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My feet are going to hurt soon!

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Okay, hopefully I now have your attention.

I've asked this question over the years but always gotten the same answer. I shall post it on this forum and see what people here think.

Every year those of us who ride in freestyle boots experience that beginning of season joy of getting those foot/ankle muscles back into tone. Different muscle groups for forward foot/ back foot must be conditioned. In an effort to try to do some pre-seasoning conditioning for my feet/ankles, I've asked various people - Are there any exercises I can do to condition these muscles and eliminate some of this soreness? I've always been told - the only way you are going to condition them is to just get on the board and ride till they are back in shape. It takes the specific actions used on the snowboard to exercise them. I am being stubborn and still would like to believe there are some exercises. I hope to cut down on the boomeritis. I've also always had bad ankles.

I am open to thoughts from my fellow snowboarders or fitness professionals. Skiers do not experience this particular issue. Please, anyone?
post #2 of 19
Sorry, no answer to your question here, but I would like to point out that my feet don't hurt when I'm on vacation
post #3 of 19
Hmmm, have you tried semi or custom footbeds for your snowboard boots? That makes a big difference.

Another thing, is you could try rockclimbing. For real or in the gym. Rockclimbing demands a lot of foot strength that could probably help your issue.

Maybe skateboarding.

Or just suck it up Nancy...
post #4 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
Hmmm, have you tried semi or custom footbeds for your snowboard boots? That makes a big difference...
. I'd also make sure boots are sized right; my own preference also is for a thin or liner-style sock to prevent any slop (I know some people use somewhat plusher socks with no issues though).

I'd also think about how your stance width and angles relate to each other. Undue foot and ankle soreness could be a sign that something here could be tweaked (my initial thought would be to either try ducking your stance more at the same width, or come in with the width slightly).

I agree re: climbing, skating or mtb (in particular downhill MTB or a pumptrack where you're really using the platform of your pedal for balance) helping some.

That said, there's going to be some residual soreness from the first day back that's not really conditioning related, but more the stress from your muscles and nervous system adapting to the specific demands of riding. If it goes away after the first couple days, more alcohol the first couple days out could get you through with no worries.
post #5 of 19
Thread Starter 
I'm using custom footbeds for my snowboard and ski boots. Tough to get proper fitting women's size 11 AA boots. Yeah Larry Houchen!

I gave up skateboarding in college after an unfortunate crash on the NC State campus in 1984.

I'll just have to suck it up again the first five days.

Oh, I'm not Nancy - that's my sisters name.
post #6 of 19
Thread Starter 
It's not really any undue soreness - just beginning of the season stuff. I'm just a whiner sometimes. I've whined about this for years. Sorry guys.

I did try a more duck stance all last season. I think that really helped in more ways than one. I had a looser, more open stance, and my switch improved. I think I may try a few more degrees this season. My freestyle has got to happen this year.

Thanks for the suggestions!
post #7 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
I'm using custom footbeds for my snowboard and ski boots. Tough to get proper fitting women's size 11 AA boots. Yeah Larry Houchen!

I gave up skateboarding in college after an unfortunate crash on the NC State campus in 1984.

I'll just have to suck it up again the first five days.

Oh, I'm not Nancy - that's my sisters name.
Hahaha,

With the footbeds, what type of footbeds are you using and how old are they?

For snowboard boots you should be using foam footbeds over cork, which of course don't last as long either. They do flex with your boot better.

Just throwing some ideas out there.
post #8 of 19
Thread Starter 
Keep throwing'em out.

I got some Superfeet last year after my Airwalks gave out. I got some new boots - Salomon Dialogue's (a men's boot). They aren't quite custom but close enough. I went through two different models. I started out with the orange and ended up with the green. I've had arch issues and had to work through that. The green one's were great the second half of the season. I could walk and ride on the slopes all day with those. I've probably walked several miles on them in Sorenson Park at Winter Park with adults. I think last season's conditioning was shorter and less painful than previous seasons.

I don't remember what Larry threw in the ski boots. I just don't ski that much anymore. Those are quite comfy and the best boot fit I've ever had.
post #9 of 19
Larry (the bootfitter I take it) should be able to do custom foam footbeds for your boots. I bet they make a big difference. A buddy of mine does them in Steamboat and hooked me up with a pair for a case of PBR. Best case of beer I've bought in a long time...
post #10 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by daysailer1 View Post
I've always been told - the only way you are going to condition them is to just get on the board and ride till they are back in shape. It takes the specific actions used on the snowboard to exercise them.
Bunk!

Ok - I don't have bad ankles. I never get sore feet in early season. You can exercise ankles in the off season. Unless you've got a medical condition, you should be able to strengthen them. Balance exercises on a Bosu, Vew-do, or plain wooden type balance board can do wonders. Basketball, tennis or racquetball can be fun ways to work your ankles. Skateboarding, wakeboarding and surfing are darn close to riding with respect to ankle work. Heck I even work my ankles playing golf. There are ten tons of gym exercises from lunges to toe raises to wall sits that can also help. I found a cool one this summer that involves stepping on a gym bench on one foot and lowering your other foot to try to touch the floor. So simple, yet oh so devious.

