Motocross is a challenging and demanding motor sport where riders race around manmade and natural circuits that often contain jumps, dips, embankments and other obstacles on mixed surfaces. Whole body strength and muscular endurance are vital in motocross, as riders often race over multiple laps and for long periods. The obstacles encountered on a motocross course can put huge physical demands on both the bike and rider. Fitness can play a big part in your success in motocross riding.
Barbell High Pull
This whole body exercise closely simulates pulling up on your handlebars as you would when jumping. Stand behind a barbell with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your feet flat on the floor, bend your knees and grasp the barbell with an overhand grip and your hands outside of your legs. Keeping your hips low, shoulders back and arms straight, extend your knees and hips to pull the bar up to hip level. As the bar approaches your hips, begin pulling with your arms. Continue pulling with your arms until the bar reaches just below you chin. At this point your knees and hips should be fully extended and your elbows should be held high. Lower the bar back to the floor and repeat. This exercise is explosive and should be done at speed so that it appears to be a single movement from floor to chin.
When you jump a motorcycle, on landing you must absorb a lot of shock using your legs. Squat jumps will help you develop your legs so that they will tire less after repeated jumps. Stand with your feet hip width apart and your arms by your sides. Bend your knees and hips and swing your arms back behind you. Immediately swing your arms forward and jump as high as you can. Land on the balls of your feet with soft knees to absorb the landing and then drop back into the squat position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. When performing squat jumps, wear supportive, shock-absorbing shoes and land on a forgiving surface such as a thin gym mat.
Repeated landings after jumps will challenge the strongest upper body. Clapping pushups will help to condition the muscles of your chest, shoulders and arms to improve your shock-absorbing abilities. Adopt a standard pushup position. Your legs should be straight and your hands directly beneath your shoulders. Make sure your core is kept tight throughout this exercise. Bend your arms and lower your body until your chest touches the floor. Immediately push up as hard and as fast as you can so that your hands leave the floor. Perform a fast clap of the hands before returning your hands to the floor and repeating. If you have any wrist problems, such as old fractures, you should avoid this exercise.
During motocross, you will have to lean your bike from left to right when avoiding obstacles and cornering. This employs your core muscles. The suitcase deadlift will help develop the muscles used in leaning your bike from side to side. Place a single dumbbell or kettlebell on the floor next to the outside of your left foot. Bend down and grasp the free weight in your left hand. Stand up using your legs, hips and back while keeping your arm straight and the weight held to the side of your body. Return the weight to the floor by bending down and avoid rounding your back. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions before changing sides.
- Designing Resistance Training Programs; Steven Fleck and William Kraemer
- Motocross Fitness: The Ultimate Home Training Guide for Motocross Athletes; Rodney Womack