Maximizing Your Mountain Biking Performance: Essential Exercises...from your local physical therapist!
As a physical therapist and recreational mountain biker, I understand the importance of physical fitness and injury prevention in enhancing your performance on the trails.
There are some simple exercises to drop into your routine a few days a week that will make a significant difference overall in your technical skills. These same strengthening recommendations will also reduce the likelihood of repetitive injuries that come up in MTB. (that I get to treat all the time).
We cover the mechanics and technique of these exercises in our YouTube Video. Click HERE to have a look.
- Exercise 1: Deadlifts with Kettlebell for Lower Body Strength:
Lower body strength is essential for powering through challenging terrains and maintaining stability on the bike. Deadlifts with a kettlebell are an excellent exercise to target the major muscle groups involved in mountain biking, such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and lower back. Performing deadlifts with proper form and gradually increasing resistance can enhance your pedaling power and reduce the risk of lower body injuries.
- Exercise 2: Side Planks for Core Stability:
As a physical therapist, I cannot stress enough the significance of core stability for mountain bikers. Side planks are a valuable exercise for strengthening the obliques and deep core muscles, providing the stability and balance required for technical maneuvers and maintaining control on uneven terrain. A strong core not only enhances your biking performance but also helps prevent lower back pain and other related injuries.
- Exercise 3: Bear Crawl for Coordination and Full-Body Engagement:
Coordination and full-body engagement are crucial for navigating obstacles and maintaining bike control. As a physical therapist and mountain biker, I highly recommend incorporating bear crawls into your training routine. This exercise challenges your core stability, enhances upper body strength, and improves overall coordination, mimicking the movements and demands you encounter on the trails.
- Exercise 4: Renegade Rows for Upper Body Strength:
Upper body strength is often overlooked in mountain biking, but it plays a vital role in maintaining bike control during descents, jumps, and challenging technical sections. Renegade rows are an effective exercise that targets the muscles of the back, shoulders, and arms. By incorporating renegade rows into your routine, you can improve your upper body strength, enhance your ability to maneuver the bike, and reduce the risk of upper body injuries.
I have witnessed firsthand the impact of specific exercises on enhancing biking performance and preventing injuries. By incorporating these exercises, you can optimize your fitness, improve your biking abilities, and reduce the risk of common injuries. Remember, consulting with a physical therapist can provide personalized guidance and address any specific concerns or limitations you may have. So, get ready to hit the trails with confidence, knowing that you have taken proactive steps to maximize your mountain biking experience!
Charlotte - Physical Therapist
Founder of Mountain Wellness & Physical Therapy