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Old 02-16-2015, 05:47 AM   #1
jCoke OP
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preparing physically for offroad riding?

so, here i am in Stockholm in the middle of winter, looking at youtube videos of off-road, trailblazing and dreaming of what i want to do in the summer... before the wife and kids destroy all my plans that is =)

then i got sick, a badass man-cold last friday, all i could do was watch "the long way round" on DVD... then it hit me, there is something that i CAN DO to make the winter go by faster, something that Ewan and Charlie did: train!

only problem is, where do i start ?

i have 0 experiance of off road riding and the last time i hit a gravel road was 6 years ago with the school while learning, i hurt my lower back before christmas trying to workout at work, before hurting myself though, i set a new personal best benchpressing a whooping 35kg. I do play floorball every week, so the conditioning is coming along but i dont know if i have the stamina to run 2 miles...

The ride im hoping to do is something fairly easy, gravel roads or similar, but the dream would be across colorado or something similar, i saw the trailer for the Backcountry discovery route series from Touratech and i got hooked! But, start out small and gain the trust of the family and grow with experiance is the way im trying to do this

So, before i pitch project "ride offroad" to the wife, what do you think i should do to physically prepare myself? having the strengh to pick up the bike is a good thing i guess, but so is having the stamina to ride for hours without losing focus. is there anything to gain with balancetraining in the gym?
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:06 AM   #2
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Anything you can do will help. Run, walk, swim.. Those will all help build your core strength and endurance.

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Old 02-16-2015, 08:14 AM   #3
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The above is right. But, if you are going to do much off road riding where you stand a lot, also do squats to build your legs.
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Old 02-16-2015, 08:15 AM   #4
Yooper_Bob
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Do a mix of cardio and strength training....being in shape will definitely help offroad riding.

Riding kills are important (you can ride further and expend less energy), but being in shape is also very important.

I do cardio 5 times a week (I walk 3 miles every day), and strength train 2-3 times per week.

If you already have a bike, then gently lay it over on it's side, and practice different techniques of lifting it up. Check out youtube or other sources for various techniques.

Practicing picking up your bike in the garage and figuring out what method works best for "you", is much easier in a controlled environment, while you are rested and under no pressure, than it is when you are on a wet, muddy trail in the middle of nowhere, and tired from a full day's riding.

As far as learning offroad riding skills...nothing beats time in the saddle. Start slow....yeah, it looks cools to see guys blasting thru the rough stuff at breakneck speeds, but learn those skills at slightly more than a walking pace first. Learn the technique, and then add speed. Practicing on a short course is a great method. Have several technical challenges, try different lines on each...see what works, and what doesn't.

Once you learn how to conquer the stuff at slow speeds, your speeds will automatically increase.

Learning to "read the trail" is also important, but much harder to teach/learn. You have to learn to spot which lines are best, and also to watch for hidden obstacles. Constantly be scanning the trail.
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Old 02-17-2015, 04:30 AM   #5
Primal Haj
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Getting in shape will enhance your riding

Getting in shape is one of the most overlooked aspects of riding.

Ideally you want to start by assessing your posture to insure that you are gettting the most out of your training efforts. By exercising with good form you will be able to strenghen your structure so you can ride longer and harder.

Once you are aware of proper posture, assess your core strenght weaknesses and start by correcting those while maintaining your posture. It is important to emphisis form while you are building your base.

I had to work through some injuries a few years ago with a physical theripist. Once my rehab was progressing we started fine tuning the workouts to facilitate riding. I have thought about puting some of these riding exercises and assessments together and gutting them up for others to take advantage of, but haven't done it yet.

Craig
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:13 PM   #6
DirtWobbla2014
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Hi Coke

Im in a similar position as you find yourself in

Im also in Stockholm .... so bloody dark!!

