From Dakar riders to rally noobs, there is one thing everyone agrees on: fitness. If you’re preparing for a rally, hitting the gym is a must. And even if you aren’t planning to race, being fit can really improve your everyday riding.
According to fitness trainer Erika Hurst who focuses on motorcycle riders, “having a base of strength better allows our muscles, joints, tendons and ligaments to take a beating when we ride, which significantly lowers our injury risk”.
Here’s what most rally riders and trainers recommend for rally prep and what would also work to improve your overall condition and make those gnarly off-road rides easier.
Strength training is hands down one of the most recommended workout regimes among riders. Lifting weights (or if you’re on the road, getting creative with resistance bands) can significantly increase your muscle strength, make your body more resilient, and give your metabolism a boost. With strength training, it will be a lot easier to pick up your bike, stand up on the pegs for hours and power through when the terrain gets difficult.
From Dakar malle moto winner Edwin Straver to your regular weekend warrior, mountain biking is a must if you want to improve your balance and endurance. Think enduro riding is hard? Try doing it on a bicycle! Mountain biking is great for stamina, overall fitness, and your equilibrium.
Motocross comes highly recommended for both rally prep and everyday off-road riding, because much like mountain biking, it builds endurance and keeps your skills sharp. Getting a small motocross bike and hitting the trails can be a huge boost both physically and in terms of your riding. Do laps on a motocross track, practice jumps, get over logs – all of this will improve your riding skills, your focus, and your ability to keep going even when it seems impossible.