Plyometric training is recommended if you are someone that likes jumps and moguls. Plyometrics is training designed to produce explosive, fast and powerful movements. Good plyometrics in skiing and snowboarding is essential for alignment and helping joints to absorb shock. Do not start plyometric training until you have a good base level of fitness and strength. You should not perform plyometrics more than once or twice a week, especially if you are doing it for the first time. Plyometric training includes series of jumping, hopping and explosive movements. It is always best to seek professional advice in order to have a programme made to meet to your individual and sport specific needs.
Neuromuscular training incorporates balance, strength, reflex responses and functional movement control. Neuromuscular control refers to the transfer of information from nerves to muscles. In other words it is the subconscious connection between the body and the brain. To generate a muscle contraction the nerves have to act to recruit muscle fibres at the correct time in the correct pattern. It can help improve control and reactions which can help prevent accidents. Because neuromuscular training is so person specific, it is best to contact a sports physiotherapist or fitness trainer in order to have a program tailored to your individual needs.
Proprioception refers to the combination of balance, coordination and agility in order to enhance joint position and joint motion. Obviously, the better your balance especially dynamically, the less chance you have of falling and injuring yourself.
You can do a simple test yourself to see if you have good proprioception. Ensure that you are in a safe environment. Start by standing on one leg and maintain this position for at least 20 seconds without wobbling. If this is easy repeat this with your eyes closed and again try and stay in a steady position for 20 seconds. To challenge yourself even further you can incorporate single leg squats, wobble boards and wobble cushions. The more you practice this the better your balance will be.
Snowboarders need to have good balance in a front to back plane. You can try to improve this by practicing transferring your weight from your heels to the balls of your feet. The use of a wobble board can enhance this.
By Louise Allison, Sports Physiotherapist. www.bonnesantephysio.com