Don’t Wait Any Longer: You Need to Make Strength Training a Priority to Improve Your Off-road Riding
Updated: Jun 30
Off-road motorcycling is an exciting way to explore the outdoors but to stay safe and ride at your full potential, strength training is crucial. To make sure that your rides are as safe and enjoyable as possible, read this article to learn how strength training can help.
Riders assume that since we use cardio and endurance when riding, we need to emphasize high reps and low weight when we are training. This approach doesn't work the best for adventure motorcyclists. While cardio is also important, strength training is an effective way to improve your coordination, balance, and endurance. It also helps you build muscle mass, which can help protect you from potential injuries should you encounter a mishap. Through improved muscular strength and body control, you may be able to handle obstacles on the trail better or make it out of a tricky spot without injury.
In addition to physical safety benefits, strength training is also beneficial for mental performance. Building muscle is proven to increase stamina and endurance while helping to reduce fatigue and agitation associated with long days on the trails. Additionally, its importance in becoming stronger mentally cannot be overstated; off-road riding requires patience and focus, which can be extremely difficult when feeling tired or overwhelmed. Strength training can help alleviate these feelings so that you can stay alert and focused throughout the ride.
When it comes to strength training specifically for off-road riders, it's essential to look for exercises that target large muscle groups with good form and tempo. For example, squats, deadlifts, push-ups, pull-ups, and other compound movements are great exercises because they build greater overall strength better than isolation lifts do. This is especially important for off-road riding, which involves powering through obstacles.
Science is starting to reveal the best approach for off-road strength training, and it seems to favour a more aggressive approach in the gym.
Your gym program should be tailored to your individual goals and abilities, but an effective routine might involve heavier weights and interval sets. Focus on the big multi-joint power exercises – such as squats and deadlifts – but don't ignore the smaller stabilizing muscles, especially those used to maintain a solid off-road body position.
It's important to target both upper-body and lower-body strength; bodyweight exercises are key for improving posture, balance, and coordination. Plyometric exercises like jumping lunges can also help you build explosive power that comes in handy for navigating more challenging terrain like boulders or tight switchbacks.
Most importantly, get out there and start riding! Strength training can significantly improve ride quality, efficiency, safety, and comfort when combined with off-road bike practice and proper nutrition. So, if you haven't already started a strength training regimen this year for your off-road rides, now is an excellent time to start! With the right program tailored to your goals and abilities, you'll surely have a safe and enjoyable ride this season.