In my recent post on how to Improve Your Riding 100% in 30 Days
I touched on the basic principle of focusing your training on improving something specific about your riding for a short period of time. This approach becomes even more important as we progress as riders because the amount of effort it takes to move the needle on skills and fitness levels becomes higher as we get better.
However, this approach is equally important for the new rider needing to establish a solid base to work from, or even an experienced rider who never got the chance to work on the fundamental things when they starter riding. This brings us to the new Improve Your Riding 100% in 30 Days Blueprints, this time covering Body Position.Body Position on your mountain bike is the core skill that everything else you do on the trail stems from.
If this is off you won’t pedal as efficiently, corner as confidently or jump as consistently. Your overall balance and trail skills are tied to your Body Position as well. This makes it something every rider should spend time improving no matter how long they’ve been riding.
With that in mind, here are the key Mobility Drills, Strength Training Exercises and Skills Drills that you should use over the next 30 days to help improve this essential riding skill.
The two areas you need to focus on for good body position are the shoulders and the hips. If you are tight and jammed up in either of those areas (and most riders are tight in both areas) then you will never be able to achieve optimal body position on the bike.
This makes mobilizing these areas a top priority. Pick 1 or 2 things from each of these videos and make sure you do them 5 days a week for the next 30 days.Hip Hinge ExercisesShoulder Mobility Exercises
Developing shoulder stability, core strength and the ability to move effectively from the hips are main things to focus on here. This makes the 3 core kettlebell exercises – the Turkish Get Up, Swing and Goblet Squat – and single leg deadlift variations a must in your program. Every time you train 1 or more of these exercises should be in your workout and, if in doubt, just follow this simple routine:Turkish Get Up X 1 rep each side
Swing X 10-20 reps
Goblet Squat X 10 reps
Stagger Stance or Single Leg Deadlift X 10 reps each leg
Go through this circuit 2-4 times. Do this routine 3 times a week.Top 3 Kettlebell Exercises for Mountain BikersSingle Leg Deadlift Progressions
The next step is to tie your improved mobility and strength to your bike. Body position boils down to your ability to keep you center of gravity balanced with your bike's center of gravity while also keeping enough weight on the front end to steer effectively.
However, this position can be counter-intuitive and takes focused practice to really learn. In this video I explain more about how body position affects your balance on the bike and how to apply your strength training to the bike.
Every day you should do something on this list. Those mobility drills should be part of your warm up. At least 1 of those strength training exercises should be in your workout every time you workout. You should schedule 15 minutes of drills a couple times a week. Every time you ride you should be thinking about putting it all together on the trail.
It really is that simple. Follow this plan for 30 days and I guarantee that your body position and balance will have improved a lot, probably 100% or more for some of you. It is very empowering to realize that you be the rider you want to be – the power truly is in your hands.
I'll post a new Improve Riding 100% Blueprint in 30 days (or so) covering your pedal stroke, in the meantime put this advice to use for the next 30 days and let me know how it goes.
MTB Strength Training Systems is the world leader in integrated performance training programs for the unique demands of mountain biking. As the strength and conditioning coach for World Cup Teams and 3 National Championships, his programs have been proven at the highest levels. James has helped thousands of riders just like you improve their speed, endurance and skills on the trail. Visit www.bikejames.com
to sign up for the free Trail Rider Fundamentals Video Mini-Course.