Motocross, as a physical sport, requires the athlete to be competent in balance, strength, and flexibility. While riding a motocross bike will certainly allow you to gain some of these attributes, it is also important to supplement your riding with other beneficial training activities, such as yoga.
Practicing yoga leads to a strong and necessary foundation within flexibility needs in the sport of motocross. With a wide range of techniques and positions, anyone can participate in yoga and accomplish a noticeable progression in flexibility.
With great adventure comes great responsibility. If you want to have the greatest bike rides of your life, maintaining looseness and flexibility is a must. Getting on, going hard, and getting off will get momentously easier with the help of this increasingly popular additive. Keep reading to learn more about how yoga can help you in your motocross adventures.
Why is Flexibility Important in Motocross?
During both easy-going and strenuous rides, pressure is put on the rider in various areas of the body. This stress can lead to a less enjoyable experience for the rider as it builds up and creates cramping or other uncomfortable and even painful feelings. Likewise, the stress endured can even lead to injuries, both in the moment and after the ride has ended. These injuries pose a major safety hazard and can lead a rider into a dangerous situation of falling off the bike while in motion, breaking a bone, or needing to refrain from physical activity to recover.
Sufficient flexibility will help your body absorb the shocks that are often felt while on a motocross bike. Instead of potentially experiencing a sharp jarring jolt, the rider’s body could flow better with the motion and give bones, ligaments and tendons help in reacting to the movement. This is crucial in the health of your body, as hard landings and sharp turns are a regular event in motocross sports. For the sake of healthy longevity, increasing flexibility is a highly worthwhile endeavor that will pay dividends in the quality of your rides and in recovery time.
What Makes Yoga So Special?
When people think of yoga, they often think of expertly performed poses, backbends, and toe-touching to the extreme. While these examples are certainly yoga and can be a wonderful practice, yoga is also specific, and simple, stretches and strength training that helps your body re-align. This is the beauty of this spiritual and physical science, anyone and everyone can participate and grow.
Yoga combines a physical push to improve flexibility, strength, and balance with a spiritual endeavor to be connected to your body. Often, mindfulness is encouraged while participating in yoga sessions, allowing you to feel and connect with your body through the movements. The benefits of this can include knowing your body inside and out and knowing how it moves, which will allow you to perform motocross skills to a higher degree of quality.
How Can Yoga Help Improve My Flexibility?
Prior to any flexibility training, your body is likely restrained to a limited range of movements and hurts if pushed beyond those movements. This is because our muscles atrophy and our ligaments and joints settle into position as a result of lack of movement. That natural flexibility that everyone is born with slowly deteriorates as we age, becoming increasingly problematic the older we are. This is especially worrisome for those who don’t stretch but are involved in sports. Yoga then comes into play as an answer to the problem.
The specific movements and stretches promoted in yoga help stretch muscles in ways that other physical practices often neglect. Not only are you often stretching in ways not previously thought of, but you are also holding the pose for a length of time to help enhance this flexibility. There is not an immediate bounce back within yoga, allowing your body to achieve optimum stretching and then slowly regaining a normal pose. Giving greater elasticity to your ligaments, muscles and tendons with this method helps your body in more ways than you could ever imagine, but especially helps with the pounding that is often experienced within motocross.
Yoga Poses for Motocross Riders
Finding the right poses for your specific needs is paramount to getting the most out of yoga. Listed are some great poses and stretches for any yogi practice, from the beginner to the experienced:
Downward Facing Dog: Keeping your feet flat on the ground about a foot apart, bend forward and place your hands flat on the ground in front of you, keeping your arms and legs straight and your eyes looking toward your feet. This is also known as triangle pose as your body create a large triangle from the side. Keep your hips as high as possible. (Stretches the hamstring and muscles in the calves)
Half Moon Pose: Keeping one foot on the ground, lean toward the foot while lifting the other leg to be perpendicular. Reach your arms out full length, reach the ground with your fingertips, while looking toward the sky. (Stretches the ankles and improves balance)
Reclined Hand to Big Toe Pose: Laying flat on your back, pull one leg up while keeping it straight. Bring the leg to hip level. If you have an exercise band, you can wrap this around the leg and gently pull. (Stretched hips, thighs, hamstrings and calves)
Eye of the Needle Pose: Laying flat on your back, bend your knees and put your feet about a foot away from your bottom. Lift one leg and lay the outside portion of your foot on the opposite knee. You can then lift the leg that is still down, keep the same position but pulling toward your chest. (Stretches hips, lower back and hamstrings)
Garland Pose: With many variations, it’s best to start with keeping your feet on the ground and rounding your back almost into the fetal position. Leaning forward, bring your arms between your knees and reach your hands behind your ankles. (Stretched thighs, groin, hips, ankles and torso)
Crescent Lunge: With one foot flat on the ground and your knee at a 90 degree angle, bring the other leg back behind you, stretched as far as possible with the front of the foot laying flat on the ground. Bring your arms straight above your head and lean back as far as comfortable. (Stretched the hips, legs and groin)
Pyramid Pose: Standing, move one foot about 2 feet in front of the other, keeping both feet flat on the ground. Leaving both legs straight, bend forward toward the front leg, looking at that front leg as you maneuver. (Stretches hips, shoulders, spinal column and hamstrings)
How Can I Add Yoga to my Fitness Routine?
The fitness practice of yoga has proven to be a valuable additive to any other athletic pursuits. With the wide variety of types and levels available, yoga routines are easily begun with minimal beginner discomfort. Additionally, there is no excuse for not being able to take a class, as the popular nature of the practice has led to many online platforms, both free and paid for. Anyone can begin yoga, whether it be from the comfort of home, from the motivational space of a yoga studio, or from a local gym.
Final Thoughts On Why Yoga is Good for Motocross
Regardless of your current skill level in motocross, you will experience benefits from adding yoga to your routine. The increased flexibility and strength will add peace of mind that you haven’t yet had the chance to experience, while also giving your body leeway to make mistakes and recover quickly. Yoga will push you to levels of balance, flexibility, and mindfulness that will reach far beyond the scope of the yoga mat. Start your yoga journey, increase your mind’s capability and your body’s flexibility, and reach that next stage in your motocross adventure.
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