I'll admit, I'm not that young. I've had my share of injuries playing roller derby, dislocated shoulders, torn muscle in my back, scar tissue in my glutes, but I seem to bounce back pretty fast. I've also had a few injuries from dirt biking: broken thumb, some weird knee pain that nags me most of the time, whiplash, but again, I seem to bounce back pretty quick.
I hate being injured, who wants that? It cuts into your seat time, you feel down in the dumps and if you are impatient like I am, well, waiting 6 weeks for a ligament injury to heal is agony. What can we all do to lessen our chances of injury - off seat training and stretching. It's inevitable that we will have an injury sooner or later, ripping through the woods at 20 miles per hour, those trees jumping out in front of you on the trail.
I'll write about the importance of stretching in another blog, but I spend a good 15 minutes after my workouts stretching everything. Stretching lengthens the muscle fibers, keeps them elastic, and flushes out the lactic acid that has accumulated during your workout. The times I am too lazy to stretch after a workout, well I tend to get stiff and sore and feel less mobile than an 80-year-old. Make stretching a priority.
As far as working out to help prevent injuries, strength training strengthens those muscles around your joints and helps protect the joints. Properly strengthening your core protects your back.
My question to you is: would you rather take the 30 minutes 3-5 days a week to get stronger to protect your joints and back and lessen injury recovery time, or spend the riding season on the couch watching dirt bike videos on You Tube while you recover and miss the season? Yes, it takes time to get into the habit, but it's well worth it! I haven't even mentioned how good you will look from working out and the benefits of losing weight.
Karl Tettmann, Co-Founder. Avid health and fitness coach who just loves to ride.