8 Strength-Training Exercises for Off-Road Racing
These eight exercises will give you an edge on the dirt, help keep your musculoskeletal system in balance, and help you take on the off-road world.
Aim to do two full-body strength-training workouts a week that are no longer than 45 to 50 minutes each.
Speed Ladder Drill #1 part 1
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Good footwork can help you navigate uneven surfaces and save you from a sprained ankle. Speed ladder drills will improve foot and eye awareness, and can be used as part of your warm-up. Start slowly and build to a quicker pace. First up: the lateral ladder drill.
Speed Ladder Drill #1 part 2
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Start at one end of the ladder and work your way down, moving laterally. Each foot should hit inside each of each box of the ladder.
Speed Ladder Drill #2
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Start at the end of the ladder, jump forward landing in the box with both of your feet; and then quickly jump out. Both feet need to land outside of the same box. Jump forward and repeat the same pattern. Remember, be light on your feet, just like you are when running. Do 2-3 minutes total.
Deadlift part 1
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Stand with a weighted bar above the center of your feet. Grab the bar with your hands and bend your knees until your shins are touching the bar. Lock your arms out straight, keeping your shoulder blades directly over the bar. Your back needs to be in good lumbar and thoracic extension.
Deadlift part 2
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Pull the barbell in a straight vertical line until you have fully extended your hips. Return to starting position. Do 3-5 sets, 3-5 reps each.
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Pick weights that feel heavy but manageable. You can aim for the same weight set-up as the deadlift. Take quick, short steps, keeping your back straight and your head up as you walk. Fifty to 100 feet is a perfect distance range. Do 4-5 sets
Kettlebell Chop Lunge part 1
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Start by standing tall and hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands in the rack position.
Kettlebell Chop Lunge part 2
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In one motion lunge forward on your right foot and at the same time twist your torso to the right, lowering the bell to your right hip. Step back and bring the bell back into the starting position. Make sure that the kettlebell is not too heavy and do not be sloppy with your chops. Do 3-4 sets, 5-8 reps on each side.
Pull-Ups part 1
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Grab the pull-up bar with either both palms facing the same way or one palm facing away from you and the other palm facing toward you.
Pull-Ups part 2
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Pull yourself up so that your chin clears the bar. Slowly return to the starting position and repeat. Focus on maintaining a tight core during the movement, and switch the position of your hands every few reps. Do 3-5 sets, 4-10 reps each.
Dumbbell Push Press part 1
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Stand while holding a pair of dumbbells just outside of your shoulders, with your arms bent and palms facing each other. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart.
Dumbbell Push Press part 2
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Slightly bend your knees and drive up explosively, extending your hips, while pressing the weights overhead. Lockout the elbows and return to the starting position. Do 3-5 sets, 5-8 reps each.
Jump Lunges part 1
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Start with your feet together in an athletic stance. Jump straight up as you drive your arms forward, elbows still bent. Land with one of your legs forward and the other leg behind you in a lunge.
Jump Lunges part 2
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Repeat the movement. Jump straight up this time and switch legs in mid-air. Make sure you keep your body posture in a good position and keep your knee over your foot when landing. Do 2-4 sets, 10-16 reps total.
Seated Med Ball Toss part 1
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Start in a sit-up position and press the med ball over your head. Quickly perform a sit-up.
Seated Med Ball Toss part 2
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As you are sitting up, throw the ball at the wall or to a training partner. The throwing motion is exactly like a soccer throw: extend arms overhead using your core to generate velocity. Catch the ball off of the bounce from the wall or from your workout partner, press ball overhead and repeat sit-up. An alternative option: anchor your feet down for extra assistance with sitting up. Do 3-4 sets, 8-16 reps each.