Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)
  • MTB functional strength stuff
  • andeh
    Free Member

    Recently moved to a place with significantly longer, rougher, technical trails and feel like I’m getting bashed about a bit on the harder end of things. I can get down, but feel a bit more like a passenger than a rider at times.

    I suspect partial cause of this is upper body strength (or lack thereof), so I’d like to do a few exercises to help speed up the acclimatization period. Recommendations please!
    I essentially have no equipment other than a climbing fingerboard.
    I’ll probably aim to do it a couple of times a week, along with regular rides. If it’s short enough to slot into a lazy half hour I’m much more likely to do it.
    I will not go to a gym 🙂

    footflaps
    Full Member

    Loads of body weight exercises out there, for upper body you could start with:

    Push ups, chin ups will do biceps / triceps etc

    Hollow body holds for Abs.

    andrewh
    Free Member

    More climbing! (As in rock climbing, bouldering etc, rather than riding up hills) Way more fun than a gym. Less specific training maybe but good all round and, for me, motivation is much easier.

    chrishc777
    Free Member

    As above, push ups, chin ups, hanging leg raises, flutter kicks etc

    andeh
    Free Member

    Cheers, I know nothing about strength training, so a few pointers is ideal. Looks like I’m starting at sets of 2 pushups then 😐

    I do definitely need to climb (rock climbing, I arguably do too much riding up hills) more. It’s just fallen off the list since we moved, plus the centres here are outrageously expensive.

    shermer75
    Free Member

    For maintaining better control on bumpy descents I’d imagine press ups are particularly good, actually, as they using the same muscle groups.

    For strength training you want to be doing 10 reps of something that would be hard to do 11 reps of. So, if you can do 10 press ups but that leaves you too fatigued to 11, bingo. Then do that 3x every other day and you’ll be well on your way.

    When they get easier start finding ways to progress- slower pace, raising your feet off the ground on a step, holding for a beat or longer, keep working within mid to end of range, add resistance, use an unstable surface, etc etc etc

    Robz
    Full Member

    YouTube= body weight exercises cycling

    Click me

    There’s loads of others (of varying quality and lots of bad form but you get the idea)

    sirromj
    Free Member

    For strength training you want to be doing 10 reps of something that would be hard to do 11 reps of. So, if you can do 10 press ups but that leaves you too fatigued to 11, bingo. Then do that 3x every other day and you’ll be well on your way.

    I wouldn’t recommend that if you’re already riding off road a lot, and haven’t really done any upper body strength training before. For me at least, it quickly lead to wrist, elbow, and shoulder problems.

    You want to keep both riding and strength sustainable, and enjoyable. Start off with it easy at first give yourself time to adjust, a handful of reps is fine, especially if you’re not reducing how much riding you’re doing. Most people can’t do pull ups.

    I wouldn’t recommend suddenly doing strength training every other day, twice a week would be good. Then do yoga twice a week as well – it’s also good for strength (in a less intense way), balance, and flexibility/mobility.

    onehundredthidiot
    Full Member

    I use a trx suspension trainer thing. Some of the core strengthening exercises are brutal.

    Brainflex
    Full Member

    bikejames.com

    thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Get a shovel a pick and a wheel barrow, dig a funking big hole, shift the muck over there dig another big hole put the muck from hole 1 in, Barrow muck to hole site 3……..get told off for digging loads of holes

    vdubber67
    Free Member

    Yoga…

    Yoga with Adrienne on Youtube.

    andeh
    Free Member

    Get a shovel a pick and a wheel barrow, dig a funking big hole….

    I’m sensing some repressed memories here…

    Yoga is probably a good idea, as I’m not exactly pliant. Used to do it regularly before Covid, then the class got cancelled and I never restarted.

    DrP
    Full Member

    You wanna get yourself into Gypsy bare knuckle boxing.
    Did wonders for my cornering technique…

    DrP

    footflaps
    Full Member

    You wanna get yourself into Gypsy bare knuckle boxing.

    Earl
    Free Member

    Presa up berpees with straight-ish legs so the get up is a hinge instead of a squat.

