Maintaining good flexibility usually indicates that there are no adhesions or abnormalities present in or around the joints and there are no serious muscular limitations. This allows the body to move freely and easily through the full range of motion, without any unnecessary restrictions in the joint, ligaments or muscles. Therefore, when crashing, which is inevitable, the joints are permitted a greater freedom of movement in all directions, and the ligaments and muscles are not so easily strained or torn.
Increasing flexibility is as simple as practicing proper warm-up exercises, such as a dynamic warm-up, as well as cool-down exercises, including jogging, static stretching and the use of a foam roller.
Warming up before a moto involves a general warm-up and warming specific body areas of the demands of the sport. Before performing any stretches it is important to increase core temperature by jogging or riding a bicycle. After a general warm-up, stretching the muscles to be used is important to help increase flexibility.
There are two types of stretching: static and dynamic. Most of you have probably only performed static stretching prior to any type of activity. Static stretching is performed while stationary, passively stretching an antagonist muscle while holding for 20–30 seconds. Recent research has shown that dynamic stretching prior to physical activity increases flexibility more than static stretching.
Dynamic stretching, which I use prior to riding, is stretching the muscles through movement. Dynamic stretching also helps to elevate the heart rate and body temperature and prepare the body for improved physical performance. Here is an example of some warm-up exercises we use before going out to practice or race.
General Warm-up: Ride a bicycle/jog for 5–10 minutes.
Dynamic Warm-up Exercises: Hold each exercise for 2–4 seconds and perform a total of 20–25 reps of each exercise
Glute Stretch: While standing on one leg, keeping your shoulders facing forward and your back straight, use your hands to pull your free leg towards your chest. You should feel the stretch in your glutes and lower back. Jog a few steps and repeat with opposite leg &nb sp;
Quadricep Stretch: While standing on one leg, keeping your shoulders facing forward and your back straight, reach behind your body with your opposite arm to foot and pull foot towards your bottom. You should feel this stretch the length of the front of your thigh. Jog a few steps and repeat with opposite hand and foot.
Hamstring Stretch: Standing with your feet a shoulder-width apart, keeping your back straight, bend over and reach to touch your toes. Try to keep your legs as straight as possible. Stand up, jog a few steps and repeat.
Dynamic Side Lunges: Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, slowly lunge to the right side. Keep your shoulders and head facing forward and your upper body upright. Slowly move from left to right side lunge.
Lying Shoulder Rotations: Lie on your side with your arm against your body and bent 90 degrees at the elbow. Begin with your thumb pointing like a hitchhiker towards the floor and rotate your shoulder until your thumb is pointing behind you. Rotate back to beginning position.
Fly-Swatters: Start with your right arm up and bent behind your head as if to touch the middle of your back and your leftarm down and behind your back to reach the same spot. Continuously switch positions of your arms as if trying to swat a fly.
Shoulder Blade Retractions: Starting with your arms out in front of you at 90 degrees, slowly bend your elbows to 90 degrees while retracting your shoulder blades as if trying to hold a ping pong ball between your shoulder blades. Return to start position and repeat.
After riding or exercising, it is important to perform a proper cool-down to decrease muscle soreness. Hop on a bicycle or jog for 5–10 minutes at a low heart rate, then perform static stretches stretching your glutes, quads, hamstrings, as well as your upper body. Static stretching is more important in the cool-down phase to decrease the blood and muscle lactic acid levels that causes muscle soreness.