Because I have been riding BMX for over 10 years, I have learned a lot about recovering my body. I can remember the days when I was younger and able to fall and get up right away, then ride the next day. Now at 23, this isn’t the case anymore. I have to do a lot to keep my body in good enough shape to take a beating daily.
Working with athletic trainers at Woodward really opened my eyes to the things that professional athletes do to keep their body operating at a “professional” level.
The three things that I’ll talk about are ICE, Foam Roller, and Cardio.
Why is Ice important?
According to MensHealth, “Ice bath’s reduce inflammation and improve recovery by changing the way blood and other fluids flow through your body.”
I remember rolling my ankle at Woodward and it was black and blue. The trainers threw it in ice immediately. 2-3 times a day we would fill up a small trash can with ice and then water. Because of this, I was back on the bike in 4 days.
A lot of professional sports teams fill bathtubs up with ice cold water and the athletes soak in the water. This form of cryotherapy pushes out the toxins that are built up from a workout. Thus creating a faster recovery and removing soreness from muscles.
Icing an injury is a little different from icing your body for recovery. This method is just as important, if not more important. Your body freaks out when you get an injury. Lots of new things start to happen, and swelling is one of those things. Minimizing swelling gives you a better recovery time and keeps your on the bike more often.
Foam rollers have two functions. They align your back and help put things in place like a chiropractor. They also use pressure to warm up muscles. I use one for both and it keeps my body in top shape to shred.
I started using a foam roller around 2 years ago and it has really changed my life. I’m really tall and riding kills my back. Before this foam roller I would be out of riding a couple of times a hear because of back injuries. I’d go to the chiropractor around 6 times month for a popped out hip.
There are so many foam roller exercises and stretches floating around the internet, that i’m not even going to cover it. However I am going to tell you how I use my roller every day.
- Put foam roller under the middle of your spine.
- Sit down and lean backwards over so there is pressure on the roller.
- Use your feet and lift your hips up so all of the pressure is on the roller.
- Extend your legs so the roller goes down your lower back
- (make sure to relax and let the weight of your body do the work.)
- Now roll the other direction until the roller is in between the middle back and the shoulders.
- Put both arms behind your head and look down so that your chin is in your chest.
- Now roll the roller down your back while using your hands to force your head down.
- This stretches out my spine with over 10 pops. It feels great!
Best Foam Rollers
Most Affordable Foam Rollers
Training cardio is so so important for a serious bmx rider. Especially if you plan to do contests. I personally know a lot of contest riders that literally get up at 6 am and run a few miles. When you have good cardio your muscles have longer fire times. Meaning they can endure more riding without a break.
If you think this is easy.. I challenge you to go to your park and set a 0:45 to 1:20 timer. Drop in and try to do as many tricks in that time. No breaks until the timer goes off. You’ll realize how hard it is.
How I train
Time Skatepark Runs
It feels really strange to rip your local for a solid 0:45 seconds. But once you do it, you will realize why it is important. It is so hard for most riders to land tricks consistently for 45 seconds. By doing this method you will get more consistent with landing tricks and you will also build endurance on your bike.
I usually only do this a month before a contest. I do this by trying to get a mile of jogging with 1/10 of that at a full sprint. (Treadmill works best for this)
If you are gym-less, just go out for a little run a few times a day. Doing this in the mornings always makes the day better or worse. Just depends how the run goes haha.
Try to park as far away from stores as possible. This forces you to walk 4x than normal.
Did you know there is a real thing called professional jump ropers? Seems crazy huh.
Jumping rope is a great way for cardio. I think everyone who wants to be quicker on your feet should do this. Just imagine how many times you crash and trip over your own feet. Training this would make you a lot better at bailing.
I recommend a speed rope just because it will make this so much easier.
I know this seems like a lot to take in but if you just pick one of these three and adapt the way you ride around it, you will notice a huge difference. Once you make a habit of say foam rolling, start soaking in ice baths and so on. I hope you enjoyed this little tip post. Leave a comment and tell me what to add.