Video: 6 Moves to Include in Your Training this Winter

Dec 9, 2018
by Dee Tidwell  
Views: 8,958    Faves: 69    Comments: 1


Ever since we were baby's beginning to learn how to move, we began to work on the fundamentals of movement. Think of it as the birth of our adult athleticism and eventual riding potential.

The evolution of our athletic capabilities started to take shape when we were babies laying on our backs staring at the ceiling. Quickly our desire was to see the world around us by trying to lift our head while on our stomach. Our next goals began to quickly get off the ground by first turning over, then pushing up off the ground and pulling ourselves around, then crawling before eventually working up to pulling ourselves up to stand. Of course, our ultimate and final goal was being free and learning how to walk, thus beginning the rest of our lives as moving beings.

Part of the movements we performed as a baby are what Paul Chek called “primal movement patterns.” In order to do those things as a child, we began to activate these seven primal movement patterns:

1. Squatting
2. Lunging
3. Pushing
4. Pulling
5. Bending
6. Twisting
7. Gait


Views: 3,245    Faves: 47    Comments: 1


Video #1 I grouped the lower body patterns together - Squatting, Lunging and Bending. Video #2 is more upper body focused with Pushing, Pulling and Twisting patterns.


As an example, these seven patterns are developed during the ages of 2-18 and through “Long Term Athletic Development” (parents, check out www.ltad.ca for a swath of resources to help your children full develop athletically). These developmental windows are particular periods of time that your body is open to learning specific attributes of movement.

Why is this important to you today as a mountain biker?

Because even though we aren’t learning any of these primal movements for the first time like you did when you were a baby, mountain bike athletes still need to consistently work on improving movement abilities to truly achieve the highest level of riding capability. The only obvious difference is that you are older, have had injury/trauma(s), have tightness, weakness, etc., etc., In other words, your system is polluted with compensation.

But don’t be discouraged! The way to begin to solve some of these compensatory issues is to train with these seven “primal movement patterns” as the foundation of your training program(s) with the goal of perfecting your ability to move as cleanly as possible.

As you begin to "own" these moves, you will be rewarded with:

o Better skills on and off the bike
o Improved ability to move around on the bike
o Sustained strength throughout your rides and races
o Reduced fatigue
o Injury resistance
o Optimal posture and breathing mechanics
o Great ability to transfer bike to body forces
o Speed!

Understanding this simple concept around working to move as well as you can, I’ve created two training videos for you to implement this 2019 training season.


I'm Coach Dee, the trainer for @yeticycles. I'm a 50-year-old enduro racer who just won my second overall season championship as a masters racer in the @bigmountainenduro series. Get ready for 2019 with the new MTB Strong training program here with a PinkBike discount of 25%.

View all of Dee's previous articles and videos here.


MENTIONS: @enduromtb




75 Comments

  • + 25
 Man is there anything waki can't do? He is a modern day polymath. He is a fitness expert today. On other days he is a engineer,artist,videographer, metallurgist,designer,marketing genius and what else has he claimed to be an expert on.
  • + 0
 “I know enough about some things to a sound like I know everything about everything”

Joe Rogan

When it comes to strength training I simply listened to tons of podcasts by Rippetoe, Barbell Medicine and Juggernaut Training Systems. Aside of guests of Rogan... i listen to them while working. I also train a lot (relatively, as for someone with a day job and small kids - 3 times a week). My current numbers on 1 repmax are 180 on DL, 135 on low bar squat, 95 on fromt squat, 92,5 on bench and 62,5 on overhead press. Novice but getting there.
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: lbs, yes. kg, that's pretty decent.
  • + 2
 almost like people have varied interests and gain experience and knowledge over time...
  • + 0
 @SmashySmashy: kg. I am told this is novice and I like to think about it this way. My targets for 1 rep max DL/SQ/BP are 2.5BW/2BW/1.2BW. which will equal 200kg/160kg/100kg but I won’t get there this winter. Have to get into plyo to be able to utilize those lifts on the trail. Today failed 3x5x150. Did the first set, second barely, a missed lift on the last one. Didn’t feel good at all. Have to go back to ladder system.
  • + 22
 People of Pinkbike, you'd do better putting in time developing basic movements outlined in a program like Starting Strength. Squats. Deadlifts. Chins. Presses. Rows. Not this rubbish. Primal movement patterns... Pffft. God help us.
  • + 17
 Ever since we were baby's, we have been learning grammar.
  • + 3
 I'm with you on that but weren't those movements all pretty basic?
edit: Just watched part 2. You were right. this needs more heavy pulling, pushing and and vanilla core work.
  • + 7
 @ryanwortmann

Starting strength and Barbell Medicine. Strength Untaaaaam’d!

