3 MTB Skills Drills That Will Make You a Better Rider

Try these tips from instructor Ryan Leech to improve your riding

How To Video
Want to dial in some skills or learn new ones? Having a vision is key.

Want to dial in some skills or learn new ones? Having a vision is key (click to enlarge).

For 20 years I performed tricks at trials shows for smiles. Now the smiles are coming from students in my courses who have succeeded in learning a new technical bike skill or overcome a mental barrier.

I wanted to share three practices with you today. It’s January, so the first is a simple mental-fitness’ practice for exploring riding resolutions. The second is a riding skill video to develop a reliable way for clearing logs. The last is a physical fitness video where I offer some core and balance exercises in a challenging but short dose, great for biker body maintenance.

These videos are from my private coaching site for mountain bikers which I’ve been running for 2 years now. This video outlines my philosophy for long term mountain biking passion:

Practice #1 – Mental Fitness – Riding Resolutions

Want to dial in some skills or learn new ones? Having a vision is key, and here’s a simple practice for finding one:

Step One – Take a Look Back
This helps you recognize where momentum was/is carrying you, and we all know about momentum here – whether it’s in flow or a little sketchy!

Step Two – Goals

Taking into consideration the past, what are some specific and realistic riding goals for 2016? Maybe it’s to clean a hard climb, earn a KOM, or to ride without nagging injuries.

Step Three – How
This step is the KEY – repeat for each specific goal. In order to accomplish this goal what do you need to:

  1. Stop Doing?
  2. Keep Doing?
  3. Start Doing?

*Optional but encouraged: ask an honest friend or family member their opinion on your goal and these questions!

Practice #2 – Riding Skill – 3/4 Stroke Technique for clearing Logs

Logs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and can be cleared in a variety of ways. This lesson focuses on using the drive train to create the momentum needed to clear a log, especially useful when there is a slight uphill, or a tight corner, or where you just don’t have much speed or momentum… very common around where I live, but perhaps for you it is going to be a rock ledge or something else that gets in your way! I cover a lot in this instructional video, so please let me know if and where you’re getting hung up (pun intended!) or running in to challenge… I really want you to get this one dialed in!!

Practice #3 – Physical Fitness – Zion Maintenance Mix

When I’m busy and tired from riding, I like to do a practice that incorporates yoga, physio, and strengthening. If I don’t do my maintenance, my back is more likely to go out! This mix, from the beautiful Zion National Park, throws focusing, balance postures, core exercises, and stretches your way in a potent mix of movement. Hope it serves you well.

Mtbr Community Offer to RL Connection

If you’re curious about my coaching service, I wanted to provide the awesome MTBR community a chance to try it out for free. You can find out details at this link, and when you checkout, simply use the code below when entering your billing info and you’ll get the first month for free: MTBRPROGRESSION16
*expires at the end of January

I will keep my eye on the comments, so please just let me know if you have any questions about the practices or RL Connection. Happy 2016 everyone!

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)

About the author: Ryan Leech

Ryan Leech is Pro Mountain Biker & Coach sponsored by @shimano, @norcobicycles, Nutcase Helmets, and Ryders Eyewear. He has performed thousands of bicycle stunt shows around the world including Cirque du Soleil and been featured in dozens of mountain bike films. He credits a dedicated yoga practice for a thriving and sustainable career as a pro-athlete and began teaching to share these benefits. As an avid explorer of human potential, he earned his certification as an Integral Master Coach™, and now is dedicated to creating the highest quality, most comprehensive and effective online technical skill training programs for mountain bikers at ryanleech.com


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