July
31

Rowing Exercises to Improve Your Cornering Skills.

Over the last couple of years working with the Steel Mace I’ve been introduced to how important it is to be able to connect both sides of your body when pushing or pulling. Since the Steel Mace has an offset load that I’m holding with both hands, it forces me to counteract what I’m doing on one side with the opposite movement on the other side.

For example, when doing a Bent Row with the Steel Mace I can’t just use the side of my body doing the row. I have to use the other side of my body to counteract the rowing movement, otherwise the offset load would have me twisting and losing my balance.

So what the hell does this have to do with cornering your bike?

Well, this same push-pull action is needed on your bike when applying counter-steering/ – pressure into the handlebars.

Instead of just focusing on pushing with the inside hand you also need to be able to counteract that pushing with pulling the other hand back.

This ability to coordinate the push-pull action comes from having the two sides connected through the core, which is something that I didn’t realize I did not have until I started training with the Steel Mace.

After making this connection my cornering started to improve and I noticed that I felt much stronger and better able to hold my position. It became clear that I wasn’t really engaging half my upper body when cornering and, now that I was, it was helping me hold my line with less effort.

Like a lot of movement skills, though, this is something that is much better taught off the bike and then applied to the bike. Trying to teach it and learn it on the bike to someone who doesn’t already have and understand this movement skill won’t work nearly as well.

Which is where this new Rowing for Cornering exercise progression comes in.

By using a simple 3 exercise progression you can help build and strengthen this push-pull connection through the core. And once you have you can then better apply how this connection “feels” to your bike.

In this video I explain this connection in a bit more detail and then show you the 3 exercises you can use to help improve your cornering:

As you’ll see in the video, while I prefer to use the Steel Mace for most of them you can do them with a regular barbell as well. The point is the find ways to improve the movement skills you need on the bike so you can then focus on the trail and not how to move when you’re riding.

I hope you enjoy this video and get some ideas for your own training from it. Let me know what you think after trying some of these exercises out and how they’ve helped you corner better on your bike.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson