Wakeboarders who exercise beyond their water training reduce injuries and enhance performance.
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It may look easy, but wakeboarding is more demanding on the musculoskeletal system than you might think. Therefore, whether you're just starting out and need to condition your muscles for the work, or you're a seasoned veteran trying to prevent or recover from an injury, certain exercises will help to train your body effectively. A focus for all wakeboarders is core strength, which is the basis for stability and movement when riding behind the boat.
Dynamic movements are the most effective way to increase circulation, stretch muscles and prepare them for work without compromising power. Dynamic squats allow you to go through the motions required behind the boat in a controlled environment. Begin by tightening your abdominal muscles to protect your lower back. With your feet flat on the floor and shoulder-width apart, bend the knees approximately 90 degrees, like your are lowering yourself into a chair. Make sure to track your knees over your forward-facing toes. Straighten your knees back to standing and repeat the movement 10 to 15 times.
Since many of the tricks in wakeboarding require a powerful jump off the wake, power training is valuable. Jump squats are an effective way to train for lower-body power. Begin with your feet planted on the ground, shoulder-width apart. Tighten your abdominal muscles to stabilize your core and protect your spine. Slowly lower your body by bending the knees approximately 90 degrees. Spring up to a straight jump with power and speed, extending your arms straight above your head for maximal height. Repeat 12 to 15 times.
As the foundation for wakeboarding stability and balance, core strength training is a key component to any workout regimen. To practice one of many helpful core exercises, begin on the ground on your hands and feet, like you are ready to do a pushup. Tighten your abdominal muscles to protect your spine and roll to a side plank. Plant your right hand and foot into the floor while your left hand and foot are extended toward the ceiling. Hold for five seconds and return to the pushup position. Repeat this sequence eight to 10 times for both sides.
Whether it's after a workout or a wakeboarding session, cool-down stretching will reduce muscle soreness, decrease your risk of injury and improve your flexibility. To stretch out your wrists and ankles, begin by sitting on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Point your toes and count to 15. Bring your toes up toward your shins and count to 15. Press the palms of your hands together in front of your chest, in prayer position. Slightly press your hands toward the floor and count to 15. Flip your hands over so the backs are pressed together in front of your chest. Lower your elbows slightly and count to 15. Repeat the sequence three to five times.