Rider, don’t you sometimes have a hard time getting into the right mood for riding? Have you ever felt unfocused, clumsy and slow the first minutes of a race? All this is because you are not spending a few minutes on a correct warm-up before riding or racing for Enduro or Motocross. This may seem a little thing, but this is very determinant for your performance on the bike for the day.
The same way you warm-up your car a few minutes before riding, you must dedicate a few minutes on a right warm-up before jumping on the bike. If you do so, you will be preventing arm pump, injuries, accidents… And you’ll improve your physical performance.
In the video below we show you how to do a proper warm-up before riding or racing for Enduro or Motocross. Turn the subtitles on, we’ve translated it for you 😉
Why you must warm-up before riding or racing?
It may be for one of these reasons that you are currently not warming up before grabbing the bike:
- Because you don’t know how to warm-up for Enduro or Motocross
- Because you are not used to warming up and you always forget about it
- And Because you think that warming up is a waste of time.
So, if you don’t do a right warm-up before riding your dirty bike, not only are you affecting your performance, but you are also putting yourself at great risk. And you might have got used to that feeling, but the reality is that any bad move or unfortunate crash can leave you out of the game anytime.
If you are riding just to enjoy, you must guarantee your safety and do your best to avoid injuries. This means you must warm-up before riding or racing. Because once on the bike, you are vulnerable from the first moment.
Even worse, if your goal for the day is to compete on a race, not doing a proper warm-up means directly sabotaging yourself.
So check out the next warm-up drills we’ve put together for you to practice before racing or riding for Enduro and Motocross.
If you don’t know how to do a right warm-up before riding or racing…
It will only take you 10 to 20 minutes to make an effective warm-up you can practice anywhere right before jumping on the bike.
In general, a right warm-up for the diry bike is made of:
- Joint Mobility
- Muscle Activation
- Heartbeat rate rise
The intensity of the warm-up will depend on how strict you want to be and the goals you have for the day. That’s why we’re giving you three different warm-up options based on your different goals:
Goal #1: to just enjoy riding a couple of hours
Here is our suggestion for an express warm-up, for those days in which you just want to go through some enduro sections o ride a few mottos on a motocross track.
- Joint Mobility: mobilize your joints to begin “greasing” your moves. Pay more attention to shoulders, elbows, wrists, hips, and knees.
- Muscle Activation: activate the muscles more actively engaged during the ride. Mainly scapulas, forearms, core, and glutes to avoid injuring your lumbar area, quadriceps, and hamstrings.
- Heartbeat Rate Increase: to prepare your body for the effort that is coming, do 10″ of jumping jacks + 10″ of skippings + 5x burpees. Repeat three times and do these exercises right before jumping on the bike.
Equipment: no equipment needed for this fast warm-up sequence.
This express warm-up will take up to 10 minutes at most and your riding will be much more safer.
Goal #2: a long riding day
Believe us, you will thank a kind of warm-up take takes up a little bit more time to activate your muscles and joints properly. Because thus you’ll avoid usual issues such as arm pump, hand blocking or lower-back pain.
It is worth it to prepare well before a long bike day in order to not suffer afterward from all these inconveniences that prevent you from enjoying your sport.
In general, the estimated time for this warm-up is 20 minutes, and we recommend you to use a resistance band and an old handlebar that you can tie with a rope to your car, a tree… Nothing to take up much space on your van and easy to carry around.
This our warm-up proposal for long Enduro or Motocross riding days:
- Joint Mobility: insistently movilize all your joints to “grease” them. Begin from the neck and go on like this: shoulders, scapulas, elbows, wrists, core, hips, knees, and ankles, as we show you in the video.
- Muscle Activation: focus on activating very efficiently these muscles: forearms, scapulas, core, glutes, abductors, quadriceps and hamstrings. Take a look at the videos and exercise drills we show you below.
- Heartbeat Rate Increase: use this part to activate your mind as well and avoid feeling unfocused and slow. Watch on the video how we suggest you do this.
As for a more specific muscle activation…
- Forearms: you might avoid or delay arm pump and hand blocking by doing a thorough muscle activation. Because many times, this problem comes from a lack of warm-up. In the Instagram post below you can check the muscle activation proposal made by our partner Julián. To do this, use an old handlebar tied with a rope to your car.
- Scapulas: we suggest you use an elastic band for every scapular muscle activation exercises. This back section is very relevant to protect your shoulders and your posture while riding. Usually, riders don’t take this into account because they ignore that many shoulder injuries come from deficient scapular health. Here are some scapular warm-up exercises to take into account before riding or racing for motocross and enduro:
- Core: use a gas can to work as a counterweight in order to activate your core. It will work well to perform these exercises: farmer’s walk, moving it around your body and side core drills.
- Glutes: gluteal activation is key to protect your lower back when riding. Practise: kickbacks, squats and banded side opening.
- Quadriceps: gently activate your quadriceps for a few seconds without putting too much stress on them, as we show you in this exercise:
- Hamstrings: practise this simple exercises preventing your hip from twisting
Goal #3: Competition
Safe 20 minutes before racing to do the most thorough warm-up possible. Practice the full sequence that you find at the end of this article.
If there went more than 30 minutes from the warm-up to the actual time you are able to grab the bike, you should do a 5 minute warm-up refresh before racing, otherwise you body might have gone cold from waiting.
For this “warm-up refresh” we suggest:
- Re-activate forearms
- Re-activate shoulders and scapulas
- 5 jumping squats.
If you still think that doing a warm-up before riding is a waste of time…
We are going to be clear here: you are being very irresponsible, although we prefer to think you are just not well informed! Anyways, we want to help you understand why you should change your mind about warming up before riding:
To warm-up your body before riding or racing works for three things:
- “Greasing” your joints, avoiding feeling stiff and riding with flow.
- Activating the muscles engaged when riding to avoid injuries, pulled muscles and cramps.
- Raise your heart rate and have your “cardiovascular engine” ready for the physical effort of the bike.
You don’t warm-up? Then you are at a higher risk of crashing or falling
If we’re talking about just riding…
If when riding you waste the first minutes in waking up from its mental doze or from taking your mind off your problems… Well, you are taking a big risk here.
Because during these first moments on the bike, you are exposing yourself to an evitable crash or to a bad move that leads to an injury because you didn’t have enough speed reaction.
The dirty bike is potentially dangerous from the very beginning, and obstacles won’t wait until you are ready to appear. Sometimes, it can literally be vital for you to grab the bike fully focused.
But if we’re talking racing and competing…
If when you begin a race you dedicate the first moments to waking your mind up from its mental doze or from taking your mind off your problems… Well, you are throwing away the most important moment of an Enduro or Motocross race, which is the first seconds.
Or you don’t know yet that the first seconds are 50% of your race results? If you are not fully focused during those first moments or a race, your results will definitely be unsatisfying.
Because your performance depends 50% on your concentration.
Full series of exercises to warm-up before riding or racing for Enduro or Motocross
This is our recommended series for any riding or racing day and which we recommend to all the riders that are conditioning their physiques for the dirty bike with us at Powering Offroad:
- Joint mobility.
- Plank with straight arms. Separate your scapulas and bring them back together several times to activate them as well [x10 reps]
- Squats. Engage and activate glutes and quadriceps. Don’t do them fast, but keeping the right form [x8-10 reps]
- Squats with raised arms. If you cannot bring both arms up at the same time, raise one and then the other [x5 reps]
- Tie an elastic band to your van or a tree and mobilize shoulders by slowly moving your arms. Keep your scapulas back, your shoulders down and engage your core [x10 reps]
- Squat + arm pull with handlebar [x15 reps]
- Forearm activation. Grab the handlebar, do gentle twists with your wrist, first 10 up and then 10 down.
- Use Powerfingers (finger resistance band) while stretching your anterior fascia.
- Single leg deadlift grabbing the handlebar [x10 reps/leg]
- On the bike (stopped): practice some basic technique and key moves for 1 minute.
- Juggling on a single leg to activate your focus and your balance for 15sec on each leg. Use whatever you find around like some tangerines, empty water bottles or tennis balls, for instance.
- Play the hand slap game with a friend for a couple of minutes to activate your speed reaction.
- Aerobic sequence to increase your heart rate and finish waking up your body and mind: Skipping 15″ + Jumping Jacks 15″ + 5 Burpees
- Finally, grab the bike and begin rolling slowly: turns, jumps, wheelies, brakings… For 5 to 10 minutes.
And if you are looking for a Trial version, check out the warm-up sequence we published in the TrialWorld Magazine.
Now it’s your turn…
So you are now fully ready to ride or race! If you want to be the most prepared of your moto buds and beat them at every race… Don’t share this post with them! But if you are a good friend and want to help them avoid getting injured, the best thing you can do is send them this link and do together the next warm-up before riding or racing 🙂