One of my proudest achievements as a rider was hitting the 40 foot gap jump we had up at The Ranch. It was on a slopestyle course we had built that was part of the FMBR tour for a couple of years and it was the centerpiece of a lot of airtime.

The reason I was pretty proud of myself the first time I saw it I thought I’d never be able to ride it. At the time I struggled with jumping my bike, especially if it involved an actual lip. Sure, riding off a flat jump at speed is one thing but being able to hit and control a lip was different.

I wasn’t a natural at jumping my bike and I wrecked a lot trying to figure it out. Luckily I had an amazing place to practice with The Ranch being 45 minutes from my house and it allowed me the chance to try new ideas.

The one idea that really made a huge difference for me was the day I realized that I needed to drive my hips into the lip of the jump. Instead of leaning back or, worse yet, doing nothing when I hit the lip I needed to drive my hips forward.

Once I made this connection everything changed. If I was having a bad day jumping my bike I just made a mental note to drive my hips forward and things immediately got better.

This allowed me to gain the confidence I needed to hit bigger and bigger jumps until the day the 40 footer didn’t look impossible anymore. But without making that connection and practicing the movement both on and off the bike I never would have done it.

To help you apply this to your own riding I shot a new video where I explain the movement pattern behind jumping your bike, why “stomping your feet into the pedals” may be a bad coaching cue and some movement drills to help you improve your explosive hip hinge.

While you may never get to the point you jump a 40 footer, the same basic principles apply to jumps of all sizes. Learning how to move from the hips is the key and once you do you’ll find your confidence increasing in the air.

Until next time…

Ride Strong,

James Wilson
MTB Strength Training Systems

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