Spring is approaching soon and now is a great time to start preparing for spring activities! Mountain biking actually terrifies me, lol! I rock climb, kayak, snowboard, hike, love to ride road bikes and I even box. For whatever reason, going down a bumpy hill scares me. That doesn’t mean that I can’t help you get ready for your own mountain bike adventure though. Having competed in road racing, you do need a lot of the same strengths and I asked a few people that mountain bike on the regular to make sure I am covering everything!
To begin with, you need so much more than leg strength. As with all activities, core is key. Maybe I should start putting, core is king! If you have a strong back, obliques and abdominals you will last a lot longer on those hills. In addition, you will also need a strong chest and strong rear deltoids. If you can keep your shoulders down and back and let your chest and lats support you, as you lean on the handle bars, your ride will be so much more comfortable and your upper body won’t fatigue as soon. You will feel more like your handle bars are more there just for stearing and balance, not to just rest/lean on to keep your body upright.
When it does come to legs, many people overlook the power you can generate by focusing on using your glutes and hamstrings when you pedal. A lot of people tend to push with their toes and then your quads and knees get worn out. You can actually make those a secondary use!
So what are some of my favorite exercises for cycling? We will work on strength, balance and power.
Super sets are a great way to work on your strength and endurance.
After warmup try out the following exercise routing.
Start with 10 reps of each of the following and work your way to 20reps as your strength increases. 2-4 sets:
- Push-up with hands in TRX handles. Getting your body as close to parallel to the floor as possible.
- Jump lungesStiff leg deadlift
- Jackknife with feet in TRX handle
- Dumbbell Stiff-leg deadlift
- Plank on stability ball, pushing the ball out and in with elbows on ball
- Overhead squat. Start with dumbbells or light barbell and work your way up to full olympic barbell
- Rear delt cable fly
- Box jumps
- Plank with dumbbell row
- Banded barbell hip thrust. Band just above your knees, on your last rep hold up at full extension and move knees in/out to work those outer hips
Make sure to do plenty of stretching! There are a lot more exercises to incorporate, but this routine hits all the basics of balance, strength, explosive power and endurance!
3 weeks to spring - so get after it and Be Ready for Your Outdoor Mountain Biking Adventure!