It’s been too long since our last look at the wonderful world of extreme sports, and with summer just around the bend I figure now would be a great time to start looking forward to good times at the lake. But first, you’ve got to get your body in gear, so let’s look at some great workouts that will give you balance, stamina and muscle memory for a very specific set of movements.
Getting up on a wakeboard is a fluid, single motion. Standing up while the boat pulls you requires strong legs, a firm Wakeboardergrip, and both lower back and ab control. But we’ll start with the legs. A workout that will best emulate the standing up motion in wakeboarding is the wall sit.
Sometimes it takes people a few attempts to get up on a wakeboard, so you’ll need the leg stamina to be able to keep up. Practice doing the wall sit exercise while constantly holding the position for a longer amount of time. This will train your legs specifically for the task that most would describe as “letting the boat pull you up”. The trick is to stay solid in your leg positioning, and someone experienced with wall sits will be able to do so without much problem.
If you have the ability to do jumps over the wake, I would recommend doing compound, explosive leg exercises such as the box jump, squat-to-jump (video tutorial coming soon), or just plain old squats. Also, make sure you don’t forget to train your hamstring cause that’s where the pop comes from in any jump.
Holding onto the rope is constant in wakeboarding and if you’re not ready for it, your forearms will be burning after just a few minutes. You can work out your grip simply by taking dumbbells, or any weights for that matter, and holding them at your side while you stand straight up with a slight bend in your knees. Another good idea would be to add on a 10-second hold to the end of each set of standing or seated rows. If you’re looking to be a whiz on the board, stick with the handle that most resembles the handle found on a wakeboard rope.
After you are up on the board, balance is key. And balance comes from a trained core. That means you have to do exercises that focus not just on your abs, but your lower back and your obliques. In addition to the most popular core workouts such as planks, I’d recommend lower back extensions, lunges with a balance ball twist, and wood choppers. These types of core workouts will help your balance while shaping your core in the process!
Also, bosu ball workouts would be ideal for mimicking the instability of the water. Try doing some of your workouts on the bosu ball.
Photo of wakeboarder by Ward Perrin/Vancouver Sun
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