Curious about mountain biking but never tried it? Mountain biking is an activity that can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Like most sports, there is an elite level of mountain bike athlete who barrels down a tree-laden slope at lightning speed. But don’t be intimidated—many people enjoy the sport at a recreational level.
When you’re venturing into the great outdoors, exercise caution, follow the rules, stay on paths, and tell others where you’ll be and when you’ll be home. Join a local group or learn from a professional when getting started.
As in life, so in cycling
Here are some exercises to help prepare your body for the demands of mountain biking. You’ll notice a focus on single-limb activation, core, and stability. To create specificity to the biking sport, all of the exercises are multifaceted compound movements. Complete 3 sets and 12 repetitions of each exercise.
Split Squat with Rotational Option
Target: quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, obliques, core, shoulders
- Begin with feet parallel, slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, and arms straightened out in front of you at shoulder height, with palms facing down.
- Step your right foot back roughly 3 ft (1 m), maintaining the foot width and toes-forward position as you do so (this is your starting position).
- Maintaining equal weight between your left and right feet, and a tall upper body, slowly lower your right knee until it almost touches the ground.
- Without moving your feet, stand back up to starting position.
- Complete 12 repetitions and then switch legs.
Target: glutes, quadriceps, chest, triceps, hamstrings, core
- Begin on the ground in a push-up position, with a stable object to step onto at roughly knee height (about a foot in front of your head).
- Complete a push-up either to a 90-degree bend at the elbows or to the floor (depending on your level of strength).
- Once you have straightened your arms again, hop both feet as far forward as you can and stand up.
- Step your right leg up onto the object in front of you, propelling your body upward and bringing your left knee up into the air, as high as possible.
- Step back down and return to push-up position.
- Complete 6 repetitions on the right leg, and then do 6 repetitions on the left.
Target: lower back, glutes, posterior shoulders, core
- Begin on your stomach, with arms outstretched in front and legs extended behind.
- Maintaining this position as much as possible, roll to your right by twisting your shoulders and then your hips, rotating them toward the ceiling, and ultimately ending up on your back.
- Roll back to your stomach, to your right, by twisting your hips first and then your shoulders.
- Complete this same sequence, but to the left.
- This equals 2 repetitions.