Cross country mountain biking is an Olympic sport. A mountain biking event typically lasts two hours and requires bravery, bike skill, and endurance to navigate the course.
Strength training can be immensely beneficial to your mountain biking for all kinds of reasons, injury prevention, power, longevity in the sport and much more. We show you some simple exercises you can do that might make all the difference.
This article will introduce several exercises that you can do at home to help prepare yourself for the physical rigors of mountain biking.
Increase Strength for Mountain Biking
Always Warm Up!
Make sure you get warmed up before you start the exercises. A warm-up can be anything that gets your heart beating – a quick jog, a 10-minute ride around the neighborhood, or just playing around and practicing those wheelies on your bike!
Begin this exercise with our feet between hip-width and shoulder-width apart. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. From here, keeping your weight on your heels, push your hips back and allow your knees to bend until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Reverse directions and continue for 15-20 repetitions per set.
Begin this exercise by standing up. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. From here take a big step forward taking care to use a heel-to-toe pattern. As your foot hits the ground, flex your hip and knee until your front thigh is parallel to the ground. From this position take as many steps back as you need. Next, perform a lunge with the other leg. Continue alternating until you have performed 15-20 repetitions with each leg.
Begin this exercise by standing up in a split position. One foot should be in front. One should be behind you. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. From here, flex your front hip and knee until you lower yourself as far as is comfortable—reverse directions. Perform 15-20 repetitions and then switch legs.
Suspension Trainer One-Legged Squats
If you have access to a suspension trainer, then this is a great advanced exercise that you can do. Grab the handles and step back until there is little slack on the suspension trainer. Stick out your chest and pull your shoulders back. Lift your left foot off the ground. From here, using your right leg, push your hips back and squat down. Reverse directions and stand up again. Repeat for 15-20 repetitions and then switch legs.
Hip can be done without any equipment and are a great hamstring/glute/lower back exercise. Lie on the ground. Flex your hips and your knees and bring your feet towards your hips. Keeping your feet flat on the ground, lift your hips up as high as is comfortable. Lower and repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Reverse hyperextensions are great for the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. You will need some bench for this exercise. Lie face down on the bench. Position yourself to that your hips are off the edge of the bench. Lower your legs until your feet touch the ground. Keeping your legs together, lift them behind you until they are parallel to the ground, lower and repeat for 15-20 repetitions.
Mountain biking is a rigorous activity for the lower body. It does not require a lot of equipment or space to prepare your body for this sport. Focusing on higher repetitions (~15-20 per set) and quality movements will get you a long way towards being prepared for the sport and giving you an advantage over your competition!