Now that you are more serious about mountain biking, you are looking for a workout plan that will help with your speed, endurance, and increase your flexibility so that you can move quickly and efficiently. You have come to the right place. We’re going to take a look at some of the muscle groups you use in mountain biking and build a workout plan to help you bike your next trail in record time and feel great while doing it.
1. Muscles Used
Mountain biking is a physically demanding sport. Overall fitness is a prerequisite to this adventurous sport. Cardio programs should be maintained in order to for you to have the endurance and stamina you need to make it through the most challenging trails and terrain safely. However, strength training workouts and flexibility exercises are just as important to the mountain biker.
Arms, chest, and shoulder muscles are needed to steer your bike. Without these muscles you have no control over the direction your bike travels. Your bike bounces in every direction imaginable when crossing over rocks and roots, and these muscles are what make the difference between an epic moment and an epic fail in mountain biking.
The best exercises for your upper body are ones that engage your pecs, triceps, biceps, traps, and delts. Exercises such as kettlebell swings are great way to tackle all of these muscle groups in one great exercise. Pushups, pull-ups, pulldowns, and seated dips are great exercises that target each of these muscles individually. Start out by performing two sets of 8-12 reps of each of these exercises and increase weight and the number of sets as you become more physically fit.
Your core muscles are your balance and stability. Your abs and obliques will engage when you begin to lose balance or have to use other muscles to keep control of your bike. Sit-ups, crunches, planks, and Russian twists are great exercises to help you build the strength of your core muscles. Perform two sets each of as many reps of the crunches, sit-ups, and Russian twists as possible. Hold your plank as long as possible and perform the plank two to three times.
Your hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves are the major muscles you use in mountain biking, so it is important to perform exercises that keep them in top condition to improve your speed and endurance on the trail. Standard squats, sumo squats, and plies will target each set of muscles in your thighs. Deadlifts and leg curls are also great exercises to help develop these muscles. Start with performing your maximum number of squats for two sets. If you are able to do over 30 squats, move to weighted squats and increase the weight as your fitness level improves. For deadlifts and leg curls, aim to perform 8-12 reps each and two sets, increasing weight as needed.
2. Why Flexibility Matters
Flexible muscles prevent injury and are able to act more quickly when needed. This is necessary for safe mountain biking. The following flexibility exercises will help you to be able to bike more safely and efficiently on the trail.
Calf stretches, quad stretches, and glute stretches are great for preparing your legs ready for physical activity. Toe touches, twists, and arm stretches will help your back, chest, and core to stay flexible and loose so that they can respond quickly and effectively when needed. Perform each of these stretches for 30 seconds, up to three sets in order to increase your flexibility and range of motion.
Yoga isn’t just for soccer moms. Poses, or asanas, build muscle and increase flexibility. These powerful poses should be added to your workout plan in order to get the most from your flexibility training. Downward facing dog, expanded leg pose, camel pose, and warrior are great poses that stretch the muscles of your legs, arms, and core. Perform these poses for three sets. Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable in order to help your muscles stretch and build flexibility.
3. Enjoy Your Next Trail
These exercises will make the perfect workout routine for anyone who wants to get the most out of mountain biking. Be sure to alternate days between your strength training workouts and flexibility routine. In no time, you will be in top shape and able to conquer your mountain biking goals with ease. Enjoy the ride and stay safe!