Mountain Bike Tips

4 Post-Ride Exercises for Mountain Bikers

May 4, 2018

Cyclist standing with one leg on the seat of their mountain bike for leg stretches

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.

2. Quads

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.

3. Forearms

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. 

4. Hamstrings

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:

Train­ing for Moun­tain Bik­ing — Low­er Body

Train­ing for Moun­tain Bik­ing — Arms

Train­ing for Moun­tain Bik­ing — Core & Shoulders

We are evo — a ski, snow­board, moun­tain bike, surf, wake, and skate retail­er based in Seat­tle, Wash­ing­ton, USA, with stores locat­ed in Seat­tlePort­land, 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.