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Fit for mountain biking

Updated 7 days ago in Sports


The mountain biking season is finally here! As with every other sport, it is important to prepare your body for the stresses and strains specific to mountain biking. As well as good overall cardiovascular fitness, riders need strong legs to push the pedals uphill as well as a strong upper body to deal with tricky descents and keep control of the bike through tight corners. Roland Luchner, coach at the Innsbruck Olympic Centre shows you five exercises to get you fit for mountain biking. Let’s get started!

We recommend 3-4 sets of each exercise, with 10-12 repetitions per set. These exercises are not only good for building fitness but also for warming up before a ride.

1. Alternating jump lunges

Alternating jump lunges strengthen the muscles in the thighs, calves and buttocks.

Here’s how it works:

  • Legs at a 90° angle
  • Upper body upright
  • Hands on your hips
  • Land on the sole of each foot
  • Jump from one position to the next

Important! The front knee should remain behind the tip of your foot. Make sure you push off from the ground using the ball of your foot.

2. Superman

This exercise strengthens the back muscles, which are placed under strain during mountain biking.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand on one leg
  • Stretch out your arms to the front and your other leg to the back
  • Legs, hips and arms should form a single line
  • Bring your knees and hands back to your chest

Important! Keep your back straight.

3. Step ups

Step ups are a quick and easy way to train all the muscles in your legs and buttocks.

Here’s how it works:

  • Stand with one leg on a stool
  • Make sure your knee stays behind the tips of your toes
  • Move the other leg up towards your chest and then all the way down to the ground
  • Keep the muscles in your leg and buttocks tense at all times

Important! Only use the leg standing on the stool to push yourself up. Your knee should stay behind the tips of your toes. Make sure you keep your leg in a straight line at all times.

4. Plank

A strong upper body is important in mountain biking, particularly when it comes to descending. This exercise is an excellent way to strengthen the muscles in your core.

Here’s how it works:

  • Place your elbows on the ground directly beneath your shoulders
  • Your heels, hips and shoulders should form a straight line
  • Keep your head down
  • Maintain tension in the core muscles
  • Stay in this position for 45 seconds and repeat 3-4 times

Important! Keep your back straight and tense the muscles in your stomach so that your body stays straight from head to toe. Don’t forget to breathe.

5. Push ups

Push ups are a good and quick way to learn how to control your own body weight.

Here’s how it works:

  • Place your hands on the ground beneath your shoulders
  • Your heels, hips and shoulders should form a straight line
  • Keep your head down
  • Easier version: put your knees on the ground

Important! Your body should stay in a single line at all times.

Check out the full video for more tips on mountain bike training from Roland:

An outdoorswoman with a passion for sports, Mathea is always looking for authentic stories about Tirol. You can usually find her in the backcountry, surrounded by good people.

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