You’ll tune up your motorcycle. How about tuning up your body?

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With the 2019 season scheduled, have you thought about bike prep? Maybe you have researched new tires, grips, or rear sets? Have you thought about YOU prep? Does your suit still fit? Can you get into riding position without feeling crippled after a few minutes? Do you remember your first track day last year or, more accurately, how sore you were the day(s) after?

This is the prefect time to start preparing your body for the demand of the track. You can go to the gym and work out 5 days/week, but the truth is if you do something new and different to your body you are going to be sore.

Let’s take a look at some very basic exercises and movement patterns that will get you on the right track to preparing your body for the upcoming season. This is not a total body workout that you have to do 3x per week, and I am not going to tell you to join a gym. These are basic attainable exercises you can do in your living room any time of day.

Lower Body Strength:
Bodyweight Squat:
-Start with your feet about hip width apart and toes slightly turned out.
-Hold your arms out in front of you for counter-balance.
-Bending at the knees AND pushing your hips back, lower your hips toward the floor.
-Adjust your stance as needed (toe out, knees out, etc.) to achieve the deepest squat possible without rounding your back.
-Knees can travel forward of your toes, but try to keep your heels down.
-Stand up and repeat.

* If you have to hold onto a railing or doorframe to achieve depth that is okay. We are riding motorcycles not horses. NOTE: A loaded squat is a slightly different exercise that requires slightly different cues.*

Core Strength:
-Start face down on the floor with your elbow or hands on the floor below your shoulders.
-Tighten your core (as if being tickled) and raise your body off the floor so you now supported by only your toes and your elbows or hands (Push Up position).
-Hold that core tight and body as rigid as possible for a given amount of time.
-Add an alternating hand lift or leg lift for an additional challenge.

*There should be tension in your entire body creating one rigid structure. If you can hold this for more than 60 seconds you are doing it wrong*

Lower Body Mobility:
Frog Pose:
-Knees, hands and toes on the floor (Quadruped position).
-With your body forward, widen knees, and slowly push your body back into a MILD stretch.
-Hold that stretch for about 10 seconds and repeat the movement.

*Stretching is not a competitive sport. All stretches should be MILD.*

Cardiovascular Conditioning:
I hate cardio just as much as you, so lets start slowly:
-Walk – Try to find 5-10 minutes/day to go for a walk. If you can incorporate a hill or stairs it’s even better.

Sample Workout:

Warm-up – Walk for 3-5 minutes

Perform this circuit 3-5 times:

Bodyweight Squat – 15 repetitions
Plank – 30-60 seconds (remember if it’s too easy you are doing something wrong)
Frog Stretch – 5 repetitions

Cool-down – Walk for 3-5 minutes

Remember that we are staring out light. These exercises and workout are going to get harder in the coming weeks. Be patient, start slow, and Rock On!

Jonathan Dame, B.S. NSCA CSCS
Dartmouth College Athletics