Racers need a strength training program that targets key muscle groups and keeps them in balance. The following program is based on four basic principles that will no doubt improve not only your strength but your lap times. The program focuses on exercises that are total body movements that are sport specific to motocross.
The Posterior Chain |
1.Concentrate on your back: The typical gym-rat exercises focus on the muscle groups that are clearly visible in the mirror; chest, arms, abs and quads. While working these muscle groups is important, it is equally important to work the muscle groups in the posterior chain (back, hamstrings, and calfs). The muscles in your back are as equally important in maintaining a proper riding stance as thechest, shoulders, and quads. A weak posterior chain will lead to a slumped posture and fatigue the chest, shoulders, arms, and quads more rapidly. A strength imbalance between the front and back of your body can lead to general fatigue and poor riding style as the race progresses. So, someone new to weight training that is lifting improperly will blame weight lifting as a cause of their arm pump whenin actuality it was their choice of exercises and the way in which they were lifting.
Hope this isn't What you had in Mind! |
2. Strong Core Muscles are Key: If you think core training is all about having a great six pack so that you can flex next summer when you take off your jersey, you would only be half correct. Strong core muscles are responsible for maintaining good posture andeliminating lower back pain, and act as the base of support for the entire body. Proper training of the core region is imperative to maintaining proper form and function during a race. If the core muscles are weak, a rider will alter his or her posture and riding position, therefore transferring work to the weaker shoulders and arms. When this happens, the arms, shoulders and even legs do more ofthe work and become fatigued quickly.
3. Weight Train for Strength not Endurance: Motocross racers are experts at endurance training and therefore usually weight train for endurance (low weight, high reps.). But lifting heavier weights for fewer reps is necessary for building strength. Strong muscles increase the stability of your joints which reduces the wear and tear on ligaments, and willhelp you recover when a lot of strength is required to recover from a big swap or for the unfortunate time you come up short on a jump and case it. If you are afraid of bulking up, don't be. Body builders only wish it were that easy; lift some weights, get big. Fortunately (or unfortunately for the body builder) adding a significant amount of muscle requires a steady surplus of calories andworkouts that focus on muscle size not performance. The proposed workouts, which are performance oriented, will certainly not bulk you up.
4. Concentrate on Total Body Movements: Since most people don't have a lot of spare time during the week, the proposed weight training program is designed to be quick and efficient. The key to an efficient total body strength program is to incorporate exercisesthat require the use of multiple joints versus isolation exercises. For instance, exercises like a step-up press, dead lift, and power clean, give greater overall strength benefits in less time than single-joint exercises like bench press or bicep curls. By performing exercises that are multi-joint oriented (and sport specific to motocross) you will be sure to gain the required strength whilekeeping gym time to a minimum.
Work the Plan
Perform workout 1 and workout 2 each once a week resting at least a day in between workouts. If you are racing, you will want to perform these workouts early in the week. Each workout combines five exercises of which the first three exercises should be completed as a circuit (i.e. do one set of each exercise and move on to the next without resting in...