While barbell training is the foundation and possibly best bang for the buck, you have to remember it’s a foundation. You have the rest of the mtb house to build. You need to add plyo and single leg exercises as the season starts to come near. I must say that as my lifts started to improve fast, my cardio deteriorated quicker than I anticipated. Time to hit the road and intervals in the woods. One cannot survive only on Fhiiiiives.

This was a good one Dee. Can you do one with examples of plyometric exercises for cyclists?
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns: I couldn't agree with you more.

You and I would not be surprised at the shockingly small percentage of Pinkbike frequenters who are able to pull their own bodyweight off the ground and over an overhead bar. Or, hold their own bodyweight off the ground for extended periods of time, for that matter.

I am certainly not advocating everyone dedicate heaps of time under load before their 'season' begins, but the illusion of complexity is strong here. Pinkbikers generally live out pretty run-of-the-mill jobs and lives, and would benefit greatly from improving a handful of movements - Working on bettering their overall health and NOT acting like bloody leopards in the veld, in preparation for their next race season.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: Thanks! Yes, I'll be addressing that in the coming months.
  • + 7
 @ryanwortmann: It's true and that was my point here. Get good at the movement basics and everything else becomes easier. Be well!
  • + 5
 @ryanwortmann: You did a survey to come to these conclusions? Any research at all?

Thank God you are so smart and can help the rest of us plebeians realize how inferior and run of the mill we are.

I mean, we watch your videos, see your race results, admire your riding style, we should be nothing but grateful for your advice right? How's that armchair treating you these days?
  • + 1
 @patrickbatemanworldtour89: well you can type in Ask Rip in youtube search...
  • + 6
 @Ryanwortmann I can’t tell if you’re joking. “ squats deadlifts chin ups presses rows”. You basically just described the bulk of the primal movements. You actually agree with him, he’s just describing this in a more eloquent yet simple way but you guys are saying the same thing.
  • + 1
 raise your hand those of you who are trainers of professional mtb teams

@ryanwortmann, no one?
pffft..
  • + 1
 @ismasan: did you raise yours?
  • + 0
 @WAKIdesigns:
I don't need plyometric nor single leg exercises for a damn reason.
  • + 1
 @patrickbatemanworldtour89: Of course not Patrick. I am not a researcher or a professional bike rider. The view from my armchair is fantastic though, watching the majority of the riding public consume bullsh*t training advice.
  • + 1
 @dtrotter: Quarter squatting backwards in a rack is most certainly as 'primal' as it gets. For the record, there is NOTHING 'primal' about lifting a barbell against gravity in any way.
  • + 1
 @enduromtbtrainer: Thanks Dee. I bash you for not dwelving deeper. If this series continues, I suggest recommending other channels where viewers can learn proper cues etc. for compound movements like the deadlift and squat.
  • + 1
 @Vastusaurus: yeah, BMX racers, DHillers, track cyclists, sprinters and what not, do it just to confuse everybody. I am not telling you what you need though. Please do whatever you need to do LOL Big Grin Big Grin : D
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns:
plyometrics are some bullsht because they lack evidence base for efficacy in building strength. Single leg exercises are some bullsht because compared to squat/DL/PC the load you can lift is small change and an accessory (at best) to real movements, only one step away from balancing on gym balls and such sheite.
You gona neg me again or engage in sensible discussion broski?
  • + 1
 @Vastusaurus: i totally get the point with DL and squat getting both legs stronger faster than 1 leg conditioned alone. There is a trouble though. We pedal with one leg at once. When you stand up to pedal as fast and as hard as you can you will use slightly different groups muscles. A great example is pistol squat. When I was doing 130x5 I could do 12. Now with 150x5 I do... 12.

As to plyo, I mean it is hard to argue that 5 rep maxes have any good bar speeds that could resemble riding a bike. It iw hard to to do RDLs fast and not demolish your knee caps by hitting them with the bar. Even Rippetoe advises incorporating cleans, snatches and barbell rows. Powerlifting is plyo.

I have no science to support that. All I know is that BMX racers to lots of plyo as the season approaches and I won’t argue with the most powerful cyclists out there who apply skill and power to their riding. Everything we do on the bike as it goes down the hill is plyometrics based on isometric endurance of the body holding the riding position. Last year with 135x5 I had next to no arm and leg pump already. What I missed was power. It was evident when riding with fastest dudes, riding away from me as soon as some pedal strokes could be put in. And I assue you they didn’t lift more than me.
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: pistol squats aren't any more similar to pedalling than high bar squats though.

plyometric exercises as in jumping around, throwing weightbed balls and jumping on boxes are a bit silly, but I agree to an extent that P-rows/oly lifts/submaximal DLs/weighted pullups done with speed and intensity could be "plyometric movements", though I would never call them that.

