Introductory Strength Training for Motorcyclists


Category: How To

Accessory & Core

This section will be a quick overview of three of my favorite exercises for improved torso strength and stability. At all times we need to be able to control our body positioning, and a strong trunk is mandatory

Exercise: Hanging Leg Raise

This will work the abdominals and hip flexors. Find a dip rack or HLR straps and give these a go. Keeping your abs flexed, pull your knees to your chest, and then extend slowly back down to full extension. For bonus fun, bring your knees to the left, then right sides of your chest.

HLRs will make you crazy sore the next day your first time. Don’t be a hero on day one. Stick with three to five sets of six to 10 reps and go from there.

Do: Flex your abs.
Do: Pay attention to how your hips feel.

Don’t: Fall off the equipment.
Don’t: Do too many too soon.

Exercise: Supermans

Despite the improper plural, supermans are a great exercise for lumbar strength and stability. Lay flat on your stomach with arms and legs fully extended. Raise them both slowly using your back and hamstrings. Hold for a two count at the top and return to the floor.

These can be performed in sets three to five sets with 10 to 20 reps each or can be reps timed in 30 second intervals.

Do: Squeeze yourself up.
Do: Lots of these.

Don’t: Throw your legs and arms up too hard.
Don’t: Relax between reps.

Exercise: Oblique Raises

Grab a 30-50 lb weight in one hand and place your other hand on your hip. While remaining with a non-rounded back, drop the weight slowly to the side so that you are only bending your back in the lateral direction. Pull back up using your torso muscles.

Start off on the lighter side and get the hang of the movement before you go wild with the weight. The last thing you want to do is injure yourself doing these because your back wasn’t strong enough to support the weight. Hurting yourself doing these is the equivalent of falling and breaking your wrist by getting your boot caught in your tailbag while dismounting. Start these off with a three sets of 10, and gradually ramp up sets, reps, and weight as able.

Do: Feel that side stretch.
Do: Pull up with force.

Don’t: Round your back.
Don’t: Go too heavy too soon.

That’s how to gain more strength for riding. Now I want to know what other exercises you do to keep your back, legs and core strong to increase motorcycling stamina and ability.

ABOUT: Andrew Patton is a strength and conditioning coach with NCAA, NFL, MCLA, WCLA, and ACHA experience. Currently he is the head S&C coach for UC Berkeley MCLA lacrosse. He also has worked with a variety of private clients in the fields of powerlifting, distance running, professional golf, elite military fitness, and others. He personally trains under Jesse Burdick at CSA Dublin as a Powerlifter. Andrew can be contacted at his website He rides a CBR F4i and a DR-Z SM.

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