Imagine yourself on your bike, on your favorite trail. Hitting up those roots, rock gardens, punchy climbs, quick downhills ending on little berms. Now, imagine your body position starting at your feet and ending to where your head is. Did you get it all? Forget anything? How about that CORE?? Probably one of the most important areas of the musculoskeletal system yet, one of the most overlooked while in the gym training.
Now let’s go back to imagining yourself on your mountain bike. If you can see yourself coming up to a gnarly rock garden….you lift up out of the saddle, slightly crouched, elbows bent. The rocks toss you from left to right as you navigate through (well I get tossed a bit for sure riding hard tail!). Maybe you find yourself having to balance around a bit over the bike as the rocks slow your forward motion.
Or let’s even switch up a bit and see yourself coming down Newton’s Revenge in Carrabassett Valley (one of my favorite descents!) hitting all those sweet berms and corners. Your core is allowing you to maintain that crouch position as well as shifting you from left to right over the cranks and back and forth over the saddle. Core stability, endurance and strength (next to hip and glute power) is a vital part of your mountain bike training and riding. Here are 4 core exercises that will get you started. You can view videos of these exercises on my Instagram account. @tennysontappan STAY STRONG!
*NOTE if you have any back/lower back pain or injuries these are not recommended. Please consult with a physician and/or physical therapist.
Russian Twist (variation #1- feet lifted off ground, variation #2- add weights with feet off ground)
Scissor twist toe touch
Alternating hip touch plank
Alternate arm/leg raise