Guides

Stretch like a racer before your trackday

A step-by-step guide that even a fat, lazy person can manage. There’s no gym in sight and no excuses not to get stuck in...

LOTUS STRETCH

It pays to stretch before your trackday; you'll be more supple and less likely to pull a muscle (it happens!) but you'll also get the blood flowing, be less likely to get cramp and you'll also be naturally more relaxed on the bike.

Steve Plater walks you through a few simple stretching excercises that professional racers use to get themselves warmed up before they head out on the bike.

LOTUS STRETCH

Long stints in the saddle can cause cramps and discomfort in the most awkward of places. The groin is one of the most overlooked areas, possibly because exercising the muscles involved can be uncomfortable. If you can’t get your feet together at first, don’t worry - as with all the exercises, you’ll naturally progress so don’t force anything. Follow Steve’s moves and in no time your flexibility will improve along with your endurance, both on and off the bike.

BROOM HANDLING

BROOM HANDLING

BROOM HANDLING

Whatever kind of riding you’re doing, you’ll be using your lower back and abdominal muscles far more than you’d imagine. Keeping these muscles strong and supple helps to keep the aches and pains at bay, all the while improving machine control. Using a broom to support your arms and with your feet shoulder width apart, rotate from the hips until you feel resistance - be careful not to over stretch. Keep your neck relaxed by focusing on your hands as you rotate from left to right.

LAT STRETCH

LAT STRETCH

LAT STRETCH

As motorcyclists, our shoulders have a hard life. In fact anything that requires leaning forward for long periods (such as operating a computer) can cause tightness in the muscles and unnatural shortness in the tendons and ligaments. Reach behind your head and place your left hand as far down your right shoulder blade as is comfortable. Then, using your right hand, apply light pressure by pulling gently on your left elbow until you feel resistance. Repeat five times each side.

WINDMILLING

WINDMILLING

WINDMILLING

Another very basic shoulder exercise. Rotator Cuff injuries are common due to the complexity of the structure of the muscles and tendons in the shoulder, so before any major exertion, it pays to warm them up fully. Starting slowly, try to keep your arms as close to your body as is comfortable while rotating your arm through its full range of movement. This exercise shouldn’t be about speed, more about the fluidity and control of your movements. Keep your head stable by focusing on a fixed point straight ahead.

HAMSTRING STRETCH

HAMSTRING STRETCH

HAMSTRING STRETCH

Maintaining Hamstring elasticity is arguably the most important part of anyone’s flexibility routine. Standing with your feet shoulder width apart and your legs straight, relax your neck and slowly reach for your toes. If you can’t get all the way down, don’t force it - many people make the mistake of ‘bouncing’ - this will only cause an injury. Reach as far as you can then slowly rise up and extend your arms upwards. You’ll be amazed at how quickly you improve.

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