Within our Ride Fit Series we’ve already given you some useful exercises to increase your core stability. Now it’s time for the next part and we will deal with getting more power to the pedals. Now it’s time to get your quads burning. Clear the ring for our Top 6 leg strength exercises presented by BMC-Factory-rider Kerstin Kögler.
One reason for every rider doing these exercises is obvious: more strength = more power = more speed. But especially for trail riders and another important point is decisive. Ride distances and nature are always changing and never follow a rhythm when mountain biking. Downhill a rider has to permanently absorb impacts. For this you need good stabilizing muscles otherwise you get tired very quickly on intensive descents. So it is especially important to train your upper arms, quads, calves and core. This increased stability has an indirect benefit for your riding skills, lowers the risk of crashing and protects you if you do come off.
We recommend you repeat the following exercises twice a week. If you experience any difficulties during training stop straight away and in case of doubt consult a doctor.
Exercise Nr. I – Bent knee lunge
Make sure that you stand stable and keep your core upright. Now sink your body down, until the forward knee is bent in a 90 degree angle and the rear knee almost touches the ground. Then return to a standing position. After 15- 20 repetitions you can change sides.
Important during bent knee lunge:
Your knee should never extend beyond the toes in the end position – especially not if you have knee problems.
Expert tip: you can hold a weight (5-10 kg) in front of your chest (like a goblet) during the lunge exercises which will give your core additional training.
Exercise Nr. II – Squat with exercise ball
Stand against a wall. with an exercise ball in the small of your back. Your feet are shoulder width apart and your legs are almost completely extended. Now slowly bend your knees so that your upper legs are at a 90° angle to the floor. Keep looking forwards, your back straight and your arms supporting your hips. Whilst sinking the knees should never extend beyond your toes. Push back up to the starting position. In order to also train your lower legs lift your heel from the floor when in the lowest position (see photo).
Exercise Nr. III – Deep squat with weight / big lunge
Make sure that you stand stable and keep your core upright. Take a forward lunge. Now sink your body down until your forward knee is bent to a 90-degree angle and the rear knee almost touches the ground. The exercise is now in the lower third of the up and down movement. Change sides when all repetitions have been completed. To increase intensity add more weight.
Exercise Nr. IV – One leg dead lift
In starting position your feet are a hips width apart, the shoulders are pulled back. Now bend your upper body forwards and stretch out a leg behind you and an arm forwards. Subsequently return to the starting position. The supporting leg muscles can be felt after a few repetitions. Change sides when you have finished one set.
To increase the intensity you can add weights. Keep them close to your body.
Exercise Nr. V – Training the abductors with a stretch band
Lie on your side supported on one elbow, both legs are bent. The stretch band is positioned just above your knees. Now lift the upper leg away and back at a slow speed without moving the heel. Even if this exercise looks a bit unusual we heartily recommend it to every biker.
Exercise Nr. VI – Slides with a towel on a wood floor
Lie in a press up position. Build up your body tension. The ball of one foot is on a towel, this leg is pulled up towards your body under your body. Your hips stay still and don’t move sideways. The towel ‘wipes’ the floor. Now extend your leg again. Change sides after finishing one set.
You should carry out the leg strengthening training through the whole winter. Over the coming weeks we’ll show you more exercises to keep your training interesting and exciting.
For more Informations about Kerstin visit: kerstin-koegler.de
Text: Kerstin Kögler / Christoph Bayer | Bilder: Christoph Bayer
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