Marvin Musquin is driving alone on the Red Bull KTM USA. His teammate Trey Canard announced his retirement from motocross at the age of 26 because of the injuries he suffered as a result of racing and because he was not able to maintain the physical level required to race competitively. He made his announcement public after Ryan Dungey, 27, also announced his retirement in May. After 11 years of competition and championships, he left competition as winner of the AMS 450SX. They have not been the only retirees, Ryan Villopoto and Jake Nicholls are two racing drivers who also recently hung up their helmets after suffering physical injuries.
The competitive life of a motorcycle rider lasts just over a decade, sometimes more if they are lucky. They start racing as teenagers and start competitively racing at about 15 or 16 years old, like the Spaniard Jorge Prado. But not only track injuries can shorten their professional career. Some training regimens for riders can be physically detrimental if they are not balanced with the correct physical routine.
At The Bamboo Body we can analyze factors and consequences to take into consideration so as not to punish the body during competition, and to alleviate it to avoid future damages through adequate physical preparation. As you can read in this interview, knowledge of movement can be applied to any discipline.
Motocross posture and muscle shortening
Posture on the bike is the basis of a good driving. Despite this, position also influences the wearout of the tissues of the body that we suffer on the motorcycle and, consequently, the risk of future injuries. As Todo Circuito explains, in road racing competitions, for example, "the participants adopt a very compact position, with significant flexion of the knees, hips, lower back, shoulders and elbows, and a significant extension of the neck. This gives the rider a more aerodynamic position on the bike, but it leads to significant muscle shortening (or fascial retraction) on the aforementioned joints, as well as a less optimal position to withstand the vibrations of the vehicle, especially in the spine."
Muscle shortening is a complex process in which the mobility of the fascias (muscle fiber protector) is lost or reduced. That increases the risk of breakage, decreases sports performance, causes pain over time and, in general, worsens health.
It should be said that the position of the riders is not the same in all modalities. During road racing competitions, the rider sits with different degrees of articulation, changing the flexion of the legs, hips and back according to the type and model of the motorcycle. This allows us to see how riders compact themselves to become more aerodynamically positioned on the motorbike, using the muscles of their arms and legs to control their position on the bike, rather than sitting on the seat. Whatever the position, the competitor physically suffers due to the strength that is required to handle the motorcycle and the challenges of the track. The longer the rider remains in these difficult positions, the more injuries they can suffer.
Movement is a good way to loosen a rigid body and fortify it. This is a concept that defines The Bamboo Body with its multidisciplinary classes. The stance, the effort needed to control the bike and the weight of the equipment have an impact on the muscle- sceletal systems, which facilitates injuries and breakages in the event of an accident, or during a poorly performed maneuvre. To avoid these bruises, sprains and lesions, it is important to train and condition the nervous system and adapt the soft tissues of the body to the specific load required of that sport. Anna, one of the teachers at The Bamboo Body, is an expert on this. In fact, after preparing several international motorcycle riders, she still helps to improve the skills of professional and amateur riders on the bike.
The key lies in the adaptation of the body. The connective tissue and the nervous system must be developed in a specific way in order to be able to withstand the extreme loads of motor sports, as well as to improve the kinesthetic intelligence so that the body is prepared to react effectively to the chaotic situations that arise on the track. As Anna explains: "Developing motor skills and working the areas that suffer most during competition, will balance the over-exertion that the rider experiences during the race". This process can be complimented with the work of the masseurs and physiotherapists. At The Bamboo Body, we take into consideration the opinion and advice of other professionals. That is why we work with them hand-in-hand to guide athletes to improve their physical abilities through movement, with total safety and always with positive results.