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Mountain Biking and Cross Training

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Effective Combination for Overall Strength and Endurance

Many athletes, who are involved in various sporting events today, use alternative ways of training in improving their overall performance. One of the most popular sports in the world today is mountain biking. We all know that mountain biking is a good type of sport that helps you to be fit and healthy.

If you’re a hardcore rider, a professional racer or a weekend warrior – you know that better training for riding is to ride your bike and hit the trails as often as possible.

For professional cross country racers, enduro riders and downhill bike devils, putting in many hours on their bike is a requirement. Due to the cardiovascular benefits of riding and the technical skill enhancement it brings to a rider, there are many ways of further enhancing a rider’s endurance.

Cross training is a very useful way of maintaining strength during the off season or to develop other parts of the body to maintain a technical edge over your competitor. And with the demands of trail riding, a strong base and core strength is a must.

Here are some cross training activities that you can do to enhance your overall strength and endurance.

  1. Swimming: This is one of the best cross training workouts anyone can do. It’s a whole body exercise and it will burn fats and calories much faster that riding. If you’re thinking of the munchies after riding a few hours of hard riding, a half mile of swimming will get you hungry in no time. Swimming is low impact but a high intensity workout. You can work out the different parts of your body using different swimming strokes. Cross raining is good on muscle groups that are not usually used in riding. These include the upper body parts and arms. Aim for endurance rather bulking up. Do three sets of 20 repetitions for each session.
  2. Road cycling: Ah roadies. For some really hardcore mountain bike riders, they will never ever go road. But come on, this is one of the most obvious cross training that any rider can do. You’re not betraying your sport because you are going road for cross training. Road cycling conditions target specific muscles. It is also less technical and you can focus more on speed and quick start-ups. This is also useful as a recovery method of riding after doing some hardcore trail riding during the weekends or after a heavy set race.
  3. Running: Another great endurance workout. Running’s more of an impact sport that strengthens your leg muscles and leg joints. Trail running is even more fun because you will feel more at home hitting the trails, it’s just that you’re not riding this time and the dirt softens every impact when you’re running. All the obstacles that you encounter will add more level of conditioning, mind alertness and joint stability.
  4. Rowing: This exercise will strengthen your back, arms and legs which are the three most important areas for mountain bikers in all its disciplines. Rowers have the advantage having one of the largest lung capacities in the sporting world today. This will also show the advantages that you can get from the sport that can also be a critical advantage in mountain biking.
  5. Weight Training: Your goal here is not bulk up, but add the right amount of strength training for riding. This is a great help in letting you push bigger gears, climb hills effectively and additional bike control. When you do weight training, include the muscle groups that are often neglected when riding otherwise your body will have an unbalanced look and feel.

The sports mentioned in the list are just some of the usual and easily accessible cross training methods any mountain biker can do. You can include sports that you can think can help enhance your riding skills and techniques. Don’t get stuck and feel burned out. Do something different to prevent the off season blues.

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