Fitness is something that us mountain bikers often put off in favour of oggling the latest bike releases online, sticking on one of our favourite mountain bike films or simply popping out for a ride. However, that probably is something that should change – as Steve Peat said: “If you want to get faster, get fitter.”

One of the most important aspects of fitness is your core strength. A good core gives you a platform to move around on the bike and a solid foundation for your legs to fire from. In short, a weak core leads to a weak mountain biker.

To see how strong your core is why not try this 3 minute challenge. Martin Evans, the lead strength and conditioning coach for British Cycling, believes that every cyclist should be able to perform a squat, a press up and a lunge. This challenge of 25 squats, 15 press ups and a minute plank should give you a good indication of where your core is at.

As you can see in the video, the mountain biker  (our very own Ben Smith) is able to complete the challenge, but would you?

If not you may need to start doing some more work on your core strength. You can do a few simple exercises without having to join a gym and the improvement to your riding will be noticeable.