March 23, 2018
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.
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:
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 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.