I was wondering how strong some of the top riders in these areas are. I know from skiing you can make up for tallent and years of experience with shear strength to an extent. I thought if I had the strength of say, Kris Holm, or Ryan Atkins, my unicycling ability would accelerate.
What exersises do you think are the most important and how strong are you at them?
eg. Sissor kicks with 10 lb./pair ankle weights, 30 reps, 5 sets.
It is probably more about power to weight ratio than pure strength.
Also a lot of skills require precision and accuracy more than strength. Once you start getting into long and high jump or riding up steep hills I think leg strength starts to play an important part. For other skills like landing drops, riding skinnys and general manouevering strength doesn’t play a huge role.
I dont exersise at all and im still very fit (I think its due to the fact that I ride 2-3 hours of trials a day). One thing is this: I hop holding saddle with my right hand. Especialy whentucking SIF, your arm gets a workout for pulling you uni a million and one times a day. If I flex my right arm flexes right arm my muscles bulge, but if I flex my left arm flexes left arm its a little string bean.
I don’t think most MUni riders are particularly strong. The top ones are very fit, but I wouldn’t describe them as muscular. Kris, for example, has zero body fat and is lithe and well-toned, but I would be surprised if he lifts weights; he just doesn’t have that much muscle mass. Ryan Atkins displays more physical strength than Kris in his riding, but I’d also be surprised if he lifts. The physically strongest unicyclist I can think of is Scot Cooper, who these days is more of a distance than MUni rider, and I don’t think he’s ever done much in the way of trials.
The best trials guys I ride with regularly are all skinny.
Geez, that’s true about Kris! When I met him in person I was SHOCKED, shocked at how thin he was! And I thought I was skinny! But yes, he probably doesn’t do weight training per se, but all that muni-ing is like being in a gym on a stair-stepper for HOURS on end EVERY DAY! It’s simply one of the best ways to strengthen your “core”. IF you eat a well balanced diet, low in fat, your body will naturally find its own level of muscle mass that’s necessary to get the job done.
Abs and back are the most important muscles from what I can tell. My uni skill has greatly increased since I started working construction and carrying 80lb panels around. Especially at muni - those technical downhills and rocks that normal would toss you off I can just irk past them and bring my balance back from much higher degrees of falling due to core/ab/back strength. It’s only been 3 months since I started the job and it’s amazing the difference I’ve noticed.
Weight training does build muscle but not nessesarily size. The sport I can most closely think of that requires similarly muscle groups is mogul skiing. If you look at the top mogul skiers on the world cup, all of them weight train and very strong legs, core and have exceptional ballance.
What I’d like to know is how strong are some of the best muni and trials riders with specific muscle groups/exerseses. I started doing some pilaties and core exercises I know more, and my uni ability made an immediate improvement, so I kniow it makes a difference (same thing happened with skiing).
I just would like a goal to shoot for, but I do know that increased strength won’t make a significant difference with some things, like riding rails, provided you have the nessesary ballance and skill.
Well, yea, for humping up hills and stuff, but that goes without saying. Besides, most people already get strong legs naturally when riding. The ab/back/core stuff doesn’t build as naturally. I’d say weight training for that would help way more than weight training legs.
I don’t think I’d gain much by weight training. So much of muni is technique that by the time I learn good technique, my muscles should be strong enough. Also, I’ve found that my core strength has improved on its own as I’ve become a more “aggressive” rider.
For abs I do 100 crunches daily, and 25 push-ups. That seems to be sufficient; the rest I get from riding. And I can definitley attest that it works for me in a big way! In just 9 months I’ve gone from 165lbs to 147lbs and from a 34" waist to a 30". I’m more than happy with the results that came almost exclusively from muni! Rock on!
I’ve been unicycling for a couple of years, and have been weight training for about 6-7 years. I’m 5’5", weigh 195-205lbs. I have a the newer model 24" Torker DX and can only hop ~12" on a good day.
I can squat 455lb, clean and jerk 240, bench 260, deadlift 450, run a 4.9 second 40 yard dash, 33in vertical jump.
I’m mostly doing muni, and I’m definately still a novice. I would have to say that all of my extra bulk makes muni’ing a bit more difficult. It seems that the better unicyclers have thinner builds. I don’t think the muscle development and strength they’ve acquired through uni’ing can be fairly measured with weighted movements because the range of movements are completely different. Also, unicycling is mostly about technique and application of technique rather than raw strength. I’m sure I’m stronger than most of the folks here, but I’m sure that most of the muni’ing folks here are better than me at muni.
I know that muni’ing has definately hindered my progress in my squat max (I was doing over 500lbs in high school), but I’m alot more endurant. I can squat 405 for 10 reps (deep squats! beyond parallel or bust!).