Arm Circles (Arms and shoulders)
High Knees (Thighs)
Lunges (Hips, knees and thighs)
Squats (Legs and back)
Torso Twist (Back and abs)
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We have all done it, I'll admit I have too. Probably the most overlooked and under appreciated part of
practice and race days is riders doing a proper warm up before hitting the track. If you watch the AA
Pros before a race you'll see them warming up. This is true in all sports if you watch the athletes
before the event they're stretching and loosening up first.
So why should I warm up? The most simple answer is that it prepares you muscles, tendons and
joints for activity. If you grab a cold rubber band and immediately stretch it to its limit there is a good
chance that it will snap. But if you take a minute or so to gently stretch it a few times more than likely
it will stretch without breaking. Not only does warming up help you get ready to perform your best but
it also warms up the muscle to help avoid injuries such as muscle strains and pulls.
Warming Up Before Riding
So what can we do to get warmed up? There are two parts before your body will be ready to start. The
first part is doing some stretching. There are two types of stretches, static and dynamic. Static is
when you pull on a muscle, like bending to touch your toes, and holding the position for 30 seconeds
or so. Dynamic stretches are when you pull on a muscle but keep moving it through the range of
motion. This would be doing arms circles or leg swings. For warming up before activity dynamic
stretches are most effective so that is what we will focus on here.
Below are some basic dynamic stretching exercises that you can use to get the blood flowing and
muscles working. Remember the point is range of motion and flexibility, not speed.
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Forward Leg Swings (Hips)
Side Leg Swings (Hips)
It is usually recommended to do 10 - 15 reps for each exercise. Make sure that on exercises like
lunges and leg swings you are doing 10 - 15 for each side. Remember what I said above, the goal is to
get loose and ready to perform. You don't want to wear you self out (or even worse injure yourself)
doing the warm up.
So that should give you a good idea of some dynamic stretches to do. This is not the complete list, so
if you want to change it up a little there are dozens of sites the can give you some other ideas. It never
hurts to change up your routine some from time to time.
Once you have finished the dynamic stretches you should then take a couple of medium speed laps
on the track. Not race speed but enough to where you are putting in some effort. When I say a couple
I mean a couple, I wouldn't recommend doing 10 laps before you get ready to race. If you're at a larger
event you may want to do some light riding in a parking lot before you get ready to head to staging.
When you are in staging you can do so static stretches while you are waiting for your moto to be
called. Not only will this keep you from feeling stiff it will also help get you mentally prepared to race.
Even if it is just a practice night this is a good habit to get in to.
Now that we're all stretched out and warmed up, let's move on to training at the track.