My suspicion is this is not an issue for you, but many women are riding boards that are too stiff for them. This could be making your ankles work harder than they need to be.

I can't emphasize enough how much ankle performace effects riding performance.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the input Rusty.

The guys that I've asked over the years have all either been: teaching longer than me, have a higher level of cert., or used to work at a very prestigious school. Their answer just didn't make sense. They all have the same specific sore ankle/foot muscle soreness beginning of the season issue too! I have a lot of exercises I use to strengthen my knees, why not my ankles/feet? We always emphasize the importance of a flexed stance for hips/knees/ankles so, there should be something for each of these if my logic is correct? While the boot provides support, it seems that toned muscles for that joint would be synergistic.

My ankles are bad. I can practically touch the ground with my outside ankles. I can sprain an ankle just walking. My orthopedic surgeon also has banned me from high impact sports due to knee issues. The balance board and gym bench sounds like the low impact way to go. I think I need more lateral stability.

I did have a too stiff board a few years ago. It manifested itself in knee issues. I buy guy boards as women's boards are either too short or bend like putty. So I now demo, demo, demo at demo days before purchasing. Sounds crazy to not demo but sometimes quick temptation opportunities present themselves at extremely attractive pricing.

Today's ankle exercise was - "paint the house". Lots of up/down at an angle while standing on the first floor roof with paint brush and paint can. Upper body exercise was "remove swamp cooler from window".
post #12 of 19
Thread Starter 
I found this online. I found a few other sites too. I love the internet.

http://www.aofas.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3330
post #13 of 19
Those are great rehab exercises. But they won't bulletproof your ankles against early season soreness.

To give you a perspective of where I'm at, one of my favorite balance board exercises for lateral ankle strength is the one foot side to side. As a reminder, a balance board is about an inch thick 16 inch square board with a 2 inch tall, 3/4" wide center strip underneath (measurements approximate - anything close gets the job done) so that the board can "teeter" either side to side or front to back, depending on how you stand on it. If you stand with one foot lined up along the center with the center strip underneath your foot, you can teeter side to side. The exercise is to start from one side, roll to center and hold, then roll to the other side. To get started you can steady yourself by placing your hand against a wall in front of you. Work your way from using your full hand for support down to one finger, then no support as you get better control. I believe that this exercise is "more than snowboarding" with respect to lateral ankle movement. Start doing this exercise with two feet on the board if you have weak ankles. It's important to get the "hold" part of the exercise done. Use your hands for support if you can't hold the balanced position for more than one second. The forward and back version of this exercise is also good for practicing heel turn to toe turn movements and balancing.
post #14 of 19
I'll second what therusty said about balance boards. When the weather turned nice last spring, I spent a lot of time standing around on a vew-doo board on the deck after I finished riding. I couldn't believe how sore it would make me the next morning! Mind you, this was after nearly 65-70 days on snow. Balance boards are excellent for those fine muscle movements that it sounds like you're talking about, daysailer.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
You guys are just fantastic. Thank you for your patience and persistence. I owe some beers. The balance board wasn't even on my radar. I went on the vew-doo website and checked out their boards. I am a visual learner and I have to see and visualize muscle groups used. This does look like the ticket for those fine muscle movements. Any particular model you recommend? Should I just go to the Sports Authority and demo? They seem to have different shaped rollers underneath.
post #16 of 19
Definitely try them out. See if you can actually get someone to coach through some exercises on the gear. Sports Authority does not carry what I recommend. This is similar to the balance board that I use and recommend. The other types of balance boards are good and may actually be better for developing overall balance, but IMHO the plain board is best for working the ankle for snowboard movements.
post #17 of 19
Vew-doo boards are great for working on balance, but until you're able to balance well on it, you won't be getting much of a workout.

The board therusty linked to above is probably your best bet, daysailer. You'll get all the benefits of a good, lower leg specific workout without having to worry about killing yourself at the same time. If you do decide to try a vew-doo, however, I'd recommend one of the beginner models (the "rock" has outriggers on it).
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 

Purchased

I looked at all the vew-do boards and what they could do. I also factored in being a beginner at this. I finally decided on a new model - The Zone Balance Pro which comes with three different rocks - a teeter, a wobble, and a beginner roller. It also has a nice stable deck. After looking around, I was able to proform it at a nice price. I can't wait to get started! Thanks for the advice.
post #19 of 19
sk8ing helps out alot in snowboarding..you use same stance and legs muscles. 1 month before i start my season of riding i use my sk8board in my house on the carpet, i put a 50lb or so weight bar on my shoulders standing on the board i rock back and forth..heel to toe..tail to nose for 10 or so mins and it pumps every leg/ankle/foot muscle. doing this the last 2 seasons i have had little to no soreness after first day of season. staying fit year round by mtbiking,sk8ing,working out will keep you prime.
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