Mountain Bike Strength Training

August
20

For a lot of cyclists, low back pain is just a part of riding their bike. Whether it hurts before, during or after riding (or all 3 for a lot of people) they know that throwing their leg over their bike will most likely result in their low back getting angry with them. And while […]

August
6

Sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself “why am I choosing to do this?”, especially when it comes to your training and riding. Why are you skipping that workout? Why are you sitting and spinning rather than standing and pushing a harder gear when you climb? Why are you looking for another cardio workout […]

July
25

The plank is one of the most popular core training exercises being used today. It is a great way to strengthen the entire core and helps riders improve their pedaling power and posture on the bike. And while holding a plank can be a challenge at first, eventually they start to get a little easy. […]

July
23

As I lay on the ground trying to get my legs to stop shaking I was dumbfounded at what had just happened. In just 90 seconds, without moving an inch, I had just reached a level of tension in the deadlift that I didn’t know was possible, taking my muscles to the edge of their […]

July
9

One of the only constancies in life is change. While I’ve been a huge proponent for Kettlebell Swings I’ve come across an exercise that has made me question if it really is the best option for us as mountain bikers. To see why I’ve started using and recommending Indian Club Swings for building mountain bike […]

July
2

Welcome to the world of Steel Mace Training. Based on the ancient Gada, the Steel Mace is the modern version of a training tool that goes back thousands of years. Used by warriors and wrestlers throughout the centuries to build wrist and grip strength as well as upper body strength, mobility, and endurance, this training […]

June
11

If you want to quickly improve your riding you need to work on your standing pedaling power and endurance. When you stand up you improve your power, almost all technical skills require you to get your butt off the seat and it is also better for your knees and low back. Unfortunately, though, most riders […]

April
17

Everybody loves a good core training exercise. A strong core can help you perform better and stay injury resistant, something every rider can benefit from. And while we’ve come a long way since the ‘80’s when crunches and side bends were the staple core training exercises, there are still a lot of core training exercises […]

December
4

The only thing more abundant than “pumpkin spice” flavored stuff this time of year are excuses not to train. Whether its family in town, all the holiday parties or just a general lack of motivation when it gets dark at 5 o’clock in the evening, December probably sees the fewest workouts of any month. Which […]

November
29

Every once in a while I have a lightbulb moment that makes me realize that I have been missing something really important in my training. Like the first time I was introduced to using mobility exercises to compliment my usual focus on “get stronger”, these moments open up a whole new way of seeing the […]

November
6

A lot of people wonder where I get the motivation to workout. Usually they are looking for something to make them want to workout because, let’s face it, working out isn’t always fun and easy. To help offset this most of us look for some sort of motivation to drive us. Kind of like Rocky […]

October
16

I’m kind of a home-body. I mean, I’ve got everything I need at home. My family, my dog, my bike and my gym. But sometimes I have to travel and get out of that comfort zone. Like today…I’m waking up in Bend Oregon. I’m here to present at the Venture Outdoor Worx conference, where my […]

October
2

When I first started MTB Strength Training Systems in 2005 my main goal was to help other mountain bikers discover the power of a 21st century strength and conditioning program. In the last 12 years I’ve had the good fortune to help thousands of riders through my online training and coaching programs, but I’ve always […]

August
7

As riders we are taught to take good care of our bikes. After all, we are relying on them to make it down the trail without falling apart and getting us killed so it only makes sense to make sure that they are working well. Part of this is doing some assessments of the bike […]

July
31

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 […]

July
5

One of the hardest things for me about the riding season is finding the time and energy for all the great riding to be had and the training I need to avoid injuries or a late season slump. The irony is that as much as I prefer to ride my bike, if I don’t do […]

July
3

While mountain biking has a lot of positive benefits, one thing it isn’t good for is your core. That’s right, this beautiful sport that we all love is slowly eroding your core function and strength, setting you up for back pain and decreased performance. Let me explain why this is. First, mountain biking finds a lot […]

June
26

One of the biggest mistakes I made early on with my core training for mountain biking was avoiding exercises that directly worked the hip flexors. These muscles are located in the front of the hip and act to pull the knee up towards the chest and they tend to be short and tight for most […]

June
12

A persistent myth with mountain bike strength training is that because it is an “endurance sport” then you need to focus on higher reps and lower weights. Using 10-20+ reps per set and the relatively lighter weights they demand is supposed to help build the muscular endurance you need on the trail. And while this […]

May
29

I’ll admit that I am a more than a bit skeptical when it comes to new pieces of training equipment. Over two decades in the fitness industry will do that to you – rarely does something new do the job better than something we already have and even most “new” training tools are just rediscovery […]

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James Wilson
Author and Professional
Mountain Bike Coach
James Wilson