Whether you’re planning a cross-country ride or just cruising around for the weekend, a long ride is exhausting. Before you hit the road and get a sore backside, try some of these unique crosstraining for motorcycle riding strategies. One of the most bizarre ways to crosstrain that you’ll come across is riding a unicycle. Find out why any serious motocross rider or cruiser should take a spin on a unicycle before blazing trails on two wheels.
Crosstraining Done Right
Who needs to crosstrain? Whether you’re having the time of your life or feeling exhausting navigating potholes and long highways, riding take a significant amount of strength and endurance. Switching riding position, leaning into curves and hitting those sweet jumps on a dirtbike all require sustained cardio and some serious muscle.
While you’d probably prefer training on your bike, riding a unicycle is the best exercise for motocross training. However, unicycling is far from the only way to crosstrain. What you’re looking for is a set of exercises that are designed to improve your:
These are just a few examples of how fitness improves your riding. There are many other reasons that it pays to stay in shape, so consider taking a unicycle out for a spin or try out some other crosstraining exercises.
Why a Unicycle?
Before you go out and grab your unicycle exercise bike, you’re probably wondering what’s so great about this type of crosstraining. A unicycle requires far more balance than any two-wheeled alternative. Since you need to balance with your core, it’s also a great cardiovascular and strength-training activity.
The added challenge of balancing your unicycle also promotes more flexibility and balance. Whether you’re trying to increase your comfort on a long ride on your cruiser or hitting the race track on your dirtbike, a unicycle ride is a practical and convenient way to build the muscle and balance you need.
Riding a Unicycle
If you’re like most riders, you’ve probably never sat on anything with less than two wheels. Thankfully, learning to ride is easy and doesn’t require any new techniques. First, you need to get your gear. Find a durable unicycle that fits your size and budget. You’ll want a helmet and some protective pads while you learn the ropes, unless you prefer scrapes and bruises.
Before you hop on your one-wheeled wonder, you need to make sure the seat is at the correct height. While you’re standing in front of your unicycle, your seat should be about as tall as your belly button. Just like a bicycle, your legs should be comfortably extended as you pedal.
Believe it or not, a unicycle does have a front and a back. Check out the inside of your crank arms and find labels for both left and right. You may want some a stool or other stabilizing assistance as you mount your unicycle for the first time.
A unicycle is deceptively different from a bicycle. While both use two pedals to propel your wheel forward, a unicycle engages your core and requires more balance than anything with two wheels. With practice, you’ll be able to stay in one spot or cruise around your yard with ease.
Benefits of Unicycle Crosstraining
One of the excellent benefits of using a unicycle for your crosstraining regime is that you won’t have to worry about fancy movements or complicated workout routines. The act of climbing on a unicycle and hitting the road is enough of a workout for excellent crosstraining.
Effective unicycle riding requires good posture. While you’re able to get away with slouching on your bike, this posture practice is great for your back and will improve the comfort of your next motorcycle ride.
The core strength you’ll build pedaling your unicycle will come in handy as you bomb around dirt trails or keep your bike steady on the road over miles and miles of highway. Whether you’re sporting a huge cruiser or a compact sportbike, you’ll be glad you have the strength to navigate sharp turns.
On or Off Road?
While you’re getting ready for training for motorcycle riding, it’s important to consider whether you’ll be riding the paved trails or taking a one-wheeled off-road adventure. First, it’s a good idea to start off on level ground. Don’t go climbing mountains on a unicycle just because you want to be the next motocross superstar.
After you’ve mastered pavement unicycling, going off-road with your unicycle could be a fun way to build up even more core strength and rock those hilly motocross tracks. Look for an off-road unicycle, also known as a mountain unicycle, and cycle down a dirt trail. Just like your bike, you should be cautious of where you ride. A spill on a unicycle isn’t any more comfortable or enjoyable than a fall on your bike.
If you’re still not convinced to take up the one-wheeled challenge, there are plenty of exercises that are great crosstraining for your bike. Swimming is a popular way to build up your cardio. It isn’t hard on your joint but still gives you the total body workout you need to handle your bike confidently.
A traditional bike ride might seem like a great idea, and cycling can improve your leg strength and cardio. However, this type of riding doesn’t improve your balance to the same extent that a unicycle can.
Beyond that, anything that challenges your endurance, improves your balance and builds muscle is a great option. From kettle bells and stair steppers to hiking and cross-country skiing, find an exercise routine that works for you and start building muscle and improving balance.
Get Ready to Ride
Now that you’re an expert on how to improve balancing on a motorcycle, it’s time to get out there and start exercising. Don’t be embarrassed if it takes awhile to master the unicycle or another form of exercise. However, with some practice and patience you’ll soon see results as you get back on your bike. Regardless of the type of riding you’re training for, don’t forget to include crosstraining to add a whole new layer of strength and endurance to keep you ahead of the pack.