Your body = your moto?

23 Aug

Let’s face it. We’re sport riders. We don’t ride to get a good view of the wild flowers growing in the hills. We don’t ride for the fresh air (although it is nice).

No, we ride for the rush. And when we chose our ride, we chose it for the superior qualities that make it able to push the laws of physics.

We want a bike that is powerful, torque filled, agile, light and balanced.

Your moto requires a rider that is both mobile and stable at the right times and places.

And those are all fair qualities to desire in a bike. But would these qualities would be even better utilized if our own body had those traits?

Imagine if you were more flexible, yet stable; If you were strong, yet light weight; If you were powerful without being bulky. We could get a lot more out of the bike. And it’s very possible to develop these qualities. In addition, with mass centralized on the bike AND your body, the bike is more stable!

There really is no detriment to losing weight and getting stronger, more flexible and having more endurance. Again, you become the ultimate athlete.

So what could you do to make your body more like you’re ride? Take a look at what makes the bike better and that’s where you need to start.

First, take a look at your stability/mobility equation. A light and flickable bike is often a bit twitchy. Your goal is to improve mobility in the joints where it’s needed, and stability in the area’s where that is needed. One area that is commonly sore in most riders is the lower back region. This occurs for two reasons: First, the abdominal muscles are not very strong ISOMETRICALLY. Secondly the hips are tight. If they can’t move, the movement must come from the lower back.

Starting with lower back injuries, sit-ups will only cause more pain as the flexion of the spine puts pressure on the intervertebral discs by rounding the lower back. However, to get down and forward, it seems that we MUST round our lower back to get tucked. However, this isn’t a requirement. When the hips are mobile and have good range of motion, then we can flatten the lower back out and remove some of the back pain potential.

By rounding the lower back, the intervertebral discs as uneven pressure that can cause disc ruptures and herniation. A=anterior/front P=posterior/back

By increasing mobility of the bike you don’t have to fight the bike to turn. This is the same with your body. If you can improve mobility of the rider, then the rider isn’t fighting himself to get into position, to change position, and will in turn, reduce rider fatigue.

What exercises should you be doing to improve the mobility in the proper areas for the rider?

Key areas that can really prevent rider mobility are the hips and thoracic spine. Notice that these two regions are below and above the lumbar spine, respectively. We have a saying in physical therapy: the area of pain is often the victim, rarely the culprit. Instead because the hips are immobile and the upper back is immobile, the movement has to come from somewhere. And that is usually the lower back. Think about your motorcycle: if the bike fights the turn in, you either have to sacrifice speed or be prepared to really risk some serious damage.

Exercises to improve mobility of the hips are the deep lunges, sumo squat to hamstring, and pushup to pigeon exercise. 

These exercises all work to improve hip mobility which will make it much, much easier getting around on the bike and allow you to get the most out of your ride, on the street or the track. – TDF

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