Lately I’ve been focusing on tweaking my skills, reviewing your book, and your site for things I can implement.
One of the things I reassessed was my attack position. I always thought I had a pretty good one, but after reviewing it I realized I was a bit lazy with my elbow position. By getting them a bit farther out with more bend, pushing my hips a bit farther back, and getting my head a bit lower it was like opening up a whole new can of braaap on the trail. This little tweak was far better than any doodad/improvement I’ve added to my bike.
I think I was also helped by really focusing on strengthening my core, increasing my flexibility and learning to use my hips more.
Speaking of hips, I love the cornering tip about imagining there is a flashlight in your belly button. My cornering technique increased ten fold with that one. I am a huge fan of those little physical clues/triggers to get your body to execute. I think they are a really effective way to learn, as they focus less on a step by step mechanical breakdown, which can bog me down, and more on the feel of the movement. Keeping your chin up and forward is another good one at getting yourself to scan farther down the trail. Love to hear more of these “physical trigger” tips.
Thank you so much.
Use your butt. From “My quads hurt” – Use your hips!
Thanks for writing. I’m stoked you’ve opened that can of braaaap. What a great expression.
I got that “flashlight in the belly button” line from someone who helped me learn bump skiing. As many of you know, skiing and MTB are more similar than not.
Here are some random “physical triggers” tips:
– Light hands. That’s the biggie.
– Push across the top of the stroke. The key to effective pedaling.
– Use your butt. Push your hips back until you feel your glutes working.
– Lift the corners of your mouth. This is fun!
Know more. Have more fun!
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Hey Max and Lee,
I totally agree. These triggers – especially images like the flashlight work great for me, too. And they work even better for kids. I have been teaching PE for 12 years now – nothing leads to more progress than images. That’s why I’m constantly looking for more of them.
Could you clarify one thing about the flashlight for me.
Since I received MMBS I have not been able to try anything on the bike because of a shoulder injury. So I could only try to understand your tips theoretically. What I do not grasp so far is what the “flashlight – turning of the hips” does.
Judging from you remarks on skiing you know a thing or two about that as well. Being an enthusiastic skier myself, I have compared the position of carving a turn on skis with that on the bike. The only thing which seems to be different is the turning of the hips. As you surely know, during a turn on skis you try to keep your downward-pointing shoulder and hip back, so that you can keep the skis on their edges. So rotating the hips forward during a turn isn’t good on skis – why is it on the bike?
Or did I misunderstand something here?
Thanx a lot.