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Dirt Bike Riding Tips: Life Saving Breathing Techniques

Reading through our articles, you’ll notice that we constantly talk about the importance of technique and body position. Whether you are slowly riding a flat stretch of land or tackling a huge new jump, proper positioning and technique are what keep you safe. Breathing is an aspect of technique that we have yet to explore– but it is important whether you are trying to improve your track time or you’re riding a new trail.

Forgetting to Breathe

The biggest mistake that dirt bike riders make is forgetting to breathe, or to holding their breath. Breathing should come naturally to us, but oftentimes when we practice something challenging or encounter something frightening (surprise obstacle on a steep downhill? Yikes!) we tend to hold our breath. This is a problem for a few reasons.

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When you hold your breath riding, you wear yourself