The Importance Of Off-Season Cross Training

With more snow destined to arrive in February, there’s still plenty of time to think about winter cross training to introduce new skills and fitness opportunities. Two of the best off-season endurance activities promoted by BikeNXS are Snowshoeing and Classic XC Skiing. We take advantage of the snow conditions whenever possible!

Snowshoeing in Durham Forest on a Saturday morning
Snowshoeing in Durham Forest on a Saturday morning


Snowshoeing off-trail helps develop improved leg strength, and the deeper the snow the better the development. Snowshoeing focuses on core abdominal strength, hip flexors and glute muscles, covering essential off-season maintenance areas for cyclists. To add more of a challenge while out “shoeing”, seek out steep sustained hills and work on your efficient leg drive. These leg drive lunges are a great way to build leg power for those tough “WALLS OF PAIN” you will be riding once you are back on the trails in the spring! For even more of a challenge throw on a backpack with 10 to 20lbs of soft weights to add to the fitness experience. Snowshoeing for 1 to 2 hours is an ideal timeframe for increased fitness development.

Cross Country Skiing with the BikeNXS gang!
Cross Country Skiing with the BikeNXS gang!

Classic Cross Country Skiing

Classic Cross Country skiing also helps cyclists work on their aerobic engine while giving those cycling legs a well needed change of pace. Backcountry trail skiing also develops core abdominal strength, hip flexors, quadriceps and glutes. Gliding along snowy trails and attacking dowhills on XC skis works on balance and co-ordination, while the poling action helps strengthen upper body muscles, especially on steep climbs. The upper body action of Classic XC climbing develops triceps, shoulders and back muscles, which are all essentials to mountain biking.

Don’t let the winter blues get you down – give your body a rest from monotonous indoor trainer rides! Get out there and embrace the winter season and try some cross training. You will feel the difference in the spring!



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