Cycling

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Rishi Jain

Last updated: 18-04-2018

Mountain Biking is as much about fitness as it is about skill. Strength and endurance can be said to be the two wheels of the Mountain Bike which expedite the completion of the ride and this can be build by preparing yourself thoroughly. But the underlying question here is ‘how to be thoroughly prepared’?

Irrespective of what you are training for (downhill or cross country), prior preparation can improve your performance and protect you from injuries (largely). 6 Week Mountain Bike Training Program is going to be your guide through the uneven trail.

 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

THE REGIME

This training program is a week to week schedule involving cardio, stretching and some core exercises which builds the muscular endurance of the core, the lower and the upper body. But before we get into the schedule, let us delve a bit deeper in the exercises that we would be recommending.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

CORE EXERCISES

 

Plank

This exercise strengthens your core and builds endurance in your arms and shoulders. Start on your knees and elbows, move to toes and elbows. Then move to plank bridge where you raise one limb while holding the plank position. If you can do this for the given time without much strain, then move towards rotation plank. All this while you need to keep your spine straight.

Week 1-3 - Hold the position for 15 seconds, rest for 5 seconds, repeat 4 times.

Week 4-6 - Hold the position for 30-45 seconds, rest for 10 seconds, repeat 3 times.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Bicycle crunches

This exercise works on the upper and lower abs. Lie down on a mat in a relaxed position with your hands behind your head. Now raise your legs in such a way that your calves are parallel to the floor and thighs are perpendicular to the floor. Now lift your head up, pulling your right knee towards your head, touch it with your left elbow. Do the same with your other set of limbs. You have finished one bicycle crunch. Repeat the entire process alternating limbs for 30 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 4 times.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Mountain climbers

This exercise challenges your balance, agility and coordination. In this, start off with the arm plank/ push up position. Bring your right knee towards your chest and then swiftly kick it back to the starting position, meanwhile bring your left knee towards your chest. The ‘in and out’ movement of both your legs should happen simultaneously. Do this exercise for 30 seconds alternating legs, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 4  times. The challenge here is to keep your back as straight as possible.

Kneeling superman

This one is a popular back restoring exercise which requires pelvic and spine strength. For doing this exercise, kneel on your fours, bring your knees under your hips and arms under your shoulder. Simultaneously raise one arm and the opposite leg to level of a trunk, hold this position for 2-3 seconds and then lower the limbs to the ground level. Repeat the same with other arm and leg. Repeat this exercise 20 times on each side.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

STRETCHING EXERCISES

 
Figure four stretch

Lie on your back. Bend your left knee and place your right ankle on the left thigh. With both hands pull the back of the bent leg towards your chest. You will feel a stretch along the glutes. Repeat the same with the right knee and the left ankle.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Standing hamstring stretch

Find a slightly elevated surface (below your waist). Place you left heel on the elevated surface, bend forward and flex your foot. Try keeping your back straight and square your hips. Hold this position for 20 seconds and try to extend upto 30 seconds. Do three repetitions per side.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

 

Lunge hip flexor stretch

Your left knee should be bent at 90 degrees and right knee on the floor and in line with the hip. Do not lower your hip and keep your torso tall. Now gently lean forward to feel the stretch. Now switch legs and repeat the same.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Standing quad stretch

Stand tall with your feet slightly apart. Bend your left leg, bringing the heel to your hip and hold it with your right hand. Hold this position for 20 seconds, repeating 5 times on each side.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

 

Standing hip circles

Rotate hip in a circular motion, from in to out and out to in. Rotate 10 times in one direction for each leg.

 

 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Shoulder rolls

Stand straight with your arms by your side. Slowly rotate your shoulders in clockwise direction and then repeat in anti-clockwise direction. Do this 10 times.

LOWER BODY EXERCISES

 
Squats

Gives power, strength and control to your lower body while cycling. Squats targets glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves. Stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a seated position until your butt is a few inches off the ground. Make sure your knee is behind your toes and your back is not hunched. Rise back with the same speed you squatted down. You also can try different variations- Single leg squats, where you lift one leg off the ground and balance your body weight on one leg. Go as low as you can without disbalancing your body. Squat and jump is another variation you can try. Here, you squat down and then push yourself from the squatted position while raising which causes you to jump off the ground. Do 3 sets of 15 repetitions. Take 20 second break after every repetition. 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

 

Single leg deadlifts

This exercise works magic for ankle strength. Dynamically strengthens quads, glutes, hamstrings, adductors and lower back. Stand straight. Keep your back straight and bend slightly from your waist. Bend the knee of the base leg slightly and slowly lift your other leg. Meanwhile keep lowering  the dumbbell/kettlebell until the raised leg is parallel to the floor. Return to the starting position and repeat while switching sides. Do 10 repetitions with each leg.

 

 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

 

Side lunge

Helps you strengthen adductors, hamstrings, calves and glutes. Stand with your feet wide apart than shoulder width. Shift 70% of your body weight on the right side. Lower your body on that side while bending your knee. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Straighten yourself and repeat on the left side. Repeat 10 times on each side.

 

 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

 

Box jump

Stand in front of a bench or a box which 1 or 2 feet tall with your spine erect, abs tight and shoulders rolled back. Jump with force on the top of box/bench and land in partial squat position. Swing your arms forward for greater momentum. Step down and repeat 10 times. Take a break for 20 seconds after each set and do 3 sets.

 

 

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Calf raise

Stand straight and step on a raised platform. Raise your heel a few inches, hold that position for 3 seconds such that you are on your toes. Slowly lower your heels below the raised platform till you feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Start for minute and extend upto 3 minutes.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

 

Week 1

Day 1- ride for 40 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3- ride for 40 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 4- cross train by swimming/walking/running for 30 minutes.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- interval ride day where you ride on a fire road with a little incline. Start with riding at a easy pace for 15 minutes. Increase 75% efforts and ride for 10 minutes. Reduce your pace to normal again for the next 15 minutes. For the next 5 minutes ride at 80% effort and reduce it to 60% for another 5 minutes. Finally ride for 15 minutes at an easy pace to cool down.

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Week 2

Day 1- ride for 40 minutes in an area with moderate climb (preferably hills).

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3- ride for 40 minutes on varying terrains.

Day 4- cross train for 30 minutes- run/walk for 15 minutes. Do 10 push ups, 10 sit ups and 10 squats as many number of times as you can in 5 minutes. Run/walk for 10 more minutes.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- interval ride day where you ride on a fire road with a little incline. Start with riding at a easy pace for 30 minutes. Push yourself to ride faster by increasing your efforts to 80% for 15 minutes. Finally ride for 15 minutes at an easy pace to cool down.

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Week 3

Day 1- ride for 50 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3-  ride for 50 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 4- cross train by swimming/walking/running for 30 minutes.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- interval ride day for 40 minutes. Warm up your body by riding for 10 minutes at a normal pace. Then ride hill(s) totally 3 times, downhill ride serves as your recovery here. Finally ride at a normal pace for 10 minutes to cool down.

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Week 4

Day 1- ride for 50 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3-  ride for 90 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 4-  cross train for 30 minutes- run/walk for 15 minutes. Do 10 push ups, 10 sit ups, 20 jumping jacks and 10 squats as many number of times as you can in 8 minutes. Run/walk for 10 more minutes to cool down.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- interval ride day for 40 minutes with substantial climbing. Warm up your body by riding for 10 minutes at a normal pace. Then ride hill(s) totally 3 times, downhill ride serves as your recovery here. Finally ride at a normal pace for 10 minutes to cool down.

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Week 5

Day 1- ride for 50 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3-  ride for 120 minutes on a route with minimum number of hills.

Day 4-  cross train for 30 minutes- run/walk for 15 minutes. Do 10 push ups, 10 sit ups and 20 jumping jacks and 10 squats as many number of times as you can in 8 minutes. Run/walk for 10 more minutes to cool down.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- interval ride day for 40 minutes with substantial climbing. Warm up your body by riding for 10 minutes at a normal pace. Then ride hill(s) totally 3 times, downhill ride serves as your recovery here. Finally ride at a normal pace for 10 minutes to cool down.

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Week 6

Day 1- ride for 90 minutes on a moderate pace on varying terrains.

Day 2- rest day.

Day 3-  ride for 50 minutes on a consistent speed. You should feel strong but tired at the end of this ride.

Day 4- cross train by swimming/walking/running for 30 minutes.

Day 5- rest day.

Day 6- ride for 2 hours at varying pace on varying terrain. Push yourself by choosing uphill and flat sections but also giving yourself the time to recover by riding downhill.  

Day 7- Follow the routine mentioned above.

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Strength, endurance, speed, skills directly come out as pieces of puzzles, however, nutrition and rest along with the others form the bigger picture of mountain biking, where every component plays a major role which cannot be substituted by an alternate option. This preparatory exercises training program is designed as per average ability and capability of the larger section of riders. Extremes are not included in this.

Big shoutout to Urvashi, our Expedition Co-ordinator, for nailing the postures and Gaurav for capturing them so perfectly!

How To Prepare For Mountain Biking

Rishi Jain

I believe in experiences over possessions. Currently pursuing my Masters at JNU (no, we are not anti Read more

Add a Comment

* Your email address will not be published. All fields are required.