Mountain Bike Tips

Mountain Bike Training: Lower Body

March 23, 2018

Mountain Biker riding downhill on a trail in the woods

Today’s guest post is from  Matt at evo

When rid­ing a moun­tain bike, or any bike for that mat­ter, your legs are obvi­ous­ly your main pow­er source. Stronger legs mean more pow­er and bet­ter endurance so you can log more miles on the trail. Train­ing your low­er body strength is essen­tial for moun­tain bik­ers. Don’t wor­ry though, we’re not just going to tell you to do squats until your bike shorts don’t fit anymore—it’s not that sim­ple. There are many dif­fer­ent mus­cle groups in your legs and low­er body that con­tribute to moun­tain bik­ing. It’s impor­tant to pay atten­tion to each of these dif­fer­ent areas and to build bal­anced strength. 

Exercises That Can Help Keep You Strong and Balanced On Your Bike 

1. Single Leg Stability

When you’re rid­ing a moun­tain bike, you’re almost always push­ing or weight­ing one leg at a time, that is why sin­gle-leg sta­bil­i­ty is so impor­tant. Improv­ing your strength and sta­bil­i­ty here can also help elim­i­nate inef­fi­cien­cies in your tech­nique, allow­ing you to put all your pow­er through to your bike pedals. 

2. Glutes

You may think that your quads do all of the work push­ing you up peaks. Your back­side, how­ev­er, plays an unher­ald­ed role. If your glutes are under-engaged while rid­ing, you are putting addi­tion­al stress on your quads, which not only makes them more tired but can stress out your knees. Work on your glute strength to stay bal­anced and powerful. 

3. Hip Hinges

Your low­er body con­trols your pow­er out­put on the trail, but it can also cause pain in oth­er parts of your body, name­ly your low­er back. This is one of the most com­mon pain points for moun­tain bik­ers. Work­ing on strength and flex­i­bil­i­ty in your hips can help mit­i­gate back pain from long days in the bike sad­dle. Pro tip: upgrade your bike seat post to a drop­per seat post for on-the-fly seat post adjust­ments, this is one of our favorite moun­tain bike upgrades for any bike.

The com­bi­na­tion of these exer­cis­es, addi­tion­al leg work­outs like squats, plus just plain ‘ol rid­ing your bike,  will get you ready to rip all sea­son long.

For more moun­tain bike train­ing tips, check out our oth­er posts:

Moun­tain Bike Training—Core and  Shoulders

Moun­tain Bike Training—Arms, Wrists and Hands

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 seek to bring our cus­tomers the high­est qual­i­ty out­door gear all while cre­at­ing an extra­or­di­nary cus­tomer expe­ri­ence, and giv­ing back to the com­mu­ni­ties in which we work and play. evo also likes to trav­el to remote places across the globe in search of world-class pow­der turns, epic waves, or leg­endary moun­tain bik­ing loca­tions through evoTrip adven­ture vaca­tions.