Mobility Exercises for Mountain Bikers

April
9

Last week I wrote a blog post about what I learned at a Dan John seminar I had the chance to attend. One of the things I mentioned was an exercise called the Stick Windmill that I promised would really help your hip action when cornering. You see, I’m a strong believer that the reason […]

January
22

Let’s face it – our wrists take a beating on the trail. From the pounding they take simply holding onto the handlebars to the countless injuries they incur from falls, for a lot of riders their wrists have been through a lot of wear and tear. And with that wear and tear comes a loss […]

January
15

In my videos and articles I talk a lot about the “hip hinge” and how important it is for us on the bike. Basically your ability to get your hips back and chest down without losing a strong core position, it is the essential movement skill behind both seated pedaling and your standing Attack Position. […]

January
13

I know that “mobility” isn’t as exciting as cardio and power training but it is the basis for everything you do. If it is compromised then you’ll struggle to breathe and move as efficiently as you could. It is like trying to drive with your parking brake on – sure you can push past it […]

August
20

Last week I got an email from a physical therapist who was putting together a list of things to screen when he was working with a mountain biker and he wanted to know my opinion on how the Functional Movement Screen (FMS) applied to mountain biking. Since I think that the FMS is the most […]

August
9

Getting tight and losing some mobility is one of those things that doesn’t seem like a big deal at first but it catches up with you eventually. While at first you may just feel a little stiff, if left alone that stiffness can start to rob you of power and endurance while also setting you […]

May
1

When most of us think about improving our performance the first things that come to mind are working hard on things like cardio and strength. However, your ability to relax may be just as important. A study by the old Soviet Union’s sports scientists showed something very interesting about the ability to relax. When they […]

April
29

If you kept up with my In-Season Training Strategies video series last week then you understand why Mobility Training needs to be your #1 In-Season Training priority. When it starts to go then all sorts of bad things happen, from decreased performance to increased pain and overuse injuries. However, if you didn’t get a chance […]

March
1

One of the biggest mistakes riders make when trying to improve their mobility is to try and force their muscles to lengthen and mobilize. We have been taught that the harder we work the better out results but that attitude can really backfire on you when you are trying to improve your mobility. In fact, […]

February
22

Can you touch your toes? If so, can you do it while maintaining a relatively straight lower back? If you are like a lot of riders I have met the answer to this questions is “no” and if you are among them this may be one of the most important videos you ever watch. A […]

August
3

If you spend some time during the week working on your mobility then you don’t need an elaborate pre- and post ride routine. However, taking a few minutes to mobilize a few key areas can help you get into the flow of the trail a bit faster and keep common problem areas from flaring up […]

June
27

Low back pain while riding is one of the most common complaints I hear from riders. If you are doing your mountain bike mobility and strength training exercises on a regular basis you shouldn’t suffer from it often but sometimes even the strongest rider will start to feel it tighten up. While instinct may tell […]

June
13

Before I get too far into this let me say that I am a general fan of yoga. I have done yoga in the past and I encourage my clients to use it as a tool for gaining extra mobility and body awareness. However, just like any other workout method it does have some disadvantages. […]

June
8

One of my favorite stretches for mountain biking is the Frog Stretch. It is one of the best ways to open up the hips and groin, two areas that are notoriously tight on mountain bikers. In this video I show you how to do this “must use” stretch and avoid some common mistakes that keep […]

June
6

Q: I have been with you for a while, and my riding strength has improved tremendously. I regularly clean hills I never even thought about trying a couple of years ago. I rode with a group of riders on Saturday. One of the women from the group noticed I was doing some warm-up stretches on […]

February
20

Let’s face it – as mountain bikers our shoulders take a beating. Being hunched over in the saddle and getting pounded on when we crash take their toll and as a result a lot of riders have a perma-hunch going on where their shoulders are rounded forward all the time. Besides making us look like […]

January
25

I would have to say that 90% of the MTB riders and racers that I have met would be defined as “over skilled”. It sounds absurd since most feel that some aspect of their riding needs work, be it skill related such as gate starts or fitness related such as better power endurance (I define […]

January
18

My buddy Lee McCormack (www.leelikesbikes.com) recently sent me this question… James!OK dude. I’ve been doing longer rides lately, and it’s starting to feel good. My climbing legs are coming back, and I’m comfortable for 2+ hour rides. The weak link is actually appearing on the DH. I’m training and riding the way I always do, […]

January
4

Most exercise professionals would agree that there are many components to fitness. A well rounded approach to fitness that addresses all of them is usually the best way to achieve lasting gains and continual progress from a program. Being deficient in even one of these components leads to slow progress and results in a condition […]

October
12

This last weekend I had a 2 day Skills & Fitness Clinic and had a couple guys come who’ve been following my programs for at least a year. It is kind of interesting to get someone in to see me who answers my “what kind of program have you been following” question with “yours”. I’ve […]

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson