Posts tagged Female Fitness
Dirt Bike Tips: Basic Body Position

Welcome to OAO’s Dirt Bike Tips! In each post, we’ll break down a basic riding technique. Our goal is to give you quick, simple points you can easily digest, remember, and put to work during your ride. With these posts, we also aim to give you snippets of insight you might not get anywhere else!

ALSO, we’ve collaborated with strength trainer Erika Hurst to include training exercises - a #MotoFitTip if you will - that can be easily added to your routine to help support related muscles and joints! Let’s braaap to it!

BASIC BODY POSITION

Whether sitting or standing, these are the basics of how to position your body:

  • Body should be over the pivot point of the bike

  • Chin over the handlebars

  • Elbows bent, aiming up and out

  • Knees gripping/squeezing the sides of the bike

Phptp by Megan Maloy

Phptp by Megan Maloy

CRUCIAL INSIGHTS

Getting Your Body Over The Pivot Point Of The Bike

Many riders who are new to dirt bikes tend to sit too far back on the bike, with their knees out in front of them. Maybe because they’ve ridden cruiser-style motorcycles, or just relate to how we sit in cars, go karts etc. On a dirt bike this is incorrect, it throws off the center of gravity and can increase arm pump (arm pain and fatigue due to exertion and swelling that affects blood flow).

I know that as an adult starting out on a smaller bike, it can feel strange and unnatural to feel like you have nowhere to fit your legs. Nonetheless, whether sitting or standing on a dirt bike, you need to get your body more forward, over the pivot point of the bike (where the seat dips, close to the tank) and tuck your legs underneath. It will feel weird, require extra balance and strength, but when you master it you’ll be a BOSS. So, next time you get on that bike, SCOOT ON UP.

Learn With Movement, Everything Is Adjustable

Movement and speed play a big role in how you put techniques to work, and how you adjust in different scenarios. For example, in the image below, you can see that my body and head are further back, and my back is slightly curved. This is because I am braking, not accelerating, because there’s a bottleneck of riders in front of me - something you can’t see in the photo. This is simply to illustrate that learning a technique doesn’t mean you’ll immediately meet some rigid idea of perfection. Form and technique are adjustable as you ride and move with the motorcycle.

Kelly OAO 840x600.jpg

MOTO FIT TIP

Because your body needs to be central on the bike the core of your body needs to be strong and mobile to adjust as you ride. Two simple exercises that can help increase hip mobility as well as strengthen core and legs are Glute Bridges and Planks.

Glute Bridges:

These help us learn how to hinge at our hips and engage our glutes and hamstrings rather than our lower back.

  • Set up with your shoulder blades elevated on a bench

  • Drive through your heels and squeeze your butt to lift your hips

  • Avoid arching through your lower back at the top

  • Do these for 3 sets of 8-12 reps

Glute Bridge starting position

Glute Bridge starting position

Glute Bridge top position

Glute Bridge top position

Planks:

These train our core to be stable enough to resist any movement or jarring through our midsection to protect our spine.

  • Set up with your body in a straight line from head to heels, actively pushing your chest away from the floor

  • Tuck your ribs toward your hips to engage your core, squeeze your butt, armpits, fists and quads hard and hold this position (when done correctly, you shouldn’t be able to hold this for very long)

  • Avoid letting your head drop or hips sag and holding your breath

  • Do these for 3 sets of 3 five-10 second holds

Plank Position

Plank Position

Special thanks and (insert praise hands emoji and burrito emoji) to Erika Hurst for collaborating with OAO! Follow us on Facebook and Instagram and join our email list to make sure you don’t miss dirt bike tips to come!

@overandoutmoto @erikahurst_ #overandoutmoto #dirtbiketips #motofittip #gnarlybabesfitness

Meet Erika Hurst

The female off-road riding community has no shortage of impressive girls - from creatives, to business owners, to passionate ladies who love life and seek adventure and personal growth.  To kick off the New Year, check out this interview with Over And Out's first FAST FRIEND, dirt bike rider and female fitness boss-lady Erika Hurst. 

Women Dirt Bikes Over And Out Erika Hurst1.jpg

Erika Hurst, 30 - Wallingford, CT   @erikahurst_  @hurststrengthct 

HOW DID YOU GET INTO RIDING?

Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a dirt bike. I thought they were the most badass things ever! But, I never got one and kind of gave up on the idea as I grew up. I ended up getting heavy into off-roading and rock crawling instead.

Then a few years ago, in the midst of a pretty low point in my life, I was seeking something to pull me out of my hole and build me back up again. So I bought my first dirt bike and I have been hooked ever since.

Erika Hurst Over And Out Dirt Bike 2.JPG

WHAT TYPE OF RIDING DO YOU LIKE THE MOST? 

The first time I ever rode in the woods I HATED it. I actually ran over my own leg, and two dudes had to help me pry my boot out of my wheel well. (To this day I still have NO idea how I even managed to do that). I had whiskey throttled straight into a tree and took a handle bar through my helmet and goggles right into my face.

I had only been riding for a couple months and didn’t really have any solid skills or confidence, so it really rattled me. At the time I swore I’d never go in the woods again.

That was three years ago and somehow I keep finding myself pulled back out there and craving trail riding because I know it will not only make me a better rider skill-wise, but also when something scares the shit out of me I know I have to break through that barrier if I want to grow.

Needless to say, woods riding has definitely grown on me. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it very often because of the strict laws in CT. So I spend most of my seat time on the track – which I love too!

Erika Hurst Over And Out Dirt Bikes 3.jpg

HOW DID YOU GET INTO FITNESS TRAINING? 

After high school I gained some weight and became the girl who ran on the treadmill for hours 6-7 days a week and ate as little as possible.  I thought this would make me fit, while the need for strength never occurred to me.

I started going to an automotive tech school at the time. I could barely lift a tire and I always had to ask for help breaking bolts.  It was hard enough as a woman trying to get hired as a mechanic, but adding a lack of physical capability on top of that I realized I needed to do something about that. So I slowly started spending a little more time in the weight room.

Erika Hurst Over And Out Dirt Bikes 4.jpg

I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could on how to get stronger. When I spent less time self-loathing about my body fat or trying to use the treadmill to burn off every calorie possible, and spent more time finding meaning in pursuing physical capability, treating myself well and eating to support my body, my life completely changed.

I realized this approach was working; I saw and felt incredible changes in my body.  And, I felt like it was my duty to share this “secret” with other women, so I switched careers and started school for exercise science and human performance. 

hurst strength ct.jpg

TELL US ABOUT HURST STRENGTH!

I wanted to create a gym where women could go to feel empowered, badass and free of judgement. I also believe what we do in the gym should enhance our lives, make us feel badass and should be used as a vehicle towards becoming our best, most capable selves so we can do more rad things outside of the gym.

So that’s what I created with my gym, Hurst Strength. My goal is to change how women view fitness, lead them to feeling more confident in their bodies and help them embrace proper strength training. This is what I work towards doing every day. 

HURST STRENGTH CT 2.PNG

I try to let my life be an example for other women and to show I practice what I preach – I don’t spend hours working out, I don’t diet or deprive myself, I continuously chase strength and improved performance so that I can live a more abundant life, and I see food as both fuel and pleasure.

Lifting has also given me the confidence to pursue other endeavors and risks that I would have never had the confidence to do otherwise. I’m constantly asking myself “can I do that?” Which has pushed me to seek out activities like dirtbiking, mountain biking and downhill riding, hiking, snowboarding, the list goes on!

erika hurst over and out dirt bike 5.jpg

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT FITNESS AND ITS RELATION TO RIDING?

There is absolutely no way I could have developed the skills or endurance to properly ride or handle a dirt bike if I wasn’t strong, functionally fit and didn’t have the body awareness I’ve developed from strength training.

I’d also probably still be pinned underneath my bike in the middle of a track somewhere. Haha!

ERIKA HURST over and out dirt bikes 6.JPG

WHAT FITNESS TIPS DO YOU HAVE FOR FEMALE RIDERS?

1. Don’t shy away from weights. Women are often convinced they shouldn’t lift weights or should do “toning” exercises with light weight. But a combo of heavy weight and low reps (1-5X) plus moderate weight with slightly higher reps (6-12X) is the most effective.

2.  Focus on making the majority of your training program basic compound movements (exercises that recruit multiple muscles at once and carry over to movements we do in real life) Think moves like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows and single leg exercises that build functional core strength.

3. Focus on core strength.  Our core needs to be strong and stable enough to prevent unnecessary movement in our midsection.  So core training should consist of movements that involve trying to maintain a “neutral” spine under a load or force that is trying to alter that position.

For example, doing a plank where you have to work to resist gravity VS. a crunch where you’re doing a whole lot of unhealthy bending through your spine. Crunches and other typical ab exercises don’t truly train functional core strength that will help protect against injury and prevent lower backaches while riding. Even despite the “burn” you feel.

A common injury in motocross is lumbar trauma from repeated impacts while riding in a flexed (rounded) position. So this rounded posture isn’t something we want to continue training in the gym by doing crunches and sit-ups. It’s best to strengthen the opposite position.

4. Put an emphasis on upper back strength (lots of rows and chin up variations) and grip strength (I love farmer’s carries or simply hanging from a pull up bar, but rowing exercises and deadlifts build a strong grip too.

db 6.jpg

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RIDING? 

Seeing how big of a dirt-stache I have when I take my helmet off, haha!

But seriously, I love the rush, the feeling of accomplishment when you tackle an obstacle or develop a skill you’ve been working on, and the high of finishing a ride with all of your limbs still intact. :P

Riding has become SO much more to me. It’s helped me become infinitely more courageous, resilient and vulnerable. It’s also an awesome ego check! It’s taught me so much about myself. 

WHAT'S YOUR SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE FOR GIRLS GETTING INTO RIDING?

Get strong...and then get stronger! Seriously!

 

@erikahurst @hurststrengthct @overandoutmoto Photos by @s_tribby #fastfriends