The sport of Motorcross demands huge amounts of physical strength, versatility, and endurance. But one of the worst things to deal with as a rider is the dreaded “arm pump.” This is where the blood fails to leave the forearm fast enough leaving them feeling like concrete blocks and no hand control, which has resulted in countless motorcross crashes over the years. This month, Coach Jamie gives us a series of exercises to improve muscular & core strength and endurance whilst improving grip and forearm strength to prevent ‘arm pump!’
A heavy farmer’s walk will quickly get your back, shoulders, and grip working whilst also putting your lungs into overdrive. The forearms, especially, will get an intense workout, which will, in turn, improve grip strength for motorcross riders. Coach Jamie says, “people are always looking for the latest social media exercise, but that tends to take them away from hard work, temporary pain, sweat, and calluses. When sometimes all they really need to do is get back to basics, you can’t under estimate the importance of grip strength and the ability to lift and carry heavy objects for health, everyday life”.
Start by standing in between 2 heavy dumbbells or kettlebells. Squat down keeping the back straight and place a firm grip around the handles.
Next drive through your heels and stand up, keeping your midline straight (think deadlift).
Once you are fully upright, begin to walk forward taking short quick steps over your given distance with your shoulders back and chest high, think tall spine.
BENT OVER ROW
Start with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart and then carefully deadlift the barbell into the hip
From there hinge your hips back and lean forward at the waist until the torso is appox at a 45 degree angle from the floor, whilst keeping your chest high, back straight and arms hanging straight down.
Next squeeze your shoulder blades together and pull the barbell upwards until it touches the sternum before lowering it back down to the starting position. Do not allow the torso to rise or dip throughout the move.
BENT OVER ROW WITH BAND GRIP
Coach Jamie says – “to really increase the grip strength on this movement you can wrap a towel or band around the end of the barbell with weights on, whilst the other end is on the floor. From there execute the movement whilst straddling the bar and gripping on to the band.”
Jump upwards with your arms extended, and grab the rope as high as you can. Then let the rope fall on the outside of your stronger leg and simply step on it using the opposite foot, this will then lock the rope in place and keep you secure.
Next reach up as high as you can with your hands, before raising your knees to your chest whilst locking the rope in place again with your feet. Then simply stand up tall and reach your hands further up the rope to gain height and repeat.
LEGLESS ROPE CLIMB
A progression to make the rope climb even harder would be an arms only movement without the use of your legs. Climbing without your legs is an extremely intense forearm, bicep and back workout and requires tremendous grip and core strength. Coach Jamie says – “when attempting any kind of rope climb to height, always ensure you have suitable padded matting below for obvious safety reasons.”
Stand underneath a bar and grab it with both of your hands in a pronated position (palms facing away) and in a shoulder width grip, with your arms fully extended, your core engaged and shoulders back.
Next squeeze the bar with your hands whilst engaging your core and think about pulling your elbows down to your sides as your entire body travels toward the bar. Resist the urge to strain your neck in an attempt to break the plane of the bar with your chin.
Continue to pull until your chin clears the bar, before lowering your body under control to the starting position.
Approach and grip the bar with a shoulder width double overhand grip and carefully deadlift the barbell into the receiving hip position.
From this position slightly bend the knees to reduce stress on the hamstring insertions behind the knee, and to increase range of motion in the exercise.
Next lower the bar down your legs by pushing your hips back as far as you can without bending you knees any further, whilst maintaining a neutral spine (straight back). The barbell should stay as close to the body as possible.
Once you feel a solid stretch in the hamstrings preventing you from going any further, drive the hips forward and carefully stand back up to the starting position whilst squeezing your glutes.