Single Leg Mountain Bike Exercise Progressions

Here are my basic single leg exercise progressions for building more pedaling power and correcting strength imbalances.

-James Wilson-

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  1. Rob says:

    Thanks James, always get lots of info from your special training sessions. I am an older (55) mtn biker here in Prescott Arizona. Seems the older I get, I need all I can get with new exercises.I love the long distance mtn bike events but lately seems like my breathing is so hard…any suggestions? I take alot of spin classes,pump Iron classes to keep in shape, along with some basic weights…
    Thanks for all you do!

    Reply • November 4 at 3:21 pm
    • bikejames says:

      Kettlebell swings, my friend, kettlebell swings. They use the dominant movement pattern needed on the bike so you are laying your fitness on the right pattern, they work on your high tension cardio for hard climbs and sprints on the bike and build good breathing habits as well. My new MTB Kettlebell Conditioning Program is a great way to work swings into your routine if you haven’t done them before. Hope this helps…

      Reply • November 6 at 7:52 am
  2. HundredDollar says:

    It looks like for the RDL you are breaking at the knee slightly, that’s what you want, right? Most people think that a stiff legged deadlift means locking the knees and that’s not usually the case. The more I bend at the knee, the easier this exercise becomes due to the tension behind the knee joint and the closer it is to a regular single leg deadlift.

    Reply • November 8 at 11:05 pm
    • bikejames says:

      This is my definition and one that is shared by a lot of coached – the stiff legged deadlift is just that, a deadlift with locked out knees. A Romanian deadlift (RDL) is done with slightly bent knees. You bend the kness slightly to start but they stay in that position the entire time – they are stiff, just not locked out. I like the RDL as it is a bit easier to do and places less stress on the knees.

      Reply • November 10 at 11:06 am
  3. HundredDollar says:

    Cool, that clears it up. Thanks for posting this workout. I can see a few imbalances and mobility issues that I wasn’t catching before. When I do the marching glute bridge, my left hip doesn’t hinge as easily as the right. Also, both hip joints want to rotate outwards, bringing my feet angled in a little to the centerline of my body, like I’m trying to cross my legs. If I watch it, I can keep from cheating and keep the knee tucked straight back into the chest, so it’s not big deal. It seems like something to watch for though, so you don’t cheat yourself on your hip flexibility.

    Reply • November 11 at 10:19 am

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