Your arms can take a hell of a beating when you’re out on the trail, especially when it starts to get steeper and more technical.
However, there are a few things you can do to make the ride more enjoyable and still have the strength to open a tin of baked beans when you get home:
- First, get a pair of very expensive front suspension forks.
- Second, spend even more and get a new bike.
- Or third, spend no money and get stronger arms to take the beating and make everyone feel stupid on their shining machines when they can’t keep up with you.
The triceps muscles at the back of your upper arm take most of the pounding, so here are three exercises you should do twice a week to prepare yourself for spring riding.
Remember, when performing all of these exercises you should keep your core stability muscles engaged to maintain good posture and prevent injury.
1. Triceps Dips
Place your hands behind you on a bench, a sturdy chair or the edge of the bath, and take your weight on your arms. Slowly bend your arms, with your elbows going back behind you until they are bent at 90 degrees to your body. Pause for one second, then extend your arms, lifting your weight back up. Try three sets of 10 repetitions and build up to 3×20 repetitions.
2. Over-Head Triceps Extensions
Stand upright, holding a weight or a water bottle filled with water or sand, and position it with a bent arm behind your head. Slowly extend your arm until it is straight up above your head. Pause for one second, then slowly lower the weight back down behind your head. Do three sets of 10 reps and build it up by making the weight heavier.
3. Triceps Press-ups
Get into a normal press-up position, but position your hands close together directly under your chest. Lower yourself down, keeping your elbows tucked into your ribs until your elbows are bent at 90 degrees. Pause for one second, then push back up to straight arms. Do three sets of five repetitions to start, and build up to 3×10 reps or more.