I like to think that I've got decent power Big Grin and I don't go competitively jumping on boxes in the gym
  • + 8
 7 Primal movement patterns I’ll be practising this winter;
1) Riding frozen trails
2) Practising wheelies
3) Practising bunnyhops
4) Learning to jump a table at the local jumpspot
5) Roosting snowberms
6) Practising trackstand on my way to work
7) Finally do some long xc-rides in the lowlands as there’s too much snow on my regular «enduro» trails
  • + 1
 Sorry to plug in, but check out RLC for that... also gym will makeyou less fatigued during and after practice sessions
  • + 8
 Typical!! I guy who is very educated and has experience doing something, offers to help those that want to learn and the armchair keyboard "experts" bash.....
For those of us that appreciate the information, thanks a ton Dee @enduromtbtraining! For everyone else, we will all be stronger and faster while you are still basing!
  • + 2
 Thanks DTshaer Smile
  • + 6
 One of the things I'm getting back into doing is power-lift movements: Squat, Power Clean and Hang Clean. Being able to accelerate weight from the floor and/or from a parallel position with your quads/hamstrings and activating your hips is one of the best ways to increase the brute power you need to clean some of the obstacles we ride. Focus on the form and you'll be moving in the right direction.
The movements shown in this video are great for practicing once you've worked the power-lift movements.
  • + 4
 @enduromtbtrainer thanks for the vids Dee. I think some people who have posted comments do not get the actual purpose of your vids here. Thanks for sharing the knowledge and keep it up!!!!
  • + 2
 thank you!!
  • + 2
 @enduromtbtrainer: Thanks for the great videos. I was told to always put an inch or so under the heal when doing squats........now I will correct that to get more ankle motion. As an engineer, I sit on my ass 60% of the day and do not claim to be a competitive athlete but I certainly stand to use a lot of this content in my workouts. cheers
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: Thank you! A sit/stand workstation will be helpful.
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: lifting shoes exist for a reason. So do squats. But one does not need to mimic exact on bike movements in the gym. In fact if that would be the case you could DL and squat at no more than 50% of movement range and you’d never need to lock the DL with scaps and hips.
  • + 3
 @WAKIdesigns: agree. Strength & conditioning in the gym should not be sport specific in terms of movement patterns, that makes no sense. Make the body generally strong and do specific work to deal with sport specific issues (tight hip flexors or what have you).
  • + 1
 @rivercitycycles: putting a spacer under your heel for squatting has more to do with hamstring flexibility. If your form is better with the spacer than keep using it until you can loosen up those hammies.
  • + 1
 @gramboh: such straightforward sensible advice
gram you should come to my house for some cake and pints
  • + 6
 (For us riders over 30) Move # 8 - Less beer. Makes a massive difference in my riding and I never thought I'd admit to that.
  • + 6
 Wait, I'm confused, what?? Say that again?
It almost sounded like you said something like "less beer, bla-bla, something good". Damn auto correct really messed you up there huh? Don't know how it made less out of more but I've seen it make wierder corrections than that.
  • + 6
 Dude.. stop talking.. he is the guy that tells you he is 2 hours a day in the gym while he is chatting 90% of the time Smile )
  • + 3
 Freaking laughed. I used to hate that, now I'm like, "you do what you can do". Can't pick apart people for everything. I watched a video of Vern Troyer recently, and a box came to his door, and there was no way he could move it, you know, there's your empathy right there. Everybody needs special help, in one form or another.
  • + 1
 Lol - I'm reading your comment while he's still talking. With a bit of a plan, and maybe a run through or two, this vid could be down to 10 min of useful info.
  • + 3
 Why all the negative comments? Besides "baby's", of course. This is just another viewpoint of the basic movements (squat, lunge, hip hinge, vertical/horizontal push/pull, weighted carry). It's 25 minutes of good, free info.
  • + 2
 As soon as he un-racked that bar backwards my eyes rolled back. Anyone who does this, this is extremely dangerous. Granted the bar is empty but while making a demonstration video for people who are looking for instruction and potentially don't know better, you should be doing this properly. When you are squatting and its time to rack that weight, the last thing you want to be doing is racking it blind while walking backwards. Always approach the bar face first and un-rack by walking backwards, then re-rack walking forwards.
  • + 6
 Yes that's not how it is supposed to be done, but when you have to demo a video and you have to film by yourself, you have to be creative Smile
  • + 1
 genuine question @enduromtbtrainer:

for different circumstances I can't ride as much as I'd like and my only workout other than riding is bouldering, which I do 3-4 times a week.
How does rock climbing specific training interact with mtb?
I feel like being pretty fit for climbing has little to no effect on bike performance, other than improving arm pump
  • + 2
 Climbing is a great addition to training for riding. Shoulder strength, hand and forearm strength and the mobility required during climbing helps a ton. It also is great for breaking the repetitive posture of riding so enjoy it!
  • + 1
 Always enjoy your videos. These included. Just some questions:

