By Ambassador and physcial therapist Kathryn Dove

When covid hit and all the gyms closed you decided to cancel your expensive gym membership and use that money to buy a mountain bike to get exercise.  After all, going for a ride in the woods is way more fun than spending 45 minutes on the elliptical for some cardio.  In addition to this, exercising outside is currently more safe than exercising indoors, and even better you can hang out with your friends at the same time that you are getting your workout in!  Genius!  

But what about all the squats, lunges and pushups that you used to do at the gym?  How are those exercises going?  Well not to worry… you can use your mountain bike for that too!  

Introducing the “New Normal Home Strengthening Workout Routine”!  All it takes is about 20 minutes, a 4×6 square foot space to exercise, and your mountain bike!  Just follow the step by step guide below.  You can either go through all of the sets of each exercise before moving onto the next one or you can do a circuit by performing one set of each exercise and then repeating a second and possibly third set of each exercise in the order shown below.  If your bike is too heavy for this routine then just pick something lighter to use for weight, maybe a small child or your cat or dog.  As with any strengthening exercises these are not meant to cause pain.  If you have not done these types of exercises in the past then you should start without any weight before adding weight as shown below. 

Squats:  hold onto one crank and the seat tube on the same side of the bike and lift it overhead and rest the bike on your upper back.  Move the hand that was holding the crank to the front stanchion on the same side of the bike.


Start out standing upright then squat down as if you were trying to sit in an imaginary chair behind you in order to prevent your knees from moving forward of your toes.  Pause for 1-2 seconds then return to an upright position.

Repeat 10-15 times.  Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

This exercise targets the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thighs.

A bonus benefit is that putting your bike on your back for the exercise gets you ready for those crazy hike-a-bike adventure rides where you need to carry your bike on your back to get to the top of a steep mountain!

Lunges:  hold your bike in the same position as shown for squats.  Step one foot in front of the other.  Drop your back knee straight to the ground while keeping your front knee in alignment over your front ankle.  

You should end up with a 90 degree angle in both the front knee and the back knee.  If this is not the case you may need to step your feet either wider apart or closer together.

Pause for 1-2 seconds at the bottom of the lunge then return to the starting position.  You should feel this in the quadriceps muscles of the leg that is forward.

|Repeat 10-15 times with one foot forward and then switch to the other side.  Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions on each side.

You can make this exercise harder by reducing the range so that you don’t come all the way up from the lunge position.

Overhead press: hold the bike at the same spots as the lunges and squats and stand with your feet shoulder width distance apart.  Keep your shoulders relaxed as you push the bike straight up overhead.  Pause for 1-2 seconds then lower the bike back to the starting position.  

Repeat 10-15 times.  Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

This exercise targets the deltoid, biceps, triceps and lats.  The first three are used for pushing the bike overhead.  The lats are used to prevent the shoulders from lifting up even while you are pushing your bike overhead.

The bonus benefit of this exercise is that you will be ready to hold your bike overhead after the next race you win since you have trained so hard!

Bridges: lay on your back with your knees bent and hold your bike at the same spots as the previous three exercises.  Keep your hands at shoulder height and your arms straight.  Your feet should be about shoulder width distance apart. 

Lift your hips up off the ground as high as you can while still keeping your feet planted.  Keep your hips elevated as you march one leg off the ground and then lower it back to the ground. Switch and do the same thing with the other leg.  Marching each leg once counts as one repetition.  Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.


Lateral jumps:  rest your bike on the ground and jump from one side of it to the other for a period of 30 seconds to 60 seconds.  Try to keep your knee in line with your ankle when landing.  The goal is to do as many jumps as you can while still maintaining good form.  

Do 2-3 sets of 30-60 seconds of lateral jumping.


Pushups: start in a plank position with your hands at shoulder height and slightly wider than shoulder width.

Keep the shoulders relaxed and lower yourself towards the ground while allowing the elbows to move to the outside.  Pause for 1-2 seconds then push back up to the starting position.  

Pushups can be done with the knees on or off the ground.  Your bike is not needed for this exercise but it can keep you company while you are doing pushups. 

Do 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.

You made it through the new normal home workout routine!  Try to do this at least once/week to maintain strength in the muscle groups targeted which are all important for mountain biking.  Now go ride your bike!