Get bike fit in 2017 with this simple yet effective training plan.
How is your overall fitness? How do you cope with a day in the saddle? Could you do with getting fitter? In my experience, I have seen the huge benefits of raising your fitness levels for adventure bike riding.
You may be surprised how doing a few exercises leading up to, and ideally, during, an extended trip, will help you cope with the stresses and strains of daily riding. Your body goes through some pretty strenuous activity, even if you don’t do a lot of off-road riding.
This article is the first in a series of exercises that you can build up into a circuit to prepare your body for the road ahead. They will even help in your daily life too, so no excuses.
You’ve got Legs
The mainstay muscle group of any day’s riding in the adventure bike world is the muscular strength and endurance of your legs. e main muscles you use to stand up are the quadriceps or quads, and these are made up of three muscles. This group extends the lower leg and forces you upwards when you are planted on any surface.
The application to your riding is the continued ability to stand up on the pegs, the strength to lift your bike and the soaking up of movement created by the terrain. Effectively it’s your body’s own suspension, without which it will be impossible, or damn uncomfortable, to cope with a day’s riding.
Add to this the resistance to injury and the improved fitness of the upper leg and you’ll wonder why you never physically trained for adventure riding in the first place.
So what do you do about it?
Well, the first priority should be muscular endurance training. is involves at least two-three rounds or sets of activity with 15 repetitions, or ‘reps’, of actual movement. Combine this with 30 seconds rest between sets. Complete the following circuit at least three times a week for four weeks, and then introduce weights into the movements. So 15×3 for the following exercises:
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, flex your hips and knees slowly keeping your head and shoulders up. Your back should be straight all the way down to 90 degrees in the knee. en reverse the procedure by extending the knees and hips back to the starting position. Each rep should be 1:1:1, or more simply put, one second down, one-second hold, one second up.
This exercise is great for the quads and overall balance – a sub-goal for standing up on those pegs.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, then extend one leg forward, stepping out until the front knee is at 90 degrees. Keep your head up and back straight. You will also need to keep those legs shoulder-width apart.
Reverse this by forcing your legs to extend back to the start position. Again use the 1:1:1 tempo for each rep. Do 15 on each leg to total 30 for each set. So it’s 30×2. You can mix this up by alternating the legs after each rep.
In the next issue we’ll be looking at two more exercises that you can add onto this circuit to further improve your in-saddle fitness, so get started with these two, completing a few sessions a week, and then we’ll take things to the next level.