Last week we posted a quick-hit fitness challenge routine aimed at boosting power and strength for mountain bike riding, specifically the arms, but having tried it, it's a pretty tough overall body workout that hits hard on your core and legs too.
That challenge came from Jonny Thompson over Fit4Racing on Instagram, and they have plenty of other fitness-building videos that mix things up from the usual gym work, and are aimed at improving your overall mountain biking abilities. Fit4Racing is the official partner of YT Industries and also looks after the YT Mob, and has trained some of the best mountain bike riders.
Having participated in boxing training a few years back, one of the videos that caught my eye was Jonny's 10-minute skipping challenge and having been reasonably good at skipping and seeing the benefits it brought for my overall fitness, I dug out the ropes to give this one a try.
What are the benefits of skipping for MTBers?
Firstly, skipping isn't reserved for kids in the playground, for mountain bikers and cycling fitness in general, skipping works all the major muscle groups in the body building strength and mobility. It's also a high-intensity cardio workout, calorie-burning, perfect for blitzing those stubborn areas of fat.
Quads, glutes and calf muscles will burn as you launch yourself off the ground, while your core works hard to keep you upright and stable. Arms, shoulders and wrists don't escape either as they all come into play as you control the rope. Not to mention your heart rate hitting you into the red.
If like me you're not a fan of running, but feel you need to do more exercise off the MTB, studies have found that skipping for just 10 minutes is the equivalent of running for 30 minutes. Those 10 minutes of using the jump rope can also be roughly considered the same as running an eight-minute mile.
Skipping is also said to improve coordination and focus, as tuning your hands, feet and the rest of your body to master the rope jump requires patience and timing. So as well as fitness gains, you might just see improvement in picking out lines as you fly down MTB trails with your newly developed lazer focus.
The Fit4Racing workout video below suggests a 10-minute double under challenge which is 1 jump for 2 spins of the rope. This is pretty tough and your timing may need work if you're new to skipping. However, for the fitness benefits gained its definitely worth persevering and putting in the practice. If you can do one thousand in the 10 mins, apparently you're an absolute legend. Good luck!