Race Preparation: Warm Up Your Body Before You Ride

A common mistake made by many athletes is not warming up their body properly to prepare for competition or practice. You warm up your bike before you ride, why not your body?

Whether you are racing, practicing, running, lifting weights, or engaging in some other form of high intensity exercise, it is important that you properly warm up your body to prepare for the stresses that you will place upon it. It is also advisable to incorporate a stretching routine into your race preparation.

Why warm-up and stretch? It prepares your body for the stress of exercise, whether aerobic or resistance training. Your muscles should be warm and your heart should be pumping a little before you ask your body to perform at a higher level.

Many trainers and coaches recommend that athletes perform a dynamic (movement) warm up in addition to a stretching routine to prepare for competition or a training session. I recommend that before you exercise or ride that you engage in at least 10 minutes of dynamic exercise that gets your muscles warm and your heart rate up.

What type of warm-up should you do? I would recommend any of the following exercises: Jog, bicycle, stationary bike, rowing machine, jump rope, bodyweight squats, pushups, or any other similar activity that gets your heart rate up and your muscles warm.

It would also benefit you to stretch your muscles after this warm-up. Injuries, such as pulled or strained muscles, are more likely to occur when your muscles are cold and not as flexible. You should stretch your muscles after you have warmed them up for several minutes. In fact, you should have a little sweat worked up by the time you start stretching.

Make sure that you take the time to stretch all parts of your body. You should ease into each stretch and hold for 15-20 seconds. Do not stretch to the point of pain. If a stretch starts to hurt, then back off a little. Also, if you suffer from arm pump, be sure to stretch your fingers, hands, wrists, and arms before you ride and between motos.

This type of routine should be done before every workout or riding session. It should also be done before and between motos. This is extremely important in preparing to ride, run, bike, lift weights, or any other form of high intensity exercise. Remember, preparing your body to perform at a high level is an important part of becoming a successful athlete and it will help you avoid injuries.