Fitness – Adventure Bike Fitness

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Get ready for riding season with the ABR Fitness Masterclass

Over the next couple of articles, we’ll be looking at how you can train your arms. This is where some of you will be thinking “excellent news, sun’s out, guns out!” Although summer is on the horizon, I’ll put this thought aside, as this issue will deal with the triceps and anterior shoulders, which have a practical application in adventure riding.

Examples of where you’ll need good muscular endurance in the arms include long hours holding onto the bars, or the ability to turn the bars in heavier terrain. With that in mind, here are some exercises that will help improve your endurance…

Dipping In

The compound (more than one joint being used) exercise that works the triceps and anterior deltoids is the tricep dip. The advantage of this exercise is that you can readily find a handy raised surface to perform this movement. I’ve used park benches, stairs and curbs for this when I’m on an extended trip.

Once you’ve found a sturdy step, place the palm of your hands on the step, with your torso facing away from the step. Your legs can be bent or straight out in front of you depending on the height of the step. Straight legs will generally make the exercise more intense.

Lower your torso down so the arms are at approximately 90 degrees, then raise back to the starting point. This should be done in a 1:1 tempo (1 sec up, 1 sec down) for 12 repetitions over two sets. Remember to keep your head up and back straight as you complete the movement.

To increase the intensity, raise one foot from the floor whilst maintaining good posture and keeping the same tempo.

Fitness Dipping In

Tricep Extension

This is an isolation (one joint) exercise that targets just the triceps. You will need a resistance band for this exercise. Whilst standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and with one end of the band in your hand, raise one arm above your head and bend it behind your head.

The other hand will catch the other end of the band to provide an anchor point. Raise the hand back to the original position, remembering to lock the shoulder joint, as only the elbow joint should be moving in order to isolate the triceps. Again, perform this exercise in a 1:1 tempo with 12 reps on each arm. Two sets on each arm will suffice.

Fitness Tricep Extension

Tricep Pushdowns

This exercise is normally done with a cable machine in the gym, but you can improvise with your resistance band. You need to find a reasonably high anchor point for the resistance band; you can throw it over a door, or better still is a coat hook.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with an end of the resistance band in each hand, your elbows should be almost touching your sides. Grip tightly and push the hands down, whilst keeping the whole body still. Only the elbow joint should be moving here. Repeat the 1:1 ratio for 15 reps on each side and complete two sets.

Fitness tricep Pushdowns