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Off-Season Training Tips for Mountain Bikers

There are two types of cyclists in the winter – hardcore cyclists who embark on a cycling trip even on the coldest days of the year and those who decide to put away their bikes for the season. If you fall on the latter group, make sure that you keep the body you love in winter. Off-season training can help you do that.

A lot of people use the cold winter weather as an excuse to relax and slack off. Since winter coincides with the holiday season, many of them would treat themselves to a drink or two, and indulge in fatty foods and sugary treats. Worse, they make a conscious decision not to exercise over the winter. Once spring comes around, they have already gained a few pounds and find themselves struggling to ride uphill.

Sure, you may not be able to maintain your outdoor routine, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to prepare for the next season. With a little creativity and some basic equipment, you can stay in shape and improve your skills. You’ll feel rejuvenated and ready to rock once the weather starts to warm again. Plus, regular exercise can help clear your winter blues.

Make the most out of the winter weather with these off-seasons training tips.

Indoor cycling

Indoor cycling

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Most people think that indoor cycling only benefits the legs. While your legs and glutes will certainly benefit from this type of exercise, it works more than your legs. In fact, there are countless benefits to indoor cycling.

Since this is a high-intensity workout, it provides a great way to burn some calories. A 40-minute workout can help you burn about 400 to 600 calories. You can torch even more calories if you decide to do a 60-minute workout. As such, you can whittle down your body fat in just a few sessions.

Spinning helps you build muscle tone through your core. It even promotes cardio strength and increased muscle endurance in the calf muscles, gluteus, hamstrings, and quadriceps. It also helps strengthen the surrounding ligaments, tendons, and bones.

This is a great off-season training that will help you shed those unwanted pounds while building strength and endurance. After each session, you’ll walk out of the room a stronger, healthier version of you.

Strength training

Off-season training: strength training

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Winter is the prime time to start strength training. Since you can’t ride the bike, use this as an opportunity to build a strong foundation.

Building strength should be a part of every cyclist’s plan. After all, strength and endurance is an important component of mountain biking. If you want to get better for the upcoming season, off-season training can be very beneficial. You’ll be stronger, faster, and able to perform at a higher level when spring comes around. It helps you become more efficient while riding a bike. Most importantly, it reduces the risk of pulling a muscle while pedalling your way on a long bike ride.

Lateral lunges, dumbbell squats, and push ups are just some of the best exercises to incorporate into your strength training program. Lateral lunges will help loosen your inner thigh muscles. Dumbbell squats will help improve your hip and lower back mobility, so you’ll generate power as you pedal. Push ups, on the other hand, will make your upper body stronger. You are less likely to experience fatigue on long bike rides if you have a strong upper body.

Visit a bike park

Visit a bike park

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Just because it’s freezing outside, that doesn’t mean that the fun is over for the rest of the season. If you’re an avid biker, it would be impossible for you to get through the season without riding a bike. On days when you need that adrenaline rush, consider visiting a bike park.

You can ride a trail and do so over and over again. In a typical riding session, you only hit a challenging feature once or twice. But in a bike park, you have the opportunity to ride a section of a trail again and again. This can help enhance your skills and push your riding. Overall, it provides a great off-season training for both beginners and experts alike.

Jumping a bike isn’t just for adrenaline junkies. It is a basic skill every mountain biker should learn. If you still haven’t mastered  the proper way of jumping a mountain bike, a bike park would be a great place to practice. But before you do, make sure that your bike is designed to handle this biking. Also, it is important to make an honest assessment of your skills and decide if you are ready.

Upgrade equipment

Upgrade equipment

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Winter is a great time to upgrade your equipment. Upgrading some parts to a more superior component will help make your ride faster, more comfortable, and save some weight.

If you own an entry-level bike, chances are your tires aren’t that good. Although they are one of the most important parts of a bike, most manufacturers will often spec down on the tires and other parts just to hit a particular price point. If you have the budget, we recommend that you upgrade your tires during the off-season. This can make a big difference on how fast and comfortable your ride is.

The saddle is your main contact point with the bicycle. Upgrading it can make a significant contribution to a rider’s comfort and performance. Plus, it is an affordable and easy upgrade. In fact, you don’t need to be bike mechanic to change a saddle. Whether you’re looking for something comfortable for a touring bike or you’re looking for a new road race saddle, be sure to consider your riding style and choice of material.

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