Strength Training for Motorcycle Riding & Track Days


Here is a list of strength training exercises you can do to help you improve and condition your muscles and in turn help cope with the stresses and strains you put your body under on a track day. As said in the fitness article, you only need to be doing 2-3 days a week at 30-40 minutes for the session.

Don’t go thinking you need to do every exercise either, just try and fit 3-4 of these exercises into each session, but don’t keep doing the same ones as it won’t benefit your whole body. Also don’t forget your running and/or cycling will be working certain muscles to a degree as well, so even though there’s not many lower body exercises, don’t think they won’t be getting conditioned.

Here then is a list of exercises to help improve your strength for bike track days.

Muscle: Chest

Exercise: Push ups

How To: Lie face down on the floor with your palms facing down in line with your shoulders and a little wider than shoulder width apart. While keeping your back and legs as straight as possible push yourself away from the floor until your arms are nearly locked out. Lower yourself back down until your body almost touches the floor, then repeat.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Triceps, Shoulders.

Exercise: Bench Press

Tips: Ideally you need a proper bench to perform this exercise if using a bar. If you’re using dumbbells then a strong coffee table should be fine.

How To: With your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart on the bar (or dumbbells the same distance), bring the weight slowly down to your chest. Once it’s reached that point push back up at the same rate into the starting position.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Triceps, Shoulders.

Muscle: Upper Back (Latissimus Dorsi)

Exercise: Pull Ups

Tips: You’ll need a pull up bar for this, either at home or use the one at the gym. This exercise is a little daunting and you might not be able to manage many reps at first, but in time your strength will build and you’ll be doing 15+ pull ups in no time if you keep at it. Just take it slow and don’t strain yourself just to do one more rep, you’re only risking injury.

How To: With your hands placed a little wider than shoulder width apart and your palms facing you, pull yourself up slowly until your chin reaches the bar, but don’t try and stretch your chin to the bar, pull yourself all the way up. Lower yourself back down to the starting position while controlling your descent, then repeat.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Biceps, Forearms, Middle Back.

Muscle: Shoulders (Deltoids)

Exercise: Lateral Shoulder Raises

How To: With your dumbells at your side, arms slightly bent and bending over a little way, lift the dumbbells out away from your body until your arms are parallel with the floor. Do not try and go past parallel and try not to shrug. Lower the dumbbells back down to your side, then repeat.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Trapezius (Upper Back), Middle Back, Lower Back (Lumbar Region)

Muscle: Inner Thighs (Adductors)

Tips: The adductors are best targeted using specialist machines found in a gym. If you’re not a member of a gym you can buy a cheap rubber band for the exercise below.

Exercise: Band Hip Adductions

How To: Find a solid post or other object and tie one end of the band to it. Tie the other end to one of your ankles. With the tied ankle closest to the post, stand away from the post to allow some tension to build up in the band. Separate your legs a fair distance and support all your weight on the leg furthest away from the post (the one not tied up). Now keeping your knee straight, pull the tied leg in to meet the other leg and touch your heels together. Let the leg release back out toward the post, then repeat.

If you’re struggling with balance, use something to hold on to during the exercise. To increase difficulty, stand further away from the post to allow more tension in the band.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: None

Muscle: Lower Back (Lumbar Region)

Exercise: Dead Lift

How To: Using dumbbells or a bar, your starting position should see you standing up straight with your hands by your side holding on to the dumbbells or bar. Keeping your back straight bend over until your back is parallel with the floor, allowing the weights to naturally hang down in front of you.

Let your knees bend slightly to allow you to reach parallel. Now slowly stand back up, again letting the weight naturally come back towards your body. Once standing up straight, repeat again from the start.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Hamstrings, Quadriceps, Forearms, Glutes.

Muscle: Stomach (Abdomen)

Exercise: Crunches

How To: Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet resting on the floor. With your hands merely touching the sides of your head (having your hands behind your head tends to make you want to pull your head forward) lift your head and upper back off the floor a few inches until you can feel your abdomen flexing.

Hold for a second then lower yourself back to the floor, and then repeat. All the work should be done with your abs, don’t try and pull yourself up with your arms, that’s cheating.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: None

Muscle: Bicep

Exercise: Bicep Curl

How To: Using a dumbbell, your starting position should see your elbow tucked into your hip and your arm straight down your side. Keeping your elbow in line with your hip, lift the dumbbell up to meet your shoulder, then lower it back down to the starting position.

Concentrate on keeping your elbow in the same spot so you really isolate your bicep, don’t try and swing the dumbbell up. If you have to do this you’re using too much weight.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: Forearm

Muscle: Tricep

Exercise: Tricep Extension

How To: Take the dumbbell and lift it over your head and let it hang behind you. Keeping your elbow in line with your torso (not sticking out to the side) lift the dumbbell from behind you until your arm straightens out and you are holding the dumbbell straight up. Lower the dumbbell back to the starting position, then repeat.

If it helps you can use your free hand to support your elbow and help keep it in position.

Secondary Muscles Targeted: None

Want more exercises?

If you feel you want to push the boat out, have a look at It is by far the best source of training exercises I have found and often look on the site to find ways to spice up my strength training needed for track days.

Photo by Adrian Clark