Video: Lower Body Fitness Fundamentals for Safe & Effective Training

Mar 25, 2021
by Jonny Thompson  
In this 3 part series we take a look at fitness fundamentals for mountain bike riders and how understanding the basics of training your lower body will let you progress you as a rider and move safely whilst training well. Each video has the best tips for each level of rider with some options on reps and sets to get you started on your training journey.

In part 1 we look at some simple and effective movements to really enhance your riding strength whilst using very little equipment, or in most cases, just body weight. Master the basics of these and you’ll be on the way to getting fitter, stronger, and faster.

let’s take things up a notch and increase the load on the movements from part 1. Increased load has obvious benefits, strength and power building… which will only compliment your riding long term.

Part 3, top of the tree! We show you what to and what not to do (as in the thumbnail with a bad deadlift) to make the absolute most out of your training through training your lower body.

As with all training, we always stress the safety of the movements, good movement is always better than poor movement with a lot of the weight, so always remember to keep it safe, leave the ego at the door, and have a friend spot you if you can!

Take a look at our website for more awesome free workouts for mountain bikers - Fit4Racing


  • 27 2
 After a year of this pandemic can we call it “Fat4Racing” for a few months?
  • 8 0
 Using gravity to your advantage for those downhills Smile
  • 16 0
  • 8 0
  • 10 0
 My fitness fundamentals are going to be yoga for 6 months to try and undo a decade of sitting down
  • 9 2
 Squat, deadlift and lunge, done
  • 1 0
 If you don't have any plans for competing in powerlifting or similar, I would rate Romanian deadlifts far above regular deadlifts. Much less risk of injury, and you get more time under tension for glutes and hamstrings. This is doubly true for those with long torso compared to arms.
  • 5 0
 These are one of the best videos and explanations on proper squat and deadlift techniques! Awesome videos and thanks!
  • 1 0
 Thank you!!!
  • 2 1
 Can't help but feel that the bridge in the first exercise is not what it's cracked up to be. When riding bikes it is undesirable to be on your back!
There's only a small bang for your buck in strengthening your hip extension in the sagittal plane when you're lying on your back, because the hip extensors have to decelerate both top down (upper body rotating forward towards the bars) and bottom up (posterior rotation of the thigh bone -knees coming up toward body).
Consider with this in mind, that half of ones weight is in the top half, and you can see that this bridge exercise leaves beginners with only half the neuro muscular stimulation and adaptation.
Better to practice the hinge and squat shapes which feel a lot more like standing on pedals.
  • 1 0
 The purpose of this movement isn’t only to improve riding positions, as you’ve said, it is to strengthen areas we see imbalance in often, thus avoiding the undesirable effects of being out of balance.
The bridge is a beginner movement for those who aren’t confident in the hinge yet, as described in the video. It is an entry level movement with little to no risk.
We hope people choose the appropriate movements for themselves over all 3 videos.
  • 1 0
 @fit4racing: ok, I just prefer to give people functionally specific exercises. I can't see the crossover between lying on my back and standing on my feet. Conscious versus subconscious recruitment of muscle.
Remember bones move, joints feel, muscles react.
  • 2 0
 @mych79: The crossover is that a true beginner has no idea what a hinge means or feels like. Progression helps make connections - no matter how small the steps are - to the full movement patterns. Functionally specific is just a buzzword that means nothing.

Squatting with a heavy weight on my back is not functionally specific - yet for some reason all Pro XC / Enduro riders train that movement.
  • 1 0
 @Ososmash: functionally specific isn't a buzzword, it means whatever applies to the function you are trying to improve. Bench press is functionally specific to a power lifter, but not to an octogenarian.
How is a squat not functionally specific to cycling?
Not all true beginners have no idea what a hinge is - it's impossible to say that (like saying there are no black swans - you can't prove that until you find a black swan), they probably just don't know it's called that.
  • 1 0
 @mych79: I am sorry I said true beginners, which obviously invalidates my entire argument about progression. You are right, it's not worth working to program a movement pattern with other similar but different movements.
  • 1 0
 This. And Coach Dee's tutorials. Really, really helpful stuff, thanks! Many people - including myself - progress too quickly to the more complex exercises without working on their mobility and technique first, and with little chance of realizing what's going wrong before it's too late.
  • 5 0
 "Job is f*cked" ha ha
  • 4 0
 I'd be shaking like a sh*tting dog if I had to hold a squat for that long!
  • 1 0
 I tried the Joe Wicks PE with my 5yr old during first lockdown and vowed “Never again” if we were to be locked down again and I am glad to say I’ve held my word!!
Videos are tiring enough!!
  • 3 0
 F4R will get you fit as f*ck. Super stoked on how I'm feeling on the bike after 3 months of this program.
  • 1 0
 Great to hear, keep it up!!!
  • 3 0
 Good stuff like usual coach!
  • 1 0
 Squat question. Shouldn't we train to be strong in the position we ride? I mean to also do some squats with a stance as wide as the pedals and feet more straight forward?
  • 1 0
 If you are squatting when you ride, you are not moving on the bike correctly. You should be hinging. Loading up a bar and trying to squat it in a bike stance is not very safe. Build strength with the traditional movements above and your hinging on the bike will improve.
  • 1 1
 If you would like to train only in the position you ride - you should get the Lee Like's Bikes RipRow. It does all that you are asking.
  • 2 0
 @Ososmash: LOL get outta here with that shit.
  • 1 0
 Thanks for the support. I'm still working on that motivation portion.

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