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Cold Weather Tip: Proper Warm-up

by Sean Casey

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With a proper warm-up and some warm gear, riding in the winter can actually be a lot of fun.

This past week’s weather has been pretty crazy for us Floridians. For a few consecutive days, it did not get out of the 50’s and at night we had low 30’s. I am not used to this weather and it kind of caught me off guard. Whenever I would try to work out, I found that I had to take more time than usual to get warmed up. No longer could I just do a few light sets or walk on the treadmill for a few minutes, but instead I had to take much more time to feel I was ready to start.

If you have ever seen the Discovery Channel when they follow any kind of predator, the animal always stretches immediately after waking up. He stretches his whole body, readying himself for the intensity of the hunt. Kind of sounds like riding doesn’t it? Moto is a whole body stressor and requires you to prepare prior to “hunting.” Going out onto the track cold limits your range of motion in your joints which puts you at risk for both strains and sprains.

Doing some sort of light calisthenics gets the blood flowing and pumps oxygen through your muscles. As you do these light movements, you actually raise your body temperature. Even simple movements like jumping jacks, pushups, and squats can be sufficient. Once, you get your heart rate up, you can then perform static stretching.  Bouncing while you stretch can actually lead to minor strains in both warm and cold weather, so no bouncing!

Now that the temperatures are dropping, this is even more important. Injuring yourself because you didn’t stretch and warm up is the worst feeling because it is something you can easily prevent. To recap, do some light movements to get the heart rate up and blood flowing. Then you can start to stretch. As always, make sure you take a parade lap in your first moto. Better safe than sorry.

About the Author:
Sean Casey has been riding/racing since the age of 13. Now attending the University of Central Florida, Sean is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine in Personal Training and studying Sport and Exercise Science. His site, MxTrainingBlog, covers everything from nutrition and training to racing mentality and riding technique. If you have any questions, comments, or just want to talk moto, contact Sean via email, Twitter, Facebook, or his website -

That's it for now, until next time, good luck with your training and remember, if you have a question, log on to the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum and have your question answered by a panel of experts. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section. Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness. VT Signature

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