How to NOT be Dani Pedrosa during your trackday…

10 Apr

It was recently announced that Dani Pedrosa would not be racing for the next 3 rounds due to fascial release surgery to cure arm pump. Too bad Casey Stoner won’t be replacing him. But that’s a different story.

First a quick review of what fascia is. Think of it like the casing around a sausage link. The muscle is the meat. If the fascia is restricted, the muscle cannot expand or stretch. Throw in something like arm pump and the lack of fascial extensibility can essentially “choke” nerves that run through the forearm and cause tingling, numbness and overall poor performance.

In my personal opinion, having worked in physiotherapy for 8-years, this was a good call by Pedrosa. This certainly wasn’t going to get better over the course of the season.

But how can you work to prevent this from happening to yourself? Massage Therapy.

The best thing you can do for yourself is some type of myofascial release using a foam roller or massage stick.

For most people, muscles around the hips and ankles get very tight. Using massage therapy for these can be very beneficial as long as it’s done consistently. Kind of like brushing your teeth.

If you only do it before seeing the dentist, he’ll know. You can’t lie on this one.

How will foam rolling improve your fitness for trackdays? First off, being able to move around on the bike is crucial. Tight muscles make moving around more work than it needs to be on the moto. Additionally, as we’ve seen with Dani Pedrosa, myofascial tightness can make riding fast a challenge: legs get tight, forearms pumUse a foam roller to improve mobility of the hips and get rid of restrictions and back pain.p, shoulders tense. All can be minimized with proper fascial health.

How do we maintain fascial health? Foam roll the glutes, foam roll the calves. Spend about 60-seconds per side on each muscle group.

If you’d like a video “how to” on rolling the glutes, calves and quads, click on the links provided. Additionally you can see a simple way to perform myofascial release on your forearms here.

Myofascial release will keep muscles from feeling tight and impeding nerve function. When nerves are compressed, signals are delayed and muscles certainly don’t function as they should. By keeping the fascia healthy, movement comes easy and natural.

I’ll warn you though, myofascial therapy is quite uncomfortable. It probably won’t be the most comfortable thing you’ve ever done, but it sure is effective.

So let’s prep for our track day and get ourselves in shape to really ride the wheels off the moto! I’ve read interviews and seen video of MotoGP and WSBK riders using A) a foam roller, B) a massage stick or ball C) a physiotherapist performing manual myofascial release techniques on them.

Give the foam rolling a try before you watch the motoGP race from Circuit of the America’s this weekend. Then roll a little afterwards as well! You’ll be a fitter rider for it! Leave a comment and let me know how the rolling went and any questions you have! I’d love to answer them.

Also, leave a comment on your podium finishers for the Austin race! I’ll go first!


2 Responses to “How to NOT be Dani Pedrosa during your trackday…”

  1. Rick January 8, 2016 at 4:57 pm #

    Can you make a video on the proper way to foam roll your shins? I suffer from what I think is shin splints. I will be making a Dr’s visit to see what the actual root cause of the pain and stiffness is coming from but for now, I need some relief from the symptom.


    • grandprixfitness January 8, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

      Hi Rick,

      Truth be told, most often the cause of shin splints is not the muscles of the shin but actually microfractures in the shin from tight calf muscles. So while one would think we should roll the shins, rolling the calves is a much more effective treatment. Here is a link to a video on how to roll the calves.

      Let me know how that works for you!


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