Ever feel like your dirt bike is riding you instead of you riding the bike with control? This could be related to your overall fitness abilities, strength and endurance. Anyone can ride a dirt bike but balance and multi-tasking are necessary to keep it moving forward on two wheels. Increasing overall fitness will make it a lot easier.
Improving fitness abilities depends on your goals. If you want to be the fastest one in your group, you need to be able to withstand high intensity for long periods along with strength. If you are the weekend warrior looking to improve your skills and not get so tired, increasing your fitness abilities will make a huge difference.
RIDE YOUR DIRT BIKE
For starters, ride the dirt bike as much as you possibly can. No workout will be better than time on the bike. So, ride, ride, and ride some more! Make sure your form is good. Stand on your toes, bend at the hips, use your legs to grip and maneuver the bike, lighten the grip in your hands. The more you ride the more your abilities increase.
Cross training serves a large purpose in all sports. All athletes do some form of cross training. For dirt bikes, you need endurance and strength. Most bikes weigh around 230lbs, you need to be strong enough to pick it up off the ground and to be in total control of it.
Endurance is the ability of one to exert itself and remain active for a long period of time as well as oneself ability to resist, withstand, and recover from fatigue. Doesn’t sound too fun does it? It is extremely important to choose an endurance exercise that you actually enjoy! Running, swimming, mountain biking, road cycling, HIIT, are all examples of endurance workouts. When working on increasing endurance, be sure to incorporate both low intensity and high intensity. An example of low intensity would be a steady state heart rate (not pushing to the max and can still talk) for 30-45 minutes. High intensity consists of higher heart rates. For best results, incorporate both. Both have a purpose.
Next up is weight training. Lots of opinions and different beliefs on this. Number 1 thing is do not over complicate it and have proper form. My personal opinion is I love the feeling of lifting heavy weights and have never had an arm pump problem. So, that is what I do, mainly in the winter months. Most dirt bike riders are unknowingly in a calorie deficit so getting super buff will be almost impossible. Lift the weights, build your muscles. My workouts vary depending on what I feel like I am lacking. Sometimes it’s heavy weight less reps, low weight high reps, climbing weight sets, and decreasing weight sets. It is important to work your legs! They control the dirt bike. Recommended exercises are squats, deadlifts, leg raises, leg extensions, lunges, wall sits, and calf raises. Being a woman, I feel like my upper body strength is just as important as my leg strength. My favorite upper body exercises are different variances of rows, shoulder presses, pull-ups, push-ups, and bench press. Don’t neglect your core strength! Dirt bike riding requires core and stability so it is extremely important. I work mine every other day and no more than four times a week.
YOGA & STRETCHING
Lastly, more important than everything else above, do your yoga and stretching. Yoga stretches your muscles, works on your focus ability, and balance. Sounds easy but it can be very difficult but extremely worth it. Simple stretching helps too, keeping your muscles loose and flexible. Both help relieve soreness and tightness. Recover faster, feel better!
Pairing all these together with proper nutrition and hydration and you will be set! I know it sounds like a lot but take the time to know what your goals are. Want that championship? Want to not feel like you got hit by train after a day of riding/racing? Do the work and ride your bike! My abilities on a dirt bike increased when I started working out and riding more than a few times a month. Agree or disagree this is what I have learned over the years from highly rewarded rider’s/racer’s and my own personal experience. What works for me might not work for you. Knowledge is power and that is why I spent the time to share.
Cover Photo and Action Photo Credits: Lemons Photography