Off the Seat
This article comes to you from our friends at the Millsaps Training Facility. The Millsaps Training Facility or MTF as it is commonly known is one of the premier motocross training facilities in America. Owned and operated by Colleen Millsaps, MTF combines the latest in sport science technologies with over a decade of experience to offer complete motocross training programs for riders of all ages and abilities. MTF’s structured riding programs are under the direction of Colleen Millsaps and her riding programs have proven to be outstandingly successful. MTF is committed to assisting the rider in every aspect of their development. They also produce a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of rider tips and useful information. This article is one such contribution. - Virtual Trainer
One of the most important things about being an effective trainer and/or teacher is never believing that you already know it all. The sport of Motocross/Supercross is continually evolving. Bikes are getting faster, the weight and handling of the bikes are constantly changing, tracks are getting rougher and more demanding and the riders need to be stronger as they are going top speeds at a much younger age. We as trainers need to be paying attention and looking for the not so obvious to help our riders get an edge on the competition and even more importantly stay healthier than the competition.
For several years, we have been trying to encourage our riders to be off the seat and on their feet more and more. There are many reasons to consider making this choice in many areas of the track. Most obviously, It allows your weight to be more evenly distributed over the bike, keeping the center of balance in the correct place for the rider. When the bike is riding lighter, and more balanced, it does not tend to react as aggressively to bumps and obstacles on the track and allows the suspension to work much more efficiently.
Standing up also encourages you to stay on the power longer, if not the entire section, as most riders shut off just before they sit and then back on the power. It's a bit tricky at first, learning to trust keeping power to the rear wheel the entire time, but once you understand and feel the value in it, you will see why you need to incorporate this into your racing. You will soon find that you can stay on the power longer, at lower RPM's and actually go faster. Very cool!
Another reason to encourage riders to adopt this style is the guarantee that there will be less knee and ankle injuries. We have seen a spike in these specific injuries as the bikes get faster and ruts get deeper.
Getting your lower back in shape for more standing takes time but it happens pretty quickly for the riders who have a pretty good base to start. Getting through the first few weeks of standing up more is tough, but well worth it in the end.
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It is also fun to check out some of the best guys in the world using this technique on different tracks in different conditions. Jeffrey Herlings is a great one to watch as he has mazing balance! Marvin Musquin and even Eli Tomac are good to pay attention to as well.
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.