Riding a dirt bike for leisure on the off-road trails can be easy enough. There is no need for any specific riding technique. But motocross riding is different and requires motocross training. Riders can learn how to ride in competition tracks from 50cc to 450cc class of dirt bikes.
Let’s quickly revisit What is motocross? In motocross (mx in short), you have to ride through bumps and other obstacles. Motocross riding also involves mastering how to make jumps and maneuver corners. To master these moves, you need training.
For beginner riders, this can be a challenge. Even the more experienced riders can find themselves fumbling at some points. Thus, every level of motocross rider needs training. Many people believe one needs to look like a Hulk to control a motocross bike. But this is not true. While a physical workout is necessary, you don’t need to bulk up.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the essentials of your motocross training.
Why Should You Start Motocross Training?
Motocross racing involves riding through bumps and other such obstacles. Riders compete on dirt tracks using unique dirt bikes. These bikes are built to be high-performance bikes with advanced suspension systems. This makes the bikes capable of allowing their riders to complete their course fast.
But the MX bikes can only do so much. How their features and specifications work is dependent on the skills of the rider. Motocross racing involves a combination of strength, balance, and agility. Hence, the rider must be able to control the bike.
Proper training is important. This helps you to build these skills and reduce the risk of injury while practicing them. Without training, the endurance needed to stay and finish a course will be lacking. The consequence is poor performance during races.
How to train for Motocross
Mental preparation is needed to go into preparing for a motocross race. But besides this, there are two major ways to train for motocross. These are:
- Physical Skills/Fitness
- Motocross Riding Technique
But before you can go into these two tangible training paths, you must set a clear plan. Outline what you need to achieve and also note down what your current capabilities are. Can you handle some of the best 65cc dirt bikes? Note it down.
This way, it is easier for you to visualize the exercises you need to engage in. The result is you cut anxiety while projecting what it takes to get a successful outcome.
Furthermore, a plan helps you to pace yourself while training. Training should not be an everyday activity. You also need your rest time to allow your body to recover, especially from physical workouts.
What is in Motocross Riding Technique?
The motocross riding technique refers to a set of skills you need to control your bike. Remember that motocross racing involves racing at high speed over various terrains. To achieve a seamless ride in record time, you will need specific techniques.
Some of these techniques have a lot to do with how you position each part of your body during a ride. For instance, how you brace yourself over rocky ground differs from when you glide over a smooth road. This not only allows you to absorb the shock of impact but also to maintain your speed.
Motocross riding techniques involve the elements of body positioning and arm movement. Leg and sitting positions are not left out. You will also need to understand the best way to corner, jump, and land. This includes the speed you maintain during such moves.
What are the Riding Techniques on Body Positioning?
How you position your body before and while riding can determine how seamless your race will be. If you get the positioning wrong at first, it may be difficult to adjust while the race is on. This is because you can lose a reasonable pace against other competitors while doing so.
Also, your body positioning could be what saves you from a race ending with injuries. To reduce the risk of injury, you need to stand on the footpeg with your knees bent and face forward.
Bending your knees allows you to align your body with the height of the bike. It also helps you balance the entirety of your weight across the bike. Your face should be in the direction you are driving as it prepares for impact with an obstacle before you hit it.
Your body weight should alternate forwards and backward throughout your race. This shift in position of weight will allow you to maintain balance. This is regardless of the obstacle you are riding over. When making a turn, for instance, your upper body should be in the opposite direction of the turn. After making the turn, gradually straighten your upper body.
How do you Master Arm Movement?
Keep your elbows out when racing. This involves squaring out your arms and elbows. Like your knees, keeping your elbows out helps you achieve balance and control. This also helps you master the right cornering technique.
As a beginner rider, you can sometimes forget to square your arms. This is where putting in enough practice will help you. As Trey Canard, serial AMA Motocross Championship topper would put it, “Every day I ride is a good day”. It builds arm memory. Also, as an extension of the arm, it is important to not hold the handlebar too tightly. It makes maintaining balance more difficult. Stay loose while riding.
How to Sit Forward to Balance During a Ride
When riding your bike, it is important to distribute your weight all over the bike. If your body weight leans more on one side, it can cause your bike to tumble over. This is especially the case when you drive over an obstacle or slightly lose balance.
You must sit forward on the bike. Balance your weight over the front and rear wheels. While this is the proper way to sit, this is not a constant position. You should shift your weight to accommodate the new terrain you want to cross.
For instance, if you are accelerating or going up hilly terrain, move your weight forward. But if you are stepping on your brakes or down a steep slope, you should move your weight backward.
How to Make Turns with Legs Extended Out
When riding, your legs are important to maintain balance and stability. You can use your legs to grip the bike while allowing your thighs to grip the seat. Navigating turns smoothly involve a few steps that must right:
- Make turns at the right speed
Moving at the appropriate speed is important when navigating turns. If your speed is too fast, you can lose control of the bike when making a turn. If it’s too slow, you could lose balance. Before making a turn, make sure your speed is appropriate.
