On Friday I shared an answer I gave to a rider asking about the posture he saw in top XC pro riders and why it differed from what I recommended in my Body Position Clinic. If you didn’t get a chance to check it out then be sure to do that because it is important that you understand why posture on the bike is so important despite what you see with some of the riders at the highest levels.

One of the reasons I gave was that I wasn’t so sure that those pro riders wouldn’t do better if they paid more attention to their posture in their training and in applying it to the bike. And while a lot of your posture on the bike depends on your hips, your shoulder position is just as if not more important.

When your shoulders are hunched up and/ or forward they become far less stable, which…

  • Makes it harder to stand up and pedal since you can’t support as much weight on your arms.
  • Compromises your low back position which results in less leg strength and power.
  • Makes it harder to get a full diaphragmatic breathe which decreases cardio capacity.
  • Increases the stress Rotator Cuff, Bicep Tendon and AC Joint, which can cause pain and long term damage to the shoulder.

In some of my videos I refer to keeping the shoulder “packed”, which basically means keeping it in a strong stable position as you move. You also need to learn how to apply this concept to the bike as well.

In this new video I share some tips on how to keep your shoulders packed while seated and standing on the bike, giving you the insights you need to increase your performance through fixing bad habits you don’t even realize are holding you back.

BTW, I first learned the concept of “shoulder packing” through my exposure to kettlebell training and kettebells remain one of my favorite tools for teaching this vital concept. From Turkish Get Ups to Swings to Snatches, you’re shoulders learn how to be strong and stable through a variety of positions and demands.

If you’re looking for a great way to start incorporating the power of mountain bike specific strength training into your workouts then the MTB Kettebell Conditioning Program is a great place to start. All you need is a single kettlebell and 2-3 hours a week to see real results on the trail.

-James Wilson-

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