Winter is rising, which can cool a Prescottonian’s mountain biking fire a bit. But, even if you’re not hitting the trail as much as you’d like, you should keep training to prepare for your next adventure.
Mountain biking is one of the best full-body workouts because it requires so much of the rider at once — keeping up speed to move forward while absorbing any bumps or rocks that pop up in front of you. This constant shifting of your weight to stay upright is the key to having a safe, exhilarating experience.
You prepare for this by building strength and endurance on the ground. Your training ideally would be alternated with bike time, either indoors or out, so all these abilities can mesh into a pedaling machine sooner.
Here are a few basic exercises to prepare any rider, experienced or newbie, for long, rollicking days on the trail.
Plank variation with dumbbells — Pick up one moderate-weight dumbbell in each hand and get into plank position, keeping your back strong and rigid. Alternatively bring your right and left hands up toward your body for 10 to 15 reps. Keep your body straight, with no twisting in the hips. This strengthens your abs and core, working up through your neck.
Speed skater — It’s easy to picture this one. Jump from one foot to the other while leaning forward and swinging your arms, preferably on a mat if your joints are a little rusty. This builds up your glutes, quads, hamstrings and other muscles that power your pedal stroke.
Jumping lunges — Take a step back and bend straight down so that the rear leg is at a 90-degree angle. In one explosive movement, jump up and swap legs, so that you land in the same position but with your back leg forward and vice versa. Focus on keeping the core engaged the whole time. This builds your legs and core and strengthens your hips.
Photo: Blushing Cactus Photography