Beer vs. exercise - it’s a tough call. As the days get shorter, it becomes increasingly hard to drag your tired ass to the gym, when all you want to do is slink off to the pub. But say you’ve only got two weeks off to go riding this year. You don’t want to waste time feeling completely whacked or unable to hit kickers because you’ve spent too many hours perfecting your bum imprint on the sofa.

John Noonan is the strength and conditioning coach to Jamie Nicholls and Katie Ormerod. He’s here to help along with Alison Robb, physiotherapist to Team GB athletes including Jenny Jones. Together they've compiled five exercises tailored to help snowboarders build up muscle strength, stability and balance before they get to the mountains. So, if you want to prevent that second day ache, stomp a 360 or just get the most from your shred break, then these quick exercises will help get you prepped for riding.

For more from John Noonan, check out his YouTube channel and Twitter. Thanks to Edge Gym for letting us use their space.



T-shirt and shorts


Masking Tape


Two to three times a week. You can use them as a warm-up before cardiovascular exercise, like cycling or running. If you want a bit more physical return, try repeating each exercise two or three times – you want to challenge yourself!


Nope. Anyone can do them. Just take each exercise at your own pace.


All these movements are designed to help your board control and to land tricks properly without being too hard on your joints!

Make sure you complete the exercises in order for maximum effect!


APPROX TIME: 5 to 10 minutes

WORKS ON: Gluteal muscles

HELPS MY RIDING BY: strengthening bum muscles

1) Lie on your back, knees bent, feet on floor hip width apart. Hands relaxed at your sides.

2) Drive through your feet lifting hips off the floor by using your bum muscles to complete this. Continue to lift hip until there is a straight line through your shoulders/hips and knees.

3) Slowly lower hips lightly touch down and repeat.

Repeat 10 times.

If this starts to feel a little too easy, progress onto this version...


1) Lie on back with one leg bent with the foot flat on the floor. The other leg should be bent and held in a raised position with arms relaxed down beside you.

2) Drive forward through the foot of the bent leg, lifting hips up into extension as before again using your bum muscles. The none-working leg should remain bent and in a raised position with a real focus on maintaining a neutral pelvis position throughout.

3) Slowly lower and repeat.

Repeat 10 times, alternating legs and build up as you can.


APPROX. TIME: 5 to 10 minutes

WORKS ON: Gluteal, quadriceps, hamstrings and adductors

HELPS MY RIDING BY: improving stability and balance

1) Mark the points of a clock face on the floor with masking tape. Stand with bare feet at the centre of the clock.

2) While standing on one leg, squat down reaching the none standing leg/ foot to a time point of the clock e.g. 12 o’clock, then return the foot back to the clock centre. Avoid touching the floor.

3) Then reach the foot out again to the next clock point (1 o’clock, 2 o’clock etc.) When aiming to reach clock points on the same side as standing leg, you must reach the leg around the backside of the body to the target.

4) Aim to reach as far as you can with the toes each time to all points of the clock face.

Complete all points on clock with one foot and then swap feet. Build up to do clockwise and anticlockwise.


  • To complete this exercise, you’ll need good control in the ‘mini squat position’ of the standing leg.
  • Try not to let your standing knee fall inwards. Keep it nice and straight over your foot. Your hips should face the direction you are pointing with your toe.
  • Don’t touch the floor!

APPROX. TIME: 5 to 10 minutes

WORKS ON: gluteals, quadriceps, hamstrings

HELPS MY RIDING BY: strengthening legs, improves stability and balance

1) Begin in a tall standing posture with hands placed on hips.

2) Step forward into a lunge, aiming to arrive with the back knee just above floor level. The back knee should finish under the hips with the front knee arriving directly above the front foot, with an upright shin angle. You should have 90-degree angles at hip, knee and ankle joints on leading leg, and same on knee/angle of lowered leg.

3) Do not to let your upper body tip forward at hips or fall sideways right or left. Drive upward out of the lunge travelling forward with the trailing leg (back leg).

4) Bringing both feet together again, take a brief pause if required before continuing to lunge forward with the opposite leg.

Do 10 lunges then walk back to recover. Build up to 20 or 30 lunges.

TIP: to progress, Place your hands on the crown of your head or in the advanced overhead position.


APPROX. TIME: 5 to 10 minutes

WORKS ON: gluteal, quadriceps

HELPS MY RIDING BY: training muscles to take impact when landing tricks in the park and improve speed when transitioning between features

1) Begin by standing in the centre of the clock face in a mini squat position with hips, knees and ankles aligned, and torso positioned in a slightly tilted forward position, and arms in the ‘jump ready’ upright position.

2) Jump using your arms, aim to land at different points of the clock face moving through a mixture of rotations 45/90/180's, both in an anticlockwise or clockwise directions.

3) Finish each time in the mini squat position.

Build up to reps of 10 jumps.


  • The aim is to land with quiet feet finishing in a strong, sound landing position.
  • To progress simply, jump quicker and challenge the quality of landing. You should drop into a squat as soon as you touch the ground, to manage the stress of the landing.

APPROX. TIME: 5 to 10 minutes

WORKS ON: shoulders and trunk

HELPS MY RIDING BY: improving hip stability

1) Begin in push up position but with knees bent positioned under the hips and hands positioned under the shoulders. Aim to maintain a flat back posture like a ‘tabletop’.

2) Slowly lift right hand and opposite left leg off the floor simultaneously. Reach both hand and foot ahead of the stance and place down on the floor in unison. Repeat this process with the other two limbs.

After 10 metres, repeat process now travelling backwards. Build up to repeat two or three times.

TIP: Keep your shoulders, torso and hips in a tabletop position as you travel forward.


APPROX. TIME: 30 minutes

WORKS ON: everything

HELPS MY RIDING BY: improving overall fitness, so you can ride harder for longer!

In order to be able to ride for hours on end, then you’ll need to supplement these exercises with high intensity interval training. If you haven’t exercised much in a while, then jogging or cycling is a good place to start. Overall, it will help you ride harder for longer – and who doesn’t want that?!

1) Work for 2 to 3 minutes non-stop at an intensity you would grade at about an 8 out of 10 level (10 being the highest). You can do this on a treadmill or exercise bike easily.

2) Recover for 1 minute walking or light cycling

Repeat 8 times per session, 1 or 2 times a week.

TIP: As you become more conditioned, simply ramp up the intensity to challenge your capacity.