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  1. #1
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    Mountain biking and muscles

    Man, for the first time today, I realized just how many muscles we use when biking--especially downhill.

    My weight training workout was pretty brutal yesterday, which left me pretty sore today and hurtin' on my bike. When I started feeling all kinds of pain in every part of my body as I negotiated myself down some pretty technical stuff, that's when I realized that mountain biking is a true all-body workout.

    I always knew arms/chest were pretty involved on the downhills, but I was surprised at just how much my legs were working to stabilize me on the bike. Evidently, shoulders play a big role, too. In addition, biceps provide stability on climbs (especially when you're hanging onto your handlebars for dear life to keep you from keeling over from this oppressive humidity).

    Definitely hit the weights if you want to improve your peformance--especially squats. Since I started doing them, I can climb steeper steeps and power over roots, rocks, and logs like never before.

    Here are a few exercises I think are applicable to mountain biking:

    Squats (front and back)
    Dips (more specific to our sport than bench press)
    Shoulder press or push press (I choose the latter)
    Hang power cleans (for explosive power)
    Pull-ups (a classic)
    Deadlift (strengthens hammies, lower back, and your grip)

    Keep it simple and don't waste time with B.S. exercises like curls (unless you want useless beach muscles).

    Check out crossfit.com for some brutal workouts and demo videos on a bunch of exercises.

    Sorry for the long-winded post!

    Peace
    Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?

  2. #2
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    Reputation: captain spaulding's Avatar
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    Not sure what you are referring to as downhill? assuming you mean you ride xc and when you're going down hills and stuff..
    "The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams."

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain spaulding
    Not sure what you are referring to as downhill? assuming you mean you ride xc and when you're going down hills and stuff..
    Yeah, I meant when doing XC, but I'm sure the same applies to downhill (i.e., chairlift) mountain biking. Sorry for the confussion.
    Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?

  4. #4
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    Yea, and masturbating will lead to blindness and hairy palms. Great advice, really.

  5. #5
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    Great observation bikestud. It is probably even more importaint for women to take up weight training to enhance their bike skills, as women tend to have naturaly less upper body strength. The added bonus of strength training for women and seniors is that it helps build stronger bones and connective tissue also. .... and we all know, that no matter how good we are at mountain biking, we do fall and risk breaking a bone now and then .

    pixy
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  6. #6
    Daddy of 3 now!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestud
    Man, for the first time today, I realized just how many muscles we use when biking--especially downhill.

    My weight training workout was pretty brutal yesterday, which left me pretty sore today and hurtin' on my bike. When I started feeling all kinds of pain in every part of my body as I negotiated myself down some pretty technical stuff, that's when I realized that mountain biking is a true all-body workout.

    I always knew arms/chest were pretty involved on the downhills, but I was surprised at just how much my legs were working to stabilize me on the bike. Evidently, shoulders play a big role, too. In addition, biceps provide stability on climbs (especially when you're hanging onto your handlebars for dear life to keep you from keeling over from this oppressive humidity).

    Definitely hit the weights if you want to improve your peformance--especially squats. Since I started doing them, I can climb steeper steeps and power over roots, rocks, and logs like never before.

    Here are a few exercises I think are applicable to mountain biking:

    Squats (front and back)
    Dips (more specific to our sport than bench press)
    Shoulder press or push press (I choose the latter)
    Hang power cleans (for explosive power)
    Pull-ups (a classic)
    Deadlift (strengthens hammies, lower back, and your grip)

    Keep it simple and don't waste time with B.S. exercises like curls (unless you want useless beach muscles).

    Check out crossfit.com for some brutal workouts and demo videos on a bunch of exercises.

    Sorry for the long-winded post!

    Peace
    You actually work out at the gym? I thought it was a social gathering

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestud
    Definitely hit the weights if you want to improve your peformance--
    So, could said muscles permit someone to, say, clean Clausland? If so I may try this "working out" business.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by NJ-XC-Justin
    So, could said muscles permit someone to, say, clean Clausland? If so I may try this "working out" business.
    Well, if you were to try this so called "working out," check out New York Sports Club. There's one in a town near me called Westwood. If you need directions there, feel free to PM me.
    Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestud
    Yeah, I meant when doing XC, but I'm sure the same applies to downhill (i.e., chairlift) mountain biking. Sorry for the confussion.
    Taking a couple trips up to diablo/plattekill/whatever and renting/borrowing a bike during a season will both help with you upper body strength and hone your descent skills.. not sure if you've tried this before.. After doing dh all summer I've never felt as strong in my upperbody and as confident on a bike before..
    "The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams."

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain spaulding
    Taking a couple trips up to diablo/plattekill/whatever and renting/borrowing a bike during a season will both help with you upper body strength and hone your descent skills.. not sure if you've tried this before.. After doing dh all summer I've never felt as strong in my upperbody and as confident on a bike before..
    Well, I can't disagree that the best way to improve your riding is by riding--especially really challenging stuff.
    Dang! You got shocks, pegs... lucky! You ever take it off any sweet jumps?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikestud
    Well, I can't disagree that the best way to improve your riding is by riding--especially really challenging stuff.
    yeah i'd be careful tho, it gets addictive...

    pump track is also a great workout for both your muscles and your skills.. I didn't know it was possible to get as tired as I get without even pedaling.
    "The future belongs to those that believe in the beauty of their dreams."

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