On the whiteboard in the first video, is "Upper" and "Lower" supposed to be the reverse of that? Or is there a reason you have it listed the way it is?

In each video you mentioned not switching up your forward foot in the riding position. I alway ride the same foot forward. In fact, I snowboard with the same foot forward and rarely switch it up. Do you recommend adding some extra strength work on my forward leg or do you think that evenly balanced leg work (i.e. squats) is enough?

You mentioned working from high reps to lower reps as the winter months progress. As someone without a gym and additional weights, would a continued high rep (15-ish) workload be beneficial? My main goal with strength training this off season is stamina over long descents. I've been in pretty good cardio shape this year due to a half ironman event I did in June (and will do again). However, I noticed that i was getting fatigued when i was pointed down the hill. At this point in time a gym membership is not in my near future.
  • + 1
 Hi. It's really out of simplicity that I put them in that order. I recommending DH'ing thru non-techy trail to ride opposite foot forward, but yes, you can do a few extra reps on the non-dominant side, especially if that side has been previously injured. I do recommend purchasing some basics so you can do what you need to at home. It'll be diff to create strength without sufficient weight to challenge the body. You can find used gym stuff on many diff sites these days.
  • + 1
 So, to boil down the 30 minutes here: there like a dozen variations of each basic 6 exercises and they all work different things,. Do these 70 or so exercises first before going to the non-basic exercises. And as a baby, you crawled before you walked.
  • + 1
 @enduromtbtrainer - RAD!

Dee has a lot to say cuz there’s so much knowledge to spread to all, pros and noobs alike!

I used to think I was in shape, could ride a bike fairly well; then Dee (and Lee McCormack) showed me how little I really knew and how much more potential I was leaving untapped.
  • + 1
 Stoked for you @sxebiker03!
  • + 4
 You forgot curling in the squat rack
  • + 2
 then spending 5 minutes between sets getting the perfect gym selfie.
  • + 1
 I enjoy the strong lifts app on my iPhone - I think it's also known as 5x5. Being able to do 1.5 times body weight in deadlift and other strength work has helped my trail riding the most.
  • + 0
 Yeah, I was fit like 4 years ago, never rode my bike, and it made it easy to just hop on, and give'er. Now I'm in bicyclist mode 9000, and unfit, and I'm garbage comparatively. I would tell anyone, "it's not the bike, or the equipment that makes the rider". Look at, "Danny MacAskill" his name literally sounds like he has skills. If he weren't the best bicyclist, he'd be one of the best at something else.
  • + 1
 Remember! Dynamic exercise is the number one cause of injuries in a gym. If you want to increase muscular strength, tendon and ligament strength, bone density, all while minimizing risk of injury. Do isometrics!
  • + 4
 Great stuff thanks Dee!!!!
  • + 1
 Thank you!
  • + 2
 Or you know, just ride all winter? I don't get this new fangled IMBA "NEVER RIDE IN THE MUD!!!" I mean I get erosion, irrigation and ruts, but I dig to ride so...
  • + 4
 No yoga? Hm..
  • + 2
 Not the point of the article, but yes, do it! Especially using @yoga15app!
  • - 2
 @enduromtbtrainer: Uhmm.. no, thank you, but yoga will get me only over my dead body.
  • + 3
 winter work out ... pick shovel wheelbarrow hand saw log-carry etc
  • + 1
 Are these videos on youtube.......?......Can't seem locate them.
Appreciate your viewpoint's Dee Tidwell.
  • + 1
 They will be soon!
  • + 1
 Thanks for sharing, I find it’s always good to look at how different trainers work with their athletes.
  • + 1
 Its summer here. Should I do these or just ride my bike...?
  • + 1
 @enduromtbtrainer: I gym 4 nights a week and obviously do all these exercises but I have learnt from these vids. I live in a flat boring wet part of uk so don’t get to ride as much as I’d like. Training definitely helps a lot especially if I’m training for a race and my body would be garbage if I didn’t!
  • + 1
 training this winter... thats a nice thought
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