ATV Fitness may not seem that important to most people, after all what is so difficult about riding an ATV. Well if you are like me, I like to ride long and hard and after a 2 – 3 hour ride of maneuvering a 800 pound utility ATV on some back country trails you can really fell the burn in your arms and legs. Add 100 pounds of ATV camping gear and supplies to an ATV and you better be in shape in order to get to those back country campsites.
I learned about proper fitness when I started racing hare scrambles in the south on a Kawasaki 250KDX. My first 2 races were 75 mile hare scrambles and I DNF’d (Did Not Finish) both due to fatigue. On the second race I was so fatigued after about 50 miles that I mis-judged a turn and crashed ending up with a severely bruised right leg and hip.
I took 2 months off to heal and start a workout routine to get physically fit for racing. After 2 months of intense workouts I was ready for another race. This time it was a 100 mile hare scramble which I finished in 5th place and though I was tired, I did not feel fatigued like the first 2 races. I continued racing until a mechanical failure caused me to hit a tree in 1994, crushing two disks in my lower back.
After a couple of years of spending money on chiropractors, I developed my own physical therapy program, with the help of a friend that was a Sports Therapist, to strengthen the muscles in my lower back to compensate for the damaged disks. Through continued stretching and exercise my back improved and I started riding ATVs in 2000.
I am now in my fifties and recent x-rays still showed the damaged disks, but have I continued to do my stretches and exercises. I still have back pain on some mornings but after stretching and exercise I’m fine. I ride a utility ATV now and while I only get to ride it a couple of weekends a month (wish it could be more), I ride I like to push the envelop and ride hard, technical riding.
Things are different now, I am riding an 800 pound ATV compared to a 250 pound dirt bike, I am losing hair in some places and growing it in others and I can’t read a damn thing without glasses. I have to continually remind myself that just because I don’t feel pain my back is still damaged.
Even though I only ride my ATV a couple of weekends a month I still understand the importance of proper fitness and by that I mean ATV fitness. I like to start my ATV rides in the morning, ride hard and not return until the late afternoon. At my age and the condition of my lower back I would not be able to accomplish this without some sort of fitness program.
I don’t have time to spend hours at the gym so I modified my physical therapy program into a workout program targeting the muscles used primarily for ATV riding along with some cardio exercises and nutritional information that can be preformed at home with or without equipment.
I call this program ATV Fitness and let me make one thing very clear, I am not a licensed fitness trainer or a professional athlete. The ATV Fitness program is a routine I have followed for years and it is primarily for the weekend ATV rider who wants to enjoy longer ATV rides, experience less fatigue and reduce the chance of injury through improved strength, flexibility and endurance.
The ATV Fitness program is not for the pro athlete or someone wanting to race ATV competitively, it is for the occasional weekend ATV rider. If you can commit to an hour a day, 3 days a week in the privacy of your own home, then the ATV Fitness program is for you and best of all it is Free! That’s right no cost and no equipment to purchase.