential for preventing and speeding recovery from snowboarding soreness.

Stretching is a recommended warm-up routine to jumpstart your body and prepare you for your day on the hill.

There are a variety of stretches that target each body part used when snowboarding.

a. Hip Flexor Stretches

Snowboarding actively engages your hip flexor muscles as your torso and legs bend.

Without stretching, you may compress your hip flexor muscles when bending on the mountain, and this causes inflammation and soreness around the affected areas.

To perform a hip flexor stretch:

  1. Perform a standing lunge, stepping one leg forward and bending the knee at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Maintain your balance by placing your hands on your hip and straightening your back.
  3. After stretching in one position for one minute, switch the legs and repeat the process up to five times.

b. Seated Hamstring Stretches

Your hamstrings are located on the upper internal part of your thighs, stretching from your pelvis to the knees.

Since snowboarding requires bending your knees and hip at different intervals, your hamstrings can get compressed or overstretched, leading to soreness.

To perform a seated hamstring stretch:

  1. Sit down on the level ground and stretch your legs together with your feet.
  2. Reach your arms towards your toes without raising your knees or bending your back.
  3. Repeat these stretches up to 10 times per session to prevent or speed your recovery after experiencing snowboarding soreness.

c. Standing Calf Stretch

Snowboarding is characterized by rapid movements, jumps, and turns that engage the calf muscle.

The standing calf stretch is an effective exercise to perform before and after snowboarding to avoid soreness in this area.

To perform a standing calf stretch:

  1. Place your palms against the wall and step one leg towards the wall, with your knee at a 90-degree angle.
  2. Extend the other leg backward, placing your heel on the ground and straightening your knee.
  3. After stretching in one position for one minute, switch the legs and repeat the process up to five times.
Standing Calf Stretch

d. Quad Stretches

The quadricep muscles function in the opposite direction against the hamstrings.

They are located at the upper part of your thighs and are often used when bending and jumping when snowboarding.

Quad stretches are easy to perform with desirable results in preventing snowboarding soreness.

To perform a standing quad stretch:

  1. Stand on a level surface and bend one knee, moving your heel towards your bum.
  2. Hold on to the ankle of your bent leg for around a minute.
  3. Switch legs and repeat the process up to five times.

e. Lower Back and Hip Stretches

Your lower back and hips are exposed to much pressure when snowboarding, from riding on steep terrain and performing tricks.

Lower back and hip stretches can strengthen your groin while loosening your hips, preparing them to endure this pressure.

To perform a lower back and hip stretch:

  1. Begin in a lunge position with your right leg forward
  2. Place your right elbow on the inside of your right knee and create a gentle pressure.
  3. Slowly twist your torso to the left while reaching your left arm to the sky.
  4. After stretching in one position for 30 seconds, switch the side and repeat the process up to five times.

2. Avoid Falling

Falling from your snowboard causes your body to hit the ground’s surface, exerting a certain level of pressure on the body depending on how hard you fall, which will often result in soreness.

To avoid this, try to avoid falling as much as possible. If you can’t avoid falling, try to fall on your bum or the fleshy part of your arm to prevent injury.

3. Maintain Proper Balance

Balancing on your snowboard can also cause soreness, as straining to balance can cause your muscles to overstretch or compress.

This becomes a problem when learning to snowboard or trying a new trick.

When learning to snowboard, or trying a new trick, ensure you keep balance by keeping your knees and arms in a flexible position, ready to bend, turn or take falls.

4. Seek Medical Help

While you can easily treat sore muscles at home, the soreness may turn into pain and inflammation, requiring professional help.

Home treatment icing or heating sore muscles with an ice pack or heat pack. You can also take regular hot baths and body massages to loosen the tight muscles.

If symptoms worsen, seek professional advice.

Final Thoughts

Snowboarding is an engaging sport that combines balance and strength.

It is common to experience soreness after riding, lasting between a few hours and several days.

The main causes of soreness are prolonged inactivity, muscle tears, lack of exercise, falls, and straining to balance on the snowboard.

Exercises such as stretches are recommended to keep your muscles active and prepared for snowboarding to help reduce soreness.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not digging my head deep into the world of snowboarding, tricks, techniques, and related safety measures.

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