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Unlock Your POWER: The Benefits of "Core" Training for Mountain Bikers

Updated: Dec 10, 2023

Mountain biking is a sport that demands strength, endurance, and skill. While many riders focus on building their leg musculature for those steep climbs and gnarly descents, the often underestimated core muscles play a pivotal role in achieving peak performance on the trails. In this blog post, I'll explore the numerous benefits of how core training will benefit you as a mountain biker.

  • Improved Stability and Balance: The core serves as the body's powerhouse, connecting the upper and lower extremities. Strengthening the core muscles, including the abdominals, obliques, hips/glutes, and muscles along the spine, enhances stability and balance on the bike. This translates to better control, especially when navigating uneven terrains, making riders more agile and less prone to crashes.

  • Enhanced Power Transfer: A strong core acts as a stable platform for power transfer from the upper to the lower body and vice versa. As mountain bikers pedal through challenging trails, a well-conditioned core maximizes the efficiency of each pedal stroke, leading to increased speed and endurance.

  • Reduced Fatigue and Lower Risk of Injury: Endurance is key in mountain biking, and a conditioned core contributes significantly to overall endurance levels. A strong core helps maintain proper posture and body mechanics, reducing the strain on other muscle groups. This not only enhances performance but also lowers the risk of overuse injuries associated with long rides.

  • Better Climbing Performance: Climbing is an integral part of mountain biking, and a robust core is essential for tackling ascents effectively. Engaging the core muscles during climbs stabilizes the body, allowing riders to maintain a consistent and powerful pedal cadence, even on the steepest inclines.

  • Efficient Cornering and Maneuvering: Negotiating tight turns and navigating technical sections require precise control and maneuverability. A well-trained core enables riders to twist and turn their bodies with ease, optimizing bike handling skills and ensuring a smoother and more efficient ride through challenging trail features.

  • Optimized Breathing and Oxygen Intake: The core plays a role in the respiratory process, supporting the diaphragm and surrounding muscles. Improved core strength aids in efficient breathing, ensuring an adequate supply of oxygen to the muscles during rides. This, in turn, enhances stamina and overall cardiovascular performance.

In mountain biking, where every trail presents a unique set of challenges, neglecting the core can limit a rider's potential. Training these essential muscles not only improves stability, balance, and power transfer but also contributes to overall endurance and reduces the risk of injury. As mountain bikers strive for peak performance, a strong and resilient core becomes a secret weapon for conquering the most demanding trails. So, saddle up, engage those core muscles, and unlock the true power of your mountain biking experience!

Looking for a program specifically to train your "core?"

This is a 3 days per week online program for those wanting a quick, yet effective workout that targets the "core" musculature- abdominals, spinal stabilizers and hips/glutes. This workout should take you 15-20 minutes, and could be done before/after a cardio session or on a rest day.

No equipment is needed, but there are some exercises which you could add a weight or mini band if you'd like.

COST: $15 for the 4 week program

Purchase here:


Coach Tina is the founder of Denver women's mountain bike club "Girls, Gears and Beers" and also a licensed physical therapist with previous background as a personal trainer and sports performance coach (since 2002) prior to receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree in 2015 from Mount St. Mary's University in Los Angeles. She has trained clients from all ages and fitness backgrounds and is available by appointment. She recently received the CrossFit Level 1 Trainer certificate in October 2023, which she uses to help create effective strength and conditioning programs for her clients, to not only excel in their sport but in daily life.

Find out more about Tina's strength and conditioning services and programs, as well as mountain bike coaching clinics in Denver, Colorado at her website below:

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