May 4, 2018
Today’s guest post is from Matt at evo.
Mountain biking is so much fun that it can make you forget how hard you’re working out on the trails. Once you get back home, however, you’ll be sure to feel the soreness and tight spots that are the fruits of your labor (alongside that smile and sense of accomplishment). We’ve partnered with a Seattle-based Kinetic Sports Rehab to bring you stretches and exercises to help you work through that soreness, getting you ready to get back out there on your mountain bike.
1. Hip Flexors
The motion of pedaling can put a lot of wear and tear on your hip flexors and cause tightness that affects other areas of your body, namely your lower back. So, stretching out your hip flexors after a ride will not only feel great but can also help relieve other pain and tightness. This exercise can even be done on the trail, grabbing your mountain bike saddle and handlebars for stability, then dropping into a deep squat position. A poorly fitting bike can also cause back pain, so if problems persist make sure that you’re starting off with the correct mountain bike sizing.
The most obvious place you’ll feel sore and tired after a bike ride is your quads. Active recovery, namely foam rolling, can help release quad tightness, and can also help relieve back pain. Improper technique can hurt, rather than help your recovery, so pay close attention to your technique. Rolling should feel good, not painful, even if you’re a fan of that “hurt so good” feeling.
Sore forearms may be a sign that you’re hanging onto your bike handlebars too hard, or simply that you’ve just been riding a lot of rough terrain. Following a ride, it might even feel like you’ve been rock climbing rather than biking, with “pumped out” forearms. This is likely to translate into soreness the next day. You can use a lacrosse ball… or a beer bottle as a mini foam roller to help work through your muscles. If forearm soreness is a big issue for you, first look at your technique. If that’s not the problem, it might be time to think about a full suspension mountain bike with more suspension to suck up the bumps for you, so your arms and legs don’t have to work so hard. Mountain bike gloves or new handlebar grips can also help take some of the burden off your forearm muscles.
Your hamstrings aren’t the first muscle group to come to mind when you think of mountain biking. However, if you’re ripping big descents or taking laps in the bike park, you’ll definitely feel soreness in your hammys. A lacrosse ball is also good for working sore spots on your hamstrings. “Pin down” knots and work them out to feel fresh and ready to ride.
Check out our other mountain bike performance and recovery guides:
We are evo — a ski, snowboard, mountain bike, surf, wake, and skate retailer based in Seattle, Washington, USA, with stores located in Seattle, Portland, and Denver. We also offer trips to remote locations across the globe in search of world-class powder turns, epic waves, and legendary mountain biking through our evoTrip Adventure Travel Vacations.