Training Tips with
By Lionel Araya
Photos by Laura Isé
Whether you’re a pro racer or a weekend warrior, the key to increasing performance in most sports is specified cross-training. Sure, hammering out those long days on the bike will help develop your fitness, but cross-training helps target additional muscle groups that can greatly benefit your riding experience. With these movements, you’re bound to get a great workout specifically aimed at boosting riding potential and helping reduce the risk of injury.
Lionel Araya is a Los Angeles-based fitness coach and movement specialist who is certified by the American Council on Exercise (ACE). He has been working with athletes of all ages and levels for more than 25 years, including mountain bikers, cyclists and runners, as well as tennis, soccer and basketball players. Lionel enjoys utilizing mindfulness techniques tailored for his clients that enable them to reach their optimum potential in fitness and life.
Workouts to Improve Your Bike Fitness
Here’s a great mountain bike-specific cross-training workout using minimal equipment. Exercises are designed to help riders adapt to the rigors of cycling and develop better riding efficiency. Start off with two sets of 8 to 15 reps each exercise. Once 15 feels easy, go ahead and increase to three to five sets. Keep the intensity moderate to high. Be smart with training. Determine your own rest intervals based on how you feel. Enjoy your training, and remember that consistency is more important than intensity. Have fun!
THREE PULSING LUNGE-TO-KNEE DRIVE
Step back into a lunge, left foot back. Squeeze your glutes, right knee bent, pulse three times.
Drive left knee forward and up. Hop off right leg. Safely land on right foot, return left foot back to lunge position. Complete 8 to 15 reps on each side.
Cross left foot behind right, both knees bent, chest up. Left-hand touches right toe.
Hop laterally from side to side, mimicking a speed skater.
THREE PULSE SQUATS
Sit in a squat, chest up, knees out, heels planted, arms forward. Pulse three times.
Explode jump and throw arms back. Soft landing, knees bent, hips back.
HIGH PLANK/LOW PLANK PUSH-UP
Start in a push-up position. Squeeze glutes.
Drop one elbow, then the other.
Return to position one and do a push-up. Repeat.
UPRIGHT ROW (RESISTANCE BANDS)
Place both feet on band, arms extended down, squeeze the glutes.
Keeping glutes contracted, pull handles up, making sure elbows are higher than wrists. Pinch shoulder blades and slowly lower back to position one.
LATERAL CHOP (RESISTANCE BANDS)
Facing perpendicular to anchor point, hold both handles. Stand with arms locked out straight in front of your mid-line.
Pivot foot closest to the anchor point and rotate the hips away from the anchor point. Keep arms straight and locked. Return slowly to position one.
TRX SINGLE LEG PISTOL SQUAT
One leg extended, one leg bent. Heel flat on floor. Keep arms slightly bent, chest up. Aim chin towards the anchor point.
Straighten supporting leg. Keep spine neutral and straight. Slowly lower and repeat.
Mountain Bike Action is a monthly magazine devoted to all things mountain biking (yes, that’s 12 times a year because we never take a month off of mountain biking). It has been around since 1986 and we’re still having fun.