- Extend your legs out
Extend your inside leg out as you enter the turn. Your toes are not what should be out but rather your inside leg. While your outside leg should be bent and grip the bike. This helps you maintain stability while keeping your bike from sliding out.
Techniques for Cornering, Jumping, and Landing
In a motocross race, cornering can help you gain a significant advantage. It gives you enough ground you can leverage to get ahead of other competitors. Thus, you must master the right technique for them.
When cornering, do not move at a speed that’s too fast. Slow down before negotiating that corner. This gives room for you to control the bike in the right line. Remember to square your arms, look forward and lean into the corner. You can learn how to corner faster after you have mastered this technique.
Jumping needs a different technique from cornering. Instead of leaning, stay straight. This makes your bike more nimble. Unlike in corners where you have to reduce your accelerating speed, you need to amp up your speed to clear a jump. This speed must not be too high though else you lose control while landing.
A successful jump involves a series of forward and backward body movements. At the start of the jump, stay close to the handlebars. This position should morph into a backward lean during the jump. During landing, you should lean forward.
Some Popular Schools’ Training Programs
Comprehending the proper body posture and riding techniques can seem challenging at first. But with proper training in a reputable Mx training facility, you will understand how to move.
One of these popular school training programs is by MXeCoaching. Their lessons cater to both the technical and fitness needs of riders. Both professionals and amateurs can gain from the training in this moto cross school. It does not matter if you can handle a 250cc bike. Or still learning the ropes of some of the best 50cc dirt bikes. Training in motocross for kids is also available.
The lessons are tailored to meet your personal needs. But the guidance provided is in groups of 6-7 riders. In other training schools like the mx factory, they can offer you training in your home track. This is if their camp tracks are not close to you. This also includes motocross workout at home.
There are other riding techniques like whipping. It is mostly advanced riders that can successfully carry out this technique. But with a credible instructor, you can learn this technique as well.
What is in Getting Physically Fit?
You need to be in top physical condition to excel in motocross riding. This means you have to build your strength and endurance. This in turn builds your muscles which can give you better control of your bike. Cardiovascular training is not excluded as it helps your endurance.
Strength training essentially means any exercise done to build up your muscle strength. If you must maintain a stable and balanced motocross ride, your core muscles must be strong.
So, to achieve this, the exercises you engage in should include:
Depending on how you angle your back and thighs, squats can work your thigh quads or build more leg power. This exercise will also improve your leg strength. This way, you won’t feel leg fatigue during long ride laps.
- Other strength training workouts include bench presses and deadlifts. They can build your chest muscles and strengthen your back. To build your arm strength, rowing can be a great exercise to strengthen your arm. It can also build your lower body.
It cannot be stressed enough that motocross racing is a demanding sport. This means riders will go through a high degree of exertion. To prepare motocross riders for this, they will need to build their endurance. Cardiovascular exercises have proven to be beneficial in achieving this result.
This requires focus and physical top form. Getting involved in other sporting activities like running and swimming can be helpful. They improve your endurance vis-a-vis cardiovascular health. Many riders can take part in cycling exercises. But it is important to see that these activities are engaged in intervals. Results are best when practiced at intervals over a long period.
Proper Nutrition and Hydration
Proper nutrition is the oil that lubricates the engines of the body’s muscles. The lack of essential nutrients can interfere with performance on the track.
You need to increase your consumption of proteins as well. It will help you optimize the benefits of workout sessions. This is because proteins are critical to bodybuilding.
But it is important to balance it out with carbohydrates and healthy fats. Hydration is also important before, during, and after training sessions. So, try to keep a bottle of water handy.
Proper training is critical to excelling in motocross racing or riding. Find a reputable Mx training facility and adhere to their regulated program. Set your training plan and be consistent in following the guidance of your trainer. In no time, you will have mastered the techniques needed to conquer the motocross track.
How do you train for motocross?
Motocross training involves a combination of activities. They include mental preparation, physical training, and skill mastery. Good nutrition and staying hydrated are necessary as well. Then, get enough rest.
What age is too late to start motocross?
No age is too late to start motocross. There are race categories for different ages. So, individuals can start learning and take part in motocross at any age. But older riders will gain from starting with basic motocross training. It is also important they wear their safety gear at all times.
What is the best exercise for motocross?
There is no one best exercise for motocross. To maximize your potential in motocross, you must combine a lot of physical exercises. These exercises should focus on your strength and endurance. For optimal performance, flexibility and balancing techniques are necessary for your workout routine.
How do I get stronger in motocross?
To get stronger in motocross, you should focus on strength training exercises. They target your core body strength and agility. You can also practice proper riding techniques to get stronger in motocross.