15 Minute Trail Rider Tune Up

It’s my birthday so I’m being lazy today. Here is a re-post of an article and video that was on last week. Enjoy!

If there was one thing that summed up the difference between the programs I write today and the programs I wrote when I first started it is this – There is optimal and then there is reality. We all know what an optimal training program would look like…

– You’d wake up when we were ready and have time to cook and eat a good breakfast.

– You’d work out whenever your meticulously prepared plan told you to.

– You’d have time for a nap in the middle of the day to help your recovery.

– You’d be able to devote 2-4 hours a day, 4-6 days per week to your training program.

Sounds great, and if you can do it you’d get amazing results. However, this is the reality for most of us…

– We wake up when the alarm goes off, ready or not. Breakfast is what we can throw together and eat in less than 15 minutes.

– We schedule a workout when it fits into “life’s” plans.

– Nap? What’s this strange word you speak of?

– If we collect 4 hours of honest training time a week we’re lucky.

So, unless you are a pro rider who gets paid to train and ride you are probably looking at that second list and nodding your head – that sounds like you. If that is the case then you need to follow the old motto “you can get a lot out of a little if you are consistent with it”. What this means is fitting several shorter workouts in over the course of the week can add up to some big results over time.

Adding in a 15 Minute Trail Rider Tune Up on days you can’t make it to the gym is a great way to “optimally deal with reality”. These workouts can help you improve mobility, increase core strength and develop body awareness in one compact package.

Here is how they work:

– Get a countdown timer and set it to 5 minutes. You can use an egg timer, a watch or even download an app for your phone.

– Start the timer and begin with the first exercise pairing. You will do one set of the first exercise and then a set of the second exercise, rotating back and forth between them until the timer goes off.

– Reset the timer and start it again, moving to the second exercise pairing. Once the timer goes off reset it and do the last exercise pairing. You are now finished.

Here is a great Trail Rider Tune Up workout that doesn’t require any equipment and can be done just about anywhere.

Exercise Paring #1: Mobility Exercises

With these two exercises you don’t want to worry about how many round you get through. The idea is to really work each movement and try to figure out how to get your body to come down deeper into movement. These exercises are great for “crushing” some mobility out of your hips and upper back.

Exercise #1: Wall Squats X 5 reps

Exercise #2: Down Dog/ Cobra “Prying” Drill X 3-5 reps

Exercise Pairing #2: Core Training Exercises

While you want to work hard on these exercises, keep your focus on your core, not your limbs. Learn how to stabilize your lower back and move from your hips. You also need remember that your shoulders are part of the core as well – keep them pulled back and down away from the ears.

Exercise #1: Inch Worm X 5

Exercise #2: Windmill X 5 each side

Exercise Pairing #3: Strength Training Exercises

While they are called “strength” training exercises, a mindset shift will help you get more out of these exercises. Look at it as movement practice, and really look to move as strong and fluid as you possibly can. Don’t just be as strong as you need to, be as strong as you can.

Exercise #1: Push Ups X 5

Exercise #2: Bulgarian Split Squats X 5 reps each leg

Count how many rounds of the Core and Strength Training exercise pairings you get through in 5 minutes and then try to beat your record next time you do this routine. Don’t try to increase the time, the point of this routine is speed and simplicity. Keep a laser focus for 15 minutes and then move on.

Pretty simple, which is the point. You don’t have a lot of time to think when all you have is 15 minutes. Fit this routine in 3-4 times a week for the next few weeks and you’ll notice the difference.

-James Wilson-

Social Comments:

WordPress Comments:

  1. Michael says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Reply • December 27 at 7:21 pm
  2. Geoffrey says:

    Happy Birthday, old guy! Wow, I can’t imagine (okay, remember) being that old!

    Reply • December 27 at 9:13 pm
  3. Robert says:

    This is exactly what I need! Many Thanks!
    Do you warm up before this routine? Looks like can be done straight out of the bed

    Reply • December 29 at 7:29 am
    • bikejames says:

      I’d suggest doing a light warm up of some jump rope or jumping jacks, especially if you are rolling out of bed, but it isn’t necessary if you’ve already been up and moving around.

      Reply • December 29 at 11:27 am
  4. Would you suggest adding some weight after doing this routine for a while or just focusing on adding more tension in the targeted muscles. I know when I am training my clients I first focus on making sure they have the perfect form ( without weight) once they get the form down perfect with their own body weight, I will have them do different variations like you showed in the video or have them add more “tension” in the targeted muscles before I add any weight. Just wondering what you would suggest. I always like to to talk to other Trainers/Strength Coaches and get different ideas and opinions.


    Reply • January 1 at 11:27 am
    • bikejames says:

      This is meant to be more “movement practice” than a workout and so I’d suggest adding “tension” and focus first, although you can certainly add some load to the Bulgarian Split Squats. Adding load should be used to enhance the learning experience, not to just be adding load so ultimately it is up to you as a trainer to recognize what the best learning experience will be – more mastery of bodyweight or starting to master load. Good question…

      Reply • January 2 at 11:06 am
  5. Aryo Indarto says:

    Hi James, this really caught my attention as i am looking to be better and stronger rider this year yet to knowing which exercise that could fully focused for mountainbiking. Have been doing this for 2 weeks now and I can say that feel much better than ever, combined with ur cornering skills video suddenly I am more excited to ride my bike now more than ever. I feel all what you have thought really works for moutain biker and will make mountain biking truly a great sport. Good luck on the training the Yeti Team, would love to see them on WC podium this season.

    Reply • February 16 at 1:31 am

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