    Start with 2X10. Work up to 2X50 or a full loop of a football pitch in a lunchtime (around 300).

    andeh
    Free Member

    You wanna get yourself into Gypsy bare knuckle boxing

    Damn, moved here from South Yorkshire….could have been a contender

    momo
    Full Member

    I’ve been following the plans from MTB Fitness, the plans have both home and gym workouts (I do have a gym membership, but if time is limited in my day I’ll do a home session instead)

    For me I’ve found having a programme to follow has definitely helped me get into training and it follows a balanced build up approach rather than all in and get injured (I’ve been guilty of this in the past, it’s what put me off weight/strength training for a long time, I used to train with friends in my 20’s, started this just before turning 41 last year)

    onewheelgood
    Full Member

    I made myself a ghetto Praep bar using handlebars, old inner tubes, and duct tape. Livens up the push ups, helps with strengthening grip as well. Then I’ve got a couple of resistance bands, blue and black, and I do a variety of exercises with those. The full routine takes me about 40 minutes, three or four times a week.

    zerocool
    Full Member

    Crossfit or similar Functional Fitness training.

    BruceWee
    Full Member

    One thing to bear in mind is that your perceived lack of upper body strength might be a symptom rather than a cause.

    It could be that you are struggling to maintain the attack position due to a lack of strength and mobility* in the core, glutes, and hamstrings. It could be that as you become fatigued you are transfering more weight through to your arms causing your upper body to fatigue. You then feel that you need to get stronger in the upper body.

    I would focus on improving strength and mobility in the posterior chain and get the the point where you can easily hold the attack position for extended periods without discomfort. I’ve been focusing on this a lot recently and it’s made a massive difference to my riding.

    I’ve been doing barbel exercises (Deadlifts, RDLs, cleans, pendlay rows, etc) but if you don’t want to buy a barbell and some weights I would start by having a look at single leg Romanian deadlifts.

    *Just a word on the difference between flexibility and mobility. Flexibility means your body can be pushed into extended positions whereas mobility means you can move your body into extended positions and hold them there. You might think you can easily get into the attack position but you need to be able to hold it for a long time as well.

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    I find a heavy bag workout pretty beneficial.

    By that i mean it hurts like crap afterworads, i can taste blood, i can’t lift my arms and my eyesight is doubled.

    As thats how i feel after riding a mountainbike it must be good training.

    andeh
    Free Member

    @BruceWee Interesting, that could potentially be something to look at. What would be typical other symptoms? I’m not going to get a barbell, I just don’t have the space or the inclination, but I was looking at a few bodyweight exercises that focus on that area, after your recommendation.

    Crossfit or similar Functional Fitness trainin

    Yeah, nah. I have too many hobbies to fit in as it is, so it needs to be something I can do at home. It has to support my interests, rather than be a whole new thing I’m shit at.

    ta11pau1
    Full Member

    I’m planning on getting some resistance bands once I’m back home and doing some basic compound exercises – squats, pushups, rows, OH press, deadlift – I’ve always been skinny but need to work on upper body and overall strength.

    This will probably tie in with me trying to get to 4w/kg later this year – currently at about 3.6w/kg, I’m gonna need another 40w on my FTP, realistically… 😩

    paton
    Free Member

    VanHalen
    Full Member

    Get a shovel a pick and a wheel barrow, dig a funking big hole, shift the muck over there dig another big hole put the muck from hole 1 in, Barrow muck to hole site 3……..get told off for digging loads of holes

    i do this – but i create trails i can then ride. this is much more beneficial. i still get told off occasionally

    anderzz
    Free Member

    As much as I didn’t want to, I actually really enjoyed following some training programs on les mills. They have decent tunes too which help. Maybe try a free month or something.

    andeh
    Free Member

    Ok, so I’ve acquired a kettle bell from FB marketplace. I had one at the old place and found throwing it around amusing. Here’s a vague list of exercises I’m going to aim to do, in no particular order, with some yoga resting poses between/to cool down.

    Press up (I can do about 6 in a row 😐 )
    YWT superman thing
    1leg RDL (probably unweighted to start)
    Pull ups
    lunges
    Side plank
    Kettle bell swing
    Goblet squat

    The other day (Friday, I think) I tried a few of these and ended up aching like a swine over the weekend, particularly across my upper back/shoulders. Plan for now is to start easy and edge gently into discomfort over a few weeks.

    MSP
    Full Member

    I would add kettlebell clean (or snatch if your workout area ceilings are high enough)
    ab wheel rollout
    oblique twists with bands (this vid shows it with a cable machine, but it is common to use exercise bands instead)
    bands and an ab wheel are pretty cheep bits of kit

    andeh
    Free Member

    Cheers MSP

    I’ll have a look at those too. I think we have some bands kicking around somewhere (though maybe just low resistance theraband things for physio).

    joshvegas
    Free Member

    Press up (I can do about 6 in a row 😐 )

    showoff

    andeh
    Free Member

    showoff

    I can almost do a pull up too 😉

    Mugboo
    Full Member

    I’m 51 and am about 9 weeks into trying to improve my body as I’m sick of hurting myself everytime I take a tumble. I’ve messed around plenty over the years but never stuck to anything…

    Most things have been covered but the thing that has helped me the most, is putting my kettlebells just outside the back door and hanging my resistance bands hanging off the pull bar (which is bolted to the house wall by the back door). This way, everytime I walk in or out it puts the thought in my mind.

    And there is no rush, no need to risk injuring yourself.

    Instead of watching bike video’s start watching technique videos for bodyweight exercises as this too will hopefully inspire you and keep you injury free. And as above, Adrienne for yoga.

    empirical
    Free Member

    Well you can try just bodyweight training. It’s possible to get strong doing it but is going to take much longer and be less time efficient than “going to a gym”.
    You’re committed enough to realise that strength will help you with MTB.
    I’m much more into getting enjoyment from progressing skill rather than endurance so you might be different in that regard.
    Barbell bench press, squat, deadlift are going to increase your strength rapidly. Starting Strength is a reasonable beginning for a few months. You won’t want to hear it but you might have to dial back the distance to have energy to gain strength. Unfortunately it’s somewhat antagonistic.
    I have a home gym now and use it much more in the winter but I spent time building up strength a few years ago after a broken leg.

    andeh
    Free Member

    It’s a fair point. My main issue with going to a gym is that I won’t do it. If I have to make the effort to get there, it’ll fall off the list. I know me, I’m terrible at stuff like that. Even with fun things, like climbing or biking or kayaking or hiking, it’s the journey to the place that will put me off doing it. If I can squeeze in a few exercises after a run, that’s ideal.

    My priorities on the bike have always been to have fun, and I almost always do! New riding means I need to fill in a few skill gaps and I’m hoping doing a bit of strength work will help, along with taking my time to session the squeaky bum features. I’m a little worried about messing myself up too, so a bit of mobility and strength will help when the inevitable eventually happens. I’m happy with my endurance atm, so just maintaining that through usual riding/occasional Zwift is enough. It’s the riding I enjoy, that I get the most out of mentally, so everything else is just supplementary to helping me have a good time on the bike.

    empirical
    Free Member

    Think of strength training as “money in the bank” for the fun stuff.
    Once you’ve reached a certain level it’s easier to maintain but commitment up front will greatly increase your chances if you’re not already strong.
    You can get home gear but you need to be proficient with barbells first IMO as it’s the most efficient, least expensive.
    Btw, strength training after cardio will be less effective as not enough energy to progress.
    On this note, strength training is incredibly rewarding after just a few sessions if you learn reasonable technique as the gains are so fast.

    andeh
    Free Member

    strength training after cardio will be less effective as not enough energy to progress

    Ok, cool, so if I must run, do it after? Figured it might help as a warm up, but maybe not. I never run far, 5km max.

    I’ll be working at a place with a free gym from September onwards, so I might duck in now and then. We’ll see. I think I’ve got a reasonable sack of things to go through atm, and I’m far from finding the exercises easy with just bodyweight right now.

    sirromj
    Free Member

    If you’re on Instagram rideunlimitedcoach is worth a follow, doesn’t spam post. Worth a look through his past posts for his exercise suggestions. Mostly BMX orientated, but should still be relevant for MTB.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/Cgchp1nJhgl/

Viewing 38 posts - 1 through 38 (of 38 total)

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