In my blog article, “The Best MTB Skills Advice I Have Ever Given. (How we actually “break” bad habits and create perfect ones)” I explained a bit about the Myelin Sheath and how we improve through through slow, deliberate practice. Now I will explain how to practice slowly and deliberately and see huge returns with the least amount of practice.
The first step is know the goal of the skill you are practicing (what is my desired outcome), how to do the skill perfectly (you may not be able to it it perfectly but you understand each individual piece of the skill and how it should be done), how it should feel and what it should look like. Without this knowledge base you are not practicing, you are simply riding and most likely ingraining bad habits.
I see so many riders and racers who have studied enough video to have a decent idea of cornering technique and now they are just trying to go faster with a vague understanding of proper technique. These riders always plateau before reaching their true peak. They plateau because they don’t know, understand and more importantly can not do the “details” correctly, doing something 80% perfect sounds impressive but it means you are doing it 20% wrong!
In this video I am practicing slowly and have my “awareness” turned up and can feel what every little movement does. I am experimenting a bit, pushing a little harder with my inside hand and feeling what that does to the pressure on my feet, to the position of my hips, to the bite of my tires and sharpness of my turn. As I push forward with my inside hand I become aware that I am pushing my body backward, behind the pedals and it is unweighting my front end causing my front tire to push.
All the way from France, Will Burgat working on cornering with Gene the day after his camp in Bootleg Canyon. Check out Will’s eyes in the first corner, he is looking through to the next corner, the toughest and most important skill in cornering. His body position, especially the elbows up and out and hip twist are also very good. He is a little upright but those are some strong corners!
In the second Video, More great cornering from Will. He is still riding a little upright but again, great vision and body position.
My strength James Wilson has given me a great article to help you achieve better body position!
Touch the Wall Deadlifts for Better Body Position
Everything starts with good, balanced body position. The Touch the Wall Deadlifts have quickly become one of my favorite exercises in the facility. It is the best way I’ve found to teach the all important hip hinge movement pattern. Here are the progressions for this exercise, plus what you want to be learning at each stage of the progression. Don’t be afraid to replace your swings and/ or deadlifts with these if you feel you struggle doing them right.
You can download the Coaching Cue Handout for this exercise by right clicking on the link below and selecting
Congratulations to BetterRide coach and athlete Jackie Harmony on her Pan American title!
BetterRider Mitch Ropelato finished just off the podium in 4th for the highest placing US male in the downhill competition.
Feels great to see students I coach doing well all over the world. Keep up the good work!
WOW! Check this out!