Nino Schurter, 2016 XC Olympic champion, shows you how to get gold medal-winning mountain bike fitness at home with just a skateboard and a Swiss ball
Build your core, back and arms
Why? Good positioning on the bike is key to riding fast, but most of us can’t hold it for more than a few minutes. Nino’s core exercise strengthens those deep muscles that hold you in position and will make you less fatigued when riding technical trails.
Step 1 – Put your legs on a balance board. Not got one? Try a skateboard. Get into the press up position with your hands on two 3kg weights.
Step 2 – Lift your arms alternately and try and stay balanced on your board.
Train your balance and coordination skills
Why? Improving balance will make the most of your downhill skills: you’ll hit your lines much more easily and fluidly because your body will move into the right position at the right time.
These balance skills will consume less of your energy too, saving it for climbing or more descending.
Step 1 – Kneel on the ball and find a stable position.
Step 2 – Stand up with the help of your hands. Have someone on your side to assist the first time you do this, and don’t stand too close to your vintage champagne collection or best Ming vase.
Train your abdominal muscles and your core
Why? Build strong abs and core muscles and you’ll crash less.
And when you do come off, that extra muscle will be like body armour and help prevent injury.
Step 1 – Lie on a mattress and take a 3kg medicine ball between your ankles.
Step 2 – Lower your legs to the left until you almost touch the mattress, then back up again. Repeat to the right.
Mountain bike fitness equipment
To perform most of them properly it does look like you need some form of specialist equipment, but he also shows you how you can do them without it. It’s interesting to see how much emphasis Schurter places on non-leg exercises, valuing his core and upper body strength as more important as they allowing his to move the bike around more freely.
The exercises all look like muscle-burners but the most gruelling has Schurter in the plank position with his feet on a balance board, doing press ups and then extending his arms with dumbbells in them.