Mountain biking is a thrilling and adventurous sport that requires specific skill sets. Developing a solid foundation of strength, endurance, and technical skills allows you to conquer obstacles and push past limits that once seemed out of reach.
Whether you’re going over a rock garden, jump, or berm, the Row and Anti-Row movement patterns are crucial to maintaining speed. You can also utilize these movements when entering a turn, allowing you to maintain speed and avoid scrubbing your momentum.
The cornerstone of endurance mountain biking is overcoming fatigue and remaining efficient as the miles roll by. MTB athletes build their endurance through winter and early season training with aerobic rides, cross-training, and weight lifting to get a strong base before starting race-focused training. Riding a bike offers a full-body workout because it requires the muscles in your arms and core to tackle obstacles and maneuver the bike over terrain. Mountain biking is also a great cardiovascular exercise that burns calories and improves heart health. A good MTB training plan balances fitness and skills, so you don’t enjoy long endurance rides. Keep your workouts interesting by working on skills, bunny hops, and track stands. This will help you improve control and coordination and challenge your decision-making abilities. This will also improve proprioception and balance. These are all necessary to reduce the risk of injury on the trail.
When mountain biking, your body constantly adjusts to the terrain and the forces that come with it. This helps to improve balance & coordination, increasing your proprioception (spatial awareness). Mountain biking is also a great form of aerobic exercise, which can help reduce blood pressure and promote overall cardiovascular health. As you build up your endurance and strength through a bike training program, you can ride longer distances without feeling exhausted or out of breath. The intense physical activity required for mountain biking promotes mindfulness, helping you focus on the moment and quieting the chatter in your mind. The sense of accomplishment you feel as you master new trail obstacles and skills can boost your mood and confidence. It’s no wonder that studies show mountain biking is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety.
A strong core, arms, and shoulders are essential for mountain biking because they help you control the bike when encountering obstacles or riding fast. Mountain biking also requires balance & coordination. Whether pedaling up steep boulders, maneuvering through chunky rock gardens, downshifting for sudden uphill transitions, or steering quickly and safely through turns, a rider who has perfected these skills can go faster without using as much energy.
Speed training is another crucial aspect of MTB Training because it helps develop the ability to push against resistance in a high-force manner with efficient postures and movements. Producing power in this way uses a different set of muscle fibers than general endurance training, so it needs to be emphasized when working on MTB-specific fitness goals.
Another skill that’s becoming increasingly common on the trail is jumping. From small tabletop jumps to artificial doubles, learning to take these features at speed will allow you to navigate more technical trails and enjoy the fun.
Mountain biking requires a combination of physical and technical abilities unique to the sport. Aside from good upper-body strength and the ability to produce short bursts of high wattage, it requires significant agility, balance, and coordination.
Getting in and out of the saddle, pedaling uphill, navigating rough terrain, negotiating obstacles, and keeping track of your speed requires lots of concentration. In addition, mountain bikers must pay attention to their surroundings to avoid running into a tree or riding off a cliff. Incorporating interval training into your MTB training is an excellent way to improve multiple aspects of your fitness. However, finding workouts that work well for MTB can be tricky if you want to avoid creating never-before-seen sessions. One option is to use fartlek intervals, which can effectively develop sustainable power and repeatability while providing a solid cardiovascular workout.