Yogi Motorcyclists: Four Workouts to Boost Your Confidence & Safety
Motorcycling is just like any other sport. In addition to learning about gears, balance and the technical aspects of the bike, there is a strong need for physical training, because it involves the risk of physical injuries, as in any sport. Motorcycling demands physical fitness, because the more physically fit you are, the better will you fare in the sport and on the road.
The basic facts to know before finding the best workouts as a yogi motorcyclist is to know the muscles or the parts of the body which come in contact with the bike, because obviously, those parts are used to balance and perform stunts. The parts of the body which are important while motorcycling are the lower body (the hips, thighs, feet) and your hands. So, working out targeting these body parts will help you to be fit for riding and taking care of possible motorcycle pain…an unwelcome guest for any motorcycle ride. So, here are Four Workouts for Yogi Motorcyclists to Boost Your Confidence and Safety.
#1 Strengthening Your Core
Strengthening your core means strengthening your very foundation of biking. Through this, you will improve your flexibility and overall biking because your core is most employed while riding for long periods of time. If your core is the chassis, without a strong frame even the best engine and suspension is useless. Some of the yoga asanas to strengthen your core are plank pose, side plank, stretch pose, boat pose, chair pose, crow pose, dolphin pose and cat pose.
#2 Cardio Fitness
This will improve your stamina. Cardio exercises can be anything- swimming, hiking, running or cycling – for about 30 to 45 minutes at a time. Increased stamina means fewer mistakes while riding. Yogis can find their cardio workout at a fast paced Vinyasa Flow, Buti Yoga, Power Yoga, Hot Yoga or even an Ecstatic Dance class.
#3 Lower Body
Seems obvious, right? You can work your lower body out with gym exercises like squats, dumbbell lunges, pull-ups and even push-ups. The most popular yoga poses for strengthening your legs are Downward-Facing Dog, Extending Side Angle Pose, Bridge Pose, Big Toe Pose, Garland Pose, and High Lunge. These will help strengthen and tone your lower body making it much easier to handle a heavy motorcycle.
#4 Improving Position
Optimize your riding position by observing and practicing. Observe the best bikers ride with their hips back and a flat back – without slouching. Good posture ensures that all your strength goes into controlling your bike. One of the first lessons a yogi learns in class is to keep your back straight, shoulders back, lower chin slightly and stretch the neck upwards. There are many poses a yogi rider can practice to improve their posture both on the mat and on the motorcycle. Try these asanas: Mountain Pose, Standing Forward Bend, Cat-Cow Stretch, Eagle Pose, Tree Pose and Cobra Pose.
All In One Exercises
Yes!! You read it right! Here are a few all-in-one exercises if you don’t have time to do separate workouts. Make sure you are in comfortable fitness apparel before you begin.
#1 Back Squat
Place a barbell across the muscles of the upper back. Descend into squatting position with your torso straight. The hip crease should break parallel. Then, return to standing position. This is the primary strength builder for the hips, quadriceps and lumbar-spinal erectors.
This also helps to strengthen the legs so that one could apply more force while moving across the pegs faster, absorbing bigger bumps, or pushing the bike in neutral gear in addition to maintaining a stable back position.
You should: Start with lighter weights and gradually increase weight.
You shouldn’t: Round your back or let your knees come too inward during raising.
#2 Dumbbell Lunge
Hold 20lb dumbbells in your hands. Stand upright, put one of your legs to the front and stretch as far as you can. Now bend your leg which is behind until it almost touches the ground. Then stretch your front leg to come back to standing position. Repeat the same procedure with the opposite leg. This will help you balance better when carrying a lot of weight or balancing your motorcycle.
Though this seems to be very simple, this seriously tests your stamina and balance and improves both.
You should: Ensure your front and back feet point straight.
You shouldn’t: Let your knee touch the ground.
#3 Back Bridge Pose
Lie on your back and bring your feet near to your body on the ground so your shins are perpendicular to the floor. Lift your toes and dig your heels into the floor. Lift your hips off the ground and hold your hips about 6 inches off the ground (you can go higher if your body comfortably allows) and return to the floor. Doing this exercise regularly is also an effective remedy for lower back pain.
You should: Squeeze your hips.
You shouldn’t: Relax between repetitions.
#4 Wrist and Feet Exercise
Hands and feet are extremely important in biking, as well as, yoga. You can improve the flexibility of your wrists and your feet with few simple exercises.
Exercise for your wrists
Stretch out your hand and rotate your wrist clockwise for about 5 to 10 rotations. Change the rotation direction to anti-clockwise for the same number of rotations.
Exercise for your feet
The exercise is similar for feet. Stretch out your legs and rotate your feet in the clockwise direction for about 5 to 10 rotations. Change the direction of rotation for the same number of rotations.
So, these were few tips on the workouts for yogi motorcyclists who choose healthy living and want to better their riding performance. Perform these workouts on a routine basis and you will notice a different in your travels and in your yoga practice.
Jessica is a traveller by heart. Along with frequently penning down her thoughts related to the travel experiences, she is an avid biker and an expert reviewer of motorcycle adventure products.