When strength training for moto, you want to choose the most dynamic exercises you can. This means you want movements that will give you the most bang for your buck. You don’t want to spend hours in the gym. The main part of any training program is riding as the cardiovascular and resistance training should just be used to improve physical weaknesses. With that in mind, keeping strength training movements to big, multiple joint exercises will have the greatest effect in the shortest amount of time. In no particular order, here are 5 exercises that you should have in your strength training program.
- Front Squats – Normal barbell squats are revered as one of the best overall exercises. Ever. When you do these, you are utilizing the biggest muscle group in the body (legs) as well as the core and lower back for stabilization. However, when you place the bar in front of your neck instead of behind it, this changes things quite a bit. More emphasis is place on the quadriceps, core and lower back. These will help with the attack position and correct form while riding with the quad work and core stabilization.
- Atomic Push Ups – Push Ups are great for everything upper body. They engage the chest, triceps, shoulders and once again, the core. Throw your feet into a TRX or similar suspension training device and you have yourself one of the best upper body movements for moto. Think about anytime you went through braking bumps or a rough section; the bars are violently thrashing side to side and the whole front end is moving up and down. This requires a lot of upper body strength and muscular endurance to maintain a straight and steady course. You can even place your hands on an Indo board for even more core activation and added intensity.
- Dead Lifts – If you can’t squat, you dead lift. This simple movement is only second to squats. Deads are great for hip, hamstring, and posterior work. If you are moving up in bike size or having trouble controlling the bike at the end of a moto, incorporating dead lifts will make a huge difference. Forget the power lifting style of the wide sumo stance. Go with a narrower stance with your feet about 12 inches apart. For moto applications, it isn’t necessary to go super heavy with this, but still make sure you have the form down to avoid injury.
- Rows – These can be done with almost anything that creates resistance: barbell, dumbbell, kettle bells and suspension training devises. There are even more options with hand positions and going unilateral. This is a great movement for the latissimus dorsi as this goes hand and hand with the push up movement and braking bumps. Rows are the ying to the push up’s yang. Doing these will complete a strong, versatile upper body.
- Lunges – Another great lower body movement. Like the rowing, there are so many variations like step ups, rear lunges, side lunges, etc. This targets almost the whole leg: quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, etc. Lunges are not meant to be done with heavy weight so it is best done with higher reps. Like the dead lifts, these can be extremely beneficial if you have a hard time keeping the bike under control at the end of a moto. Lunges compliment and make a great end to a workout after dead lifts/ squats.