Irrespective of the sport they are playing, all athletes do stretching and other warm-up exercises before starting. However, warm-up before Motocross riding or racing is often shrugged off as unimportant.
While experienced riders duly understand the importance of proper warm-up, their pre-riding preparation with an effective warm-up routine is often overlooked. Many new riders are overly concerned with their gear and checking out the gear of other riders before they start to ride or race. They want to know if they’ve got the greatest or big named gear like Fox helmets, Alpinestars jerseys, and Fly Racing boots. While experienced riders also appreciate renowned gear like Fox helmets for their quality, they are focused mainly on their pre-ride rituals to avoid fatigue.
They focus on stretching all their muscles before they start on the track. As you ride for long hours on uneven, bumpy tracks, having relaxed and flexible muscles helps to endure the strain.
But which muscles do you majorly use in Motocross?
Motocross riders actively use multiple muscles in their body; however, the most common muscle groups include core muscles (the obliques, rectus abdominis, spinal erectors, and hip flexors) to maintain a good riding posture and prevent lower back injuries. They also use the muscles of shoulders, forearms, arms, and wrist (biceps, triceps, and deltoids) that are involved in controlling the bike. Along with these major muscles, the warm-up for Motocross usually includes stretching exercises for the whole body.
Why should you warm-up before Motocross riding or racing?
Generally, new riders skip warm-up due to one reason or the other. Some consider it a waste of time, while some don’t know how to do it. But, warming-up your body before a big race or even before regular Motocross riding is essential for improving performance on the track and also preventing arm pump, muscle tears, and other painful injuries.
Not doing a warm-up before riding can hamper your performance on the track. Moreover, an unprepared body easily succumbs to crashes and injuries.
Proper warm-up for at least 10 to 20 minutes enhances your performance by improving your mobility and flexibility during rides.
How to warm-up before riding or racing?
Right warm-up techniques before riding or racing are directed towards three components: joint mobility, muscle activation, and heartbeat rate rise.
Listed below are 8 important exercises that you should include in your warm-up routine:
- 10 reps of plank (keeping arms straight) for activating your scapula or shoulder blades, bring them back together multiple times.
- 8 to 10 reps of squats to engage your quadriceps and glutes. Make sure you maintain the right form and don’t rush.
- 5 reps of squats with raised arms. You can also alternate each arm if you can’t bring them up together.
- 15 reps of squats + arm pull with a handlebar.
- Mobilize your shoulder by tying an elastic band to a tree and moving your arms slowly. Make sure your shoulders are down and scapulas are pulled back. Also, keep your core engaged. Perform 10 reps of this exercise.
- For activating the forearm, grab the handlebar and twist with your wrist- 10 up and 10 down.
- 20 reps (10 reps per leg) of single leg deadlift with a handlebar to work your posterior.
- Do aerobic exercises including 15 skipping, 15 jumping jacks, and 5 burpees to increase your heart rate.
Once you are done with this warm-up, gear up for quick practice on your bike. Hop on your bike and practise the basic moves and techniques for a minute or so without turning your bike on. Now, begin rolling it slowly, practising jumps, braking, turns, wheelies, etc. Do this drill for 5 to 10 minutes.
The bottom line
Motocross biking is fun but involves lots of practice and dedication: both on-track and off-track preparations are necessary to excel on the track. So, warm up for a good 10 to 20 minutes, hop onto your wheels and get ready to shine on the Motocross track!