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This is Why Mountain Bikers Should Be Doing Plyometric Exercises

Plyometrics are very short, very intense, maximal efforts. By definition, these movements demand as much power as you can produce. Power can be defined as force times velocity–by exerting a maximal effort, you are moving as forcefully and as you can, and by also doing this as quickly as you can, you are producing a high amount of power.

Power is also defined as work divided by time. If we think about throwing a ball, we know how much work you are doing by measuring the distance you move your hand. Do this in a very short time, and you’ll probably throw the ball much further than if you moved your hand over a longer time. Thanks, power!


This photo from Men’s Health shows the classic and effective Squat Jump

If we think about the basic plyometric movement of the squat jump, we know that we will jump higher into the air if we move our center of mass up very very quickly. On the other hand, doing this movement slowly will only result in us going from squatting to standing. That’s not very powerful!

It’s kind of a difference between a weighted squat and a squat jump. A weighted squat may be very forceful, but that doesn’t it’s powerful.

If you’ve ever tried to go for a ride and do things in slow-motion, you probably know it doesn’t work very well!

CHECK OUT 5 Ways to Use the Brake Power Meter to Train Yourself to Ride Faster

Seamus Powell National Enduro

All my athletes will do plyometrics at some point in the season–even if their goals don’t include being great sprinters! The reason we train with plyometrics is to prepare the body to cope with the demands of mountain biking and those tiny powerful movements we are doing all along the trail.

While I don’t recommend jumping on a slippery surface, 4x National Champ and KHS Factory Pro Seamus is showing his power here^

Below are 3 ways MTB riding presents us with demands of plyometrics and why plyometric workouts might benefit your training.

1. Every impact is like a plyometric