Sep 30 2010

Grip Positioning

If you have ever seen or been to a riding school, they often go over the basics: grip with the knees, elbows up and look ahead.  I have gone over those plenty of times and they should be engrained into your brain!  However, there are some little things that can help keep your form correct.  The often overlooked techniques are usually grip positioning and posterior alignment.   The basics form a solid foundation and the smaller ones build upon those.

Correct grip on the bars obviously keeps your elbows up, but it is also minimizes the extent you have to roll your wrist back.  The further forward you grip the bars, the more your elbows want to come up.  The goal is to keep your wrist in line with your forearm when you are on the gas.  One thing that can affect your wrist position is your lever position.  Some riders rotate their levers so far down, it forces you get over the bars and keep your weight forward.  This is okay some of the time, but there isn’t a need to be over the bars every second of your moto.  If you have to lean back, your levers will be so far down, you won’t be able to reach them.

To help with breathing and prevent your back muscles from tiring out, a good thing to remember is to keep your back straight.  When there are no curves in the spinal cord, your diaphragm is opened up and you allow the lungs to work properly.  To help with this, rolling your hips back puts you in the attack position.  This straight line will align your body up and allow the bike to pivot evenly underneath of you.  In addition to rolling your hips back, rolling your shoulders back will help you relax and breathe easier.

Like I said, unless you really think about your technique, most people would overlook these aspects.  Keep these in mind if you have trouble with arm pump and/or endurance problems.

Sep 25 2010

Timing Your Carbohydrates

Nutrition is a big aspect of training for motocross.  There is no way of getting around it.  You can train as hard as you want, but if you are stuffing yourself with Big Macs and McFlurries, you are not going to be able to train or ride as hard as you want.  I’m not saying to go on a fad diet, but just cleaning up your current diet can pay off huge on the track.  With the correct choices of food and when you eat them, you can make sure you have plenty of energy throughout the day.

Before we get into the timing, we need to understand the concept of the Glycemic Index.  There are different types of Carbohydrates: Simple and Complex.  Your simple carbs break down faster while the complex carbs take more time to be broken down.  The Glycemic Index simply measures the effects of the carbs on your blood sugar level.  The simple carbohydrates are higher on the index than the complex.

Now, just because the simple carbohydrates are higher on the index, doesn’t mean they are better.  Eating too many foods that are higher on the index can actually have negative effects on the body.  However, combining simple and complex carbohydrates at breakfast can spike your blood sugar level to give you energy upon waking and the complex will help give you a longer lasting energy.  Cantaloupe and watermelon are great simple carbs and are great as a side for breakfast.  For your complex carbs, oatmeal or multigrain breads are great.

It is a good idea to switch to slower, complex carbohydrates as the day goes on because you maintain a constant level of blood sugar.  When you spike the sugar in your blood, you tend to crash and get fatigued.  Like I said, other than watermelon and cantaloupe, most fruits and multigrain breads are solid, complex foods.  Between motos or after workouts, you can go back to simple carbs to get your energy back up.

So, to recap:

Breakfast: Slow and Fast

Lunch: Slow

Between Motos/ post workouts: Fast

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Sep 09 2010

Strength Training basics

Some people still tend to think that strength training can only hinder your riding by giving you arm pump.  They go to the gym and do endless amounts of cardio and see the protein-shake chugging meat heads in the gym.  Isolating your “glamour muscles” is not the right way to go about training efficiently for motocross.  If you haven’t lifted in a while or you want to put some weight for big bikes, here is a sample workout to help get you back into the weight room.

Try this for 3 or 4 weeks.   Perform the exercises right after another and perform 6 to 8 reps for 3 sets.  After each set take 2 minutes rest.

Bench Press – Chin Ups – Squats

Bent over Rows – Military Presses – Dead Lifts

Clean and Press – Medicine Ball Crunches – Hanging Leg Raises

All of these exercises should be used with barbell.  They are all compound movements that use multiple joints that engage your core and moto muscles.  Isolation training hits individual muscles that do not work the body in a way that is suitable for racing.  The body building technique is not the right way to go about strength training.

Remember, before and after this workout, be sure to warm up, stretch then cool down.  This shouldn’t be done within 48 hours of each workout.  Between those 2 days, you can supplement riding and cardio.  Your cardio can be under an hour and your heart rate range should be about 75% of your max HR.

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