Improve Your Body Position 100% in 30 Days

In my recent post on how to Improve Your Riding 100% in 30 Days I touched on the basic principle of focusing your training on improving something specific for a short period of time. This approach becomes even more important as we progress as riders because the amount of effort it takes to move the needle on skills and fitness levels becomes higher as we get get better.

However, this approach is equally important for the new rider needing to establish a solid base to work from, or even an experienced rider who never got the chance to work on the fundamental things when they starter riding. This brings us to another Improve Your Riding 100% in 30 Days Blueprint, this time covering Body Position.

Body Position on your mountain bike is the core skill that everything else you do on the trail stems from. If this is off you won’t pedal as efficiently, corner as confidently or jump as consistently. You overall balance and trail skills are tied to your Body Position as well. This makes it something every rider should spend time improving no matter how long they’ve been riding.

With that in mind here are the key Mobility Drills, Strength Training Exercises and Skills Drills that you should use over the next 30 days to help improve this essential riding skill.


Hip Hinge

Shoulder Mobility


Uni Deadlift progressions

TGU/ Swing/ Goblet Squat

Skills Training

Body Position Clinic

Every day you should do something on this list. Those mobility drills should be part of your warm up. At least 1 of those strength training exercises should be in your workout every time you workout. You should schedule 15-20 minutes of cone drills a couple times a week. Every time you ride you should be putting it all together on the trail.

Just like with my Improve Your Cornering 100% in 30 Days article, if you follow this plan for 30 days I guarantee that your cornering will have improved a lot, probably 100% or more for some of you. It is very empowering to realize that you can be the rider you want to be – you just need to focus your efforts for 30 days.

-James Wilson-

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  1. Mike says:

    Great stuff James! This is exactly the kind of stuff I’ve been hoping to see you do. Because you demonstrate impeccable form in all of your exercise videos, I strive to accomplish the same thing when doing my workouts. But the big question I had was to know how I should look when I’m on my bike. After seeing this video I have two questions…

    1. Does your body postion change depending on your style of riding? Can a cross country rider who doesn’t have a dropping style seatpost do the same movements that you have shown?

    2. After seeing how important the deadlift is to body position, I’m wondering if I should take a step back from doing your follow along workouts and focus on that. I currently have a difficult time holding the correct position during a 30 minute ride, and then I start to get pain in my lower back,

    Reply • January 7 at 7:09 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      Yes, the body position basics apply to seated or standing positions – hinge at the hips and not the lower back while getting your chest down to weight the front some. As far as adding deadlifts to your progam, I’d suggest doing a couple sets of 5 reps with a weight you can get 8 reps with added onto the follow along workouts, probably at the beginning. Hope this helps…

      Reply • January 7 at 11:24 am
  2. Thanks James!
    I really appreciated the body position video, with the application of the dead lift.

    Reply • January 7 at 10:34 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      No problem, glad you like it!

      Reply • January 7 at 11:24 am
  3. michael says:

    Great video James. Have been watching your posts and everything makes so much more sense now. I’ve had a few coaching sessions before – which have explained the riding technique, but never how to build strength to enable good technique. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so freely.

    Reply • January 8 at 5:09 am
  4. madeleine says:

    Just watched the vid on body position – this is a great help! Thanks very much!

    Reply • January 9 at 7:54 am
    • bikejames bikejames says:

      My pleasure, glad it helped.

      Reply • January 9 at 8:51 am
  5. I like to explain it as “Butt back/chest down to get COG between the axles. COG on the pedals usually gets you there.

    Your COG as a unit in the deadlift is at your feet/heels. This why this is a perfect way to reinforce this.

    I really dig your overall philosophy!

    Reply • January 31 at 10:50 am
  6. Cheryl says:

    Ha! My body position on the bike finally explained. I am always getting comments of how low I am. It works for me!!

    Reply • June 20 at 5:35 am
  7. Mike J says:

    Great post James. ive had a history of low back pain for years, there is an imbalance in my pelvis which has caused SI joint issues. (Caused from fracturing pelvis at a young age). I’ve done deadlifts in the past successfully, however, it got to the point where I was throwing my back out every time in the end. At this point I’m rather gun shy of ever attempting deadlifts again and was wondering what other alternate or modified exercise you recommend similar to the deadlift? Thanks for the help.

    Reply • May 9 at 11:04 pm
  8. Neil Barstow says:

    Hi James
    Great video thanks
    Might you make something similar for body position on climbs. Where in some cases the body will become much straighter, chest higher (like a bmx racer sprinting from a standing start).
    That would be great.

    Reply • May 25 at 12:49 am

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