Pm me and we can take a beer for a chat



Cheers

DW
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:42 AM   #7
Mastery
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Primal Haj View Post
I have thought about puting some of these riding exercises and assessments together and gutting them up for others to take advantage of, but haven't done it yet.
I, and probably many others, are curious as to the exercises that are recommended to help us with riding. I'd be open to trying some things out, especially now that I'm in the gym a lot anyways trying to keep in shape for the riding season in a couple of months.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:13 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by DirtWobbla2014 View Post
Hi Coke

Pm me and we can take a beer for a chat
Here in the states we call that "meeting for 12oz curls" but somehow I don't think that builds the right riding physique.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:14 PM   #9
Rhode trip
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Downhill skiing.
Call me crazy, but I find the 2 very similar.
Bent knees/relaxed arms for attack position.
Weight shifting between skis/pegs for control.
Using your legs to soak up the bumps.
Sharpen your balance and line-picking skills.
Fresh air and wind in your face!

Rhode trip screwed with this post 02-18-2015 at 03:18 PM
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:30 PM   #10
racerron
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All good advice here.

My favorite is mountain bike riding on technical trail. Works legs, upper body, balance, and builds stamina.

Do what you enjoy mix it up. make your training fun.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:39 PM   #11
Primal Haj
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some exercises

Quote:
I, and probably many others, are curious as to the exercises that are recommended to help us with riding. I'd be open to trying some things out, especially now that I'm in the gym a lot anyways trying to keep in shape for the riding season in a couple of months.
A good place to start is with exercises to strengthen the core, such as plank variations and hollow body hold variations. As stated in a previous post, we essentially ride in a squat position, so squat variations are beneficial, including lateral squats and lunges. The other position we assume when riding, that is if we are riding with good form, is the hip hinge. There area number of weighted hip hinge variations such as Russian Deadlifts or even dynamic versions such as the skier swing or kettle bell swings; If you haven't got experience with hip hinge exercises it would be best to start with unweighted variations. The thing to consider with all of the hip hinge variations is to insure your form is correct or you could cause yourself injury that could adversely affect your riding.

Beyond strengthening exercises, you may want to consider mobility exercises for the hips and shoulders. Some exercises that will do both and strengthen your core and help with your hip and shoulder mobility are Bear Crawls, Crab Walks, Inch Worms and Mountain Climbers. These exercises will also help you build endurance.

The main caveat I would add is to take your time and perfect the basic form of the exercise prior to trying more advanced variations, you will get more benefit out of a well executed basic exercise than a poorly executed exercise that is harder.

Craig
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:13 AM   #12
riddare
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ride ride ride

I would think that avid riders handle bikes much better than gym rats. The body excels in the task put on it. Push-ups, sit-ups and basic good phy. conditioning will surfice the fitness. Ride a lot and you will master the task. And by the way you will find some of the poorest of condition guys out there will ride you and me in the ground. Check out their secrect. lots of riding
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:16 PM   #13
jonz
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Aren't you at the center of the universe when it comes to cross country skiing? Can't get a better exercise than that. Back country skiing is good - ski up and the reward is a fun ski down. With the lighting technology available now, no reason you couldn't do some of that after dark.

Fat tire bicycles can ride groomed snow. Many of those 2 wheeled muscle memories will translate from pedal power to motor power. I just watched a video in the last few days showing a fat tire bike rider on groomed snow. Looks like fun
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Old 02-21-2015, 04:43 AM   #14
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If you can do 50 of these, I think you are good to go. It is everything you need in one set of movements, cardio, strength and explosive power! Plus the young lady in the video is cute :)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZQA08SlJnM
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:15 AM   #15
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. . .cross country skiing? Can't get a better exercise than that.

Fat tire bicycles can ride groomed snow. . . .
Both are good exercise. Skiing, though, works the triceps more than the biceps. Bicycling is, for me, a better match.

Not that matching really works for me. Even with a trainer helping me develop muscles for an anticipated task, the task always seems to highlight new little muscles that didn't get the memo.

I like being in good shape overall. When I start a new season for any activity I expect a few short trips to build those specific muscles.

Aerobic fitness, core strength, and suitable weight are all advantages.
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