I’ve been working with mountain bikers since 2005, which means that I’ve seen a few trends over that time. Seeing something once or twice is one thing but seeing it over and over usually means something.
When it comes to mountain bikers, the biggest trend I’ve seen is that they almost always have tight hips. It is a common problem with most people but, believe it or not, I’ve seen more “normal” people with good hip mobility than mountain bikers who don’t have tight hips.
Based on this experience, I feel this is also the #1 reason that most riders struggle to easily improve their skills on the bike. Tight hips also mean that you have to work harder to produce the same amount of power and increases your chance of low back and knee pain.
In other words, if you want to improve as a rider but aren’t working on your hip mobility then you are fooling yourself. Reeling off countless miles on the trainer or reps in the gym without addressing this fundamental problem is holding back your results where it counts the most…on the trail.
Here is the thing, though. Improving your mobility doesn’t need to take a huge time commitment from you. Sure, it would be nice if you could sign up for yoga classes and make a few each week but that’s not realistic for most of us.
So, the trick is to use short mobility routines on a consistent basis. You can get a lot out of a little if you do it (nearly) every day.
Spending five minutes a day working on your hip and overall mobility will go a long way towards helping you improve your riding and decrease your risk of overuse injuries.
To help you with this I shot a video where I take you through one of my favorite hip mobility routines. You can just hit play and follow along as I take you through the routine:
You can use this routine as part of a pre-ride warm up or, better yet, a post ride decompression to help reset the system and start the recovery process. Getting aggressive with your mobility is one of the easiest ways to improve your performance and hopefully this routine will help you do that with your own program.
Until next time…
p.s. Need more mobility routines to help your trainign and riding? Check out my collection of MTB specific follow-along mobility routines – http://www.bikejames.com/mountain-bike-mobility-follow-along-videos