kettlebell training

March
27

Since 2005 I’ve been using Kettlebell Swings in my own program and to help my clients ride faster, longer and with more confidence on the trail. And after 12+ years they are still one of my favorite exercises because they build mountain bike specific fitness in a very efficient way. First, they are a great […]

December
5

Few things separate great riders from mearly good riders like the ability to carve through a corner. We’ve all had the experience of chasing that rider who we can keep in sight when things are going in a straight line but leave us in the dust once we hit a corner. Riders who can corner […]

July
17

I hope you’re having a great weekend so far and got the chance to get some good rides in. I got the chance to go ride the new downhill trails at the local ski resort yesterday and test out the new jumps on the Black Diamond trail. They were some pretty big jumps, with a […]

March
8

One of the things that gets lost in the “cardio training” conversation is that cardio is very specific to how you train it. This is why tri-athletes need to run, ride and swim – the cardio from one isn’t going to help in the other areas. They need to spend time training their cardio system […]

November
27

Look around and you’ll notice that kettlebells are one of the hottest trends in fitness training today. Everyone from the trainer at the local gym to professional football, baseball and basketball teams use them. And for good reason – they work! In fact, I’ve found that kettlebells are the perfect training tool for mountain bikers […]

February
9

There are few exercises I like as much as a good kettlebell swing. For a mountain biker, few exercises can come as close to riding your bike on a tough trail as a hard set of swings. You’re working your back, core and grip while building strength and high tension cardio. Add in the fact […]

February
7

One of the most common complaints I hear when I suggest that riders should stand up more to pedal is how hard is it to keep traction, especially on climbs. While I’ve posted a video showing how shifting your hips back can help with this, another thing that can really help is being able to […]

December
16

I love training with kettlebells. It doesn’t take long poking around on my site to figure that out and anyone who has been to my facility knows that I have more kettlebells than dumbbells. The unique benefits you get from them and the training methods used with them has really helped my riding and, through […]

October
7

By now almost every rider I talk to has seen or heard of kettlebell training. Even if they don’t know the name everyone recognizes the funny looking weight that looks like a bowling ball with a handle welded to it from shows like The Biggest Loser. Heck, even Lance Armstrong was pictured doing swings with […]

September
23

Manualing is one of those skills most rider’s think you are either born with or you just can’t do it. We’ve all seen the guy holding a manual forever – making the rest of us feel like chumps – but the truth is that you only need to be able to hold one for a […]

July
19

It doesn’t take long before people realize that I think the Turkish Get Up is one of the best mountain bike core training exercises you can possibly do. However, standing up with a weight and doing a good TGU is not always the same thing and a simple training tip can make a big difference […]

May
8

While I love a good deadlift, the squat is still a very important exercise for a mountain biker’s lower body strength development. When done properly, it is a great way to build the core and leg strength you need to improve your standing pedaling power and endurance. In my experience, the Goblet Squat is the […]

March
20

Most riders I talk to tell me that they face three big obstacles when it comes to starting a training program: Kettle bells are not magical and just touching one won’t make you a better rider but the philosophy behind them is perfect for our purposes – do less stuff, but do it better. 1) […]

December
21

Combo drills are a great way to build strength endurance and cardio capacity while using strength training exercises that work on movement skills we need on the trail. They are also excellent for increasing your coordination between different movements, another skill that will serve you well on the trail. Since trail riding requires a high […]

March
30

Kettlebell Cleans are a great overall exercise for several reason but they have a very valuable application for mountain bikers that most people don’t think about. In short, they teach us the general breathing and bracing skills needed to better absorb trail impacts without getting stiff. This helps us stay in control when overshooting a […]

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson