Goodness I hope you aren’t doing this…

5 Feb

 

As motorcycle road racers, we know that hanging off the bike is essential to enjoying the sport, being quick around the track and most importantly being safe.

We know we are supposed to use the outer leg to “lock in” to the fuel tank. But how do we train the muscles that we use to lock in? Being that the primary movement is to squeeze your leg into the tank, the quick answer would be to use the hip adductor machine.

lvseatedhipadductionBut do you really want to be the guy doing this? –>

There are many different methods we can use to train the inner thigh muscles that are:

  • Less embarrassing
  • More functional
  • More specific
  • Did I mention less embarrassing?

The first thing to consider is the posture that we are in when riding: knees bent, hips flexed, toes pulled up towards the shins. The video above is doing none of those.

Below are 3 different strategies on how to train these muscles. After all, as much as it feels useless to train these muscles, they are very important.

The first thing we need to do is to stretch these bad boys and get some new range of motion (ROM) out of them.

The most effective way to do this is through the deep lunge.

The deep lunge is done by beginning in a pushup position. Then you’re going to bring the right leg up until your foot is flat on the ground outside of your right hand. Very important: keep the right foot flat. If you let the heel lift, you’re going to feel a lot of discomfort in the right knee cap.

For many people, this may be enough to feel a stretch in the inner thigh. In fact, some people may want to put their hands on a workout bench to limit how far they lower their hips.

You’re going to hold this position for 5-seconds, then return the right leg to the pushup position and repeat on the left side. This exercise will allow you to do some pretty amazing things that require reaching the inside knee out toward the tarmac.

Now to strengthen this muscle, there are a few exercises that can be done.

balance2

Tall kneeling position on a stability ball. To make it even more challenging, move your knees wider to add more control.

The first is to use a stability ball and try to stabilize on it on all fours, progressing to an upright position from your knees. Doing this requires the inner thigh to not only contract, but to react to a changing surface, not unlike a motorcycle chassis flexing while leaned over. This is crucial because being able to quickly turn a muscle on, off and regulate force can improve cornering! Try to hold in the up position for 30-seconds. Once you can do for 30-seconds, try it with your eyes closed to improve proprioceptive feedback!

The second exercise we can do also requires a stability ball. Begin from a push-up position with your feet up on the ball. Roll the ball side to side using your lower body. This is an abdominal and inner thigh exercise that will greatly benefit us on the bike.  I call this Stability Ball Hip Swivels and it’s a pretty good inner thigh exercise on top of a killer abdominal exercise, both are great benefits for riders! For the Hip Swivels, aim for 2-3 sets of 15-20 reps per side. To make it more challenging, have your hands forward from your shoulders rather than directly under your shoulders.

Throw these two exercises into your next workout and see how you feel. Again, the inner thigh/adductor muscles provide more stability than they get credit for. Let’s not be silly in how we train them, but let’s not ignore them.

 

 

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4 Responses to “Goodness I hope you aren’t doing this…”

  1. Matt February 19, 2016 at 5:00 pm #

    I’m all bout that embarrassing hip abductor. Ladies love watching me 🙂

    Like

    • grandprixfitness February 19, 2016 at 8:52 pm #

      LOL! Just be sure to close your eyes and breath really hard so they know what they’re missing! And set up some extra chairs around so they can get a good view of the show.

      Like

  2. Matt February 23, 2016 at 11:49 pm #

    Joking aside, I think the importance though for me is to vary the exercises and not just rely on machines. Building stabilizer muscles is very important so your strength doesn’t become so ridged. I think this is the main reason I decided to pick up Pilates.

    Like

    • grandprixfitness March 16, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

      I completely agree with your notion that stabilization is of great importance. There isn’t a lot of movement when on the bike: you lock into position through a corner and hold it. Those sweepers can take 3-6 seconds to get through, depending on the corner. This is where yoga and Pilates can make help people make huge leaps: hold a posture for an extended period of time, challenge the shoulder, low back and hip stabilizers while breathing. That’s tough! I’m a big fan of yoga for that very reason.

      Like

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