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Getting ready to race: train like MotoGP champions

We can try to build a workout that can be performed  even at home, simulating what the champions do. Specific exercises that respect the pro rider's requests, but which can also be carried out within the home, with the use of very little equipment or in any case easy to find
It’s exciting to see MotoGP riders’ race at more than 300 km/h, to brake as late as possible before a turn, struggle to improve their position. This requires riders to train as if their bikes were a natural extension of their bodies.  We can be sure, it’s not just skill, the modern driver at this level is a real athlete.
The best performance in MotoGP certainly cannot be separated from the motorbike technological competitiveness, from its precise settings, from the weather conditions adaptability or from tyre wear. But the human factor, the rider, that mix of technical, physical and psycho-emotional performance, it’s him that often makes the difference.

The athletic preparation of the MotoGP rider

Professional drivers don’t leave anything to chance and to get ready to race they are constantly followed by a staff of experts, who support them in defining their training and nutrition programs, but also to provide all those indications that can help them recover from a long journey or to know how to manage stressful situations, in the best way.
Every detail can make a difference, you can win or lose by minimal fractions of a second, you must be ready to get the winning overtaking, even at the last turn.

Characteristic of a driver

The driver-athlete has well-defined characteristics:

  • an excellent body composition, not to carry unnecessary weight on the motorbike;
  • good qualities of dynamic and isometric strength, with a marked ability to recover stability, this helps to control the motorbike in variable situations;
  • joint flexibility, to be able to easily change position on the motorbike, such as when cornering;
  • an excellent cardiovascular condition, which facilitates the recovery of overall fatigue, in regard to the metabolic and emotional aspects induced by the race, but also from the tests of the days before.

Training at home like professional riders

For all those who are passionate about speed motorbiking, the indications we have listed can help to select exercises more or less suitable for this discipline and making an additional effort, in this lockdown period. We can try to build a workout that can be performed even at home, simulating what the champions do. Specific exercises that respect the pro rider's requests, but which can also be carried out within the home, with the use of very little equipment or in any case easy to find.

In the following images you will see Ducati rider Andrea Dovizioso at work, he has been for the last three seasons runner-up in the Moto GP world championship.

Time needed: 35-40 '
Equipment required: Pair of 8/10 kg dumbbells, 10/12 kg kettlebell, Fitball, Mat. Select weights that allows a correct execution, by any chance.

Warm Up
10 ' Marching on-site with extended arms, alternating every 10 " dynamic stretching exercises such as:

  • high kicks
  • knee to chest
  • lunge with a twist
  • single leg deadlift
  • bent knee lateral swing
  • opposite knee pull

Tip: it is possible to increase the intensity of the warmup, by replacing the march with a run, or with jumping jacks, always on the spot.

1. Raider Plank

Put one knee bent at 90 ° on a box placed sideways, taking the other knee off the ground by a few centimeters.
Hold for 3” and switch side.
Perform 4 sets for 8 repetitions any side.
At the end of each set 90” rest.

At Home: If you don't have Plyo Boxes and dumbbells available to simulate this position, the exercise can be done by placing two chairs sideways and the hands can stay on the ground. It is important to be able to raise the knee off the ground maintaining a good body line;

2. Quadruped Row on Bench

Stabilize the position very well, trying to dissociate the pulling action.
Work in a slow and controlled way.
Perform 4 sets of 10-12 repetitions each side with a suitable load.
60” rest between the sets.

At Home: If you don’t have a stable and resistant bench to support the performer weight and load used, you can try it alternatively on a surface like a sofa, a bed, or on the floor with a carpet or a mat. If you don't have a heavy dumbbell or kettlebell increase the number of repetitions up to a maximum of 20.

3. Side Lunge with Kettlebell Lift

The weight is placed on the ground and is only partially lifted off. The exercise involves the whole body requiring coordination, strength and stabilization skills.
Perform 4 sets of 8-10 repetitions with a suitable load, alternating the sides of the body.
60” rest at the end of each set.

At Home: If you don't have a dumbbell or a kettlebell heavy enough, you can perform the exercise more dynamically, starting with a lateral gallop before the side lunge and trying to touch the ground with your hand.

4. Fitball Twist

The exercise is usually performed with the hands on the ground in a prone position, feet are settled on the fitball, knees and hips flexed. The execution is to rotate the hips to the right and to the left, keeping the legs on the ball and without losing balance. In this photo we can see Andrea performing his evolution - very difficult! - on two fitballs simultaneously.

Perform 4 sets for 8 repetitions each side.
90” rest at the end of each set.

At Home: If you don't have a fitball, you can perform the exercise leaving your hands on the ground and putting your feet, with knees and hips flexed on a sofa, or on a stable armchair. Remember to protect your wrists, by placing your hands on a carpet or a rolled-up towel or a mat, being careful not to slip.

Cool Down
At the end of the session, to get loose, perform 5 'of active joint mobilization, trying to decrease the tensions accumulated during training.

The exercises presented clearly demonstrate how the whole body is always engaged, with a large component of strength and stabilization. The precision required during any execution is very important during the whole workout, even when fatigue takes over. Making mistakes is not allowed, just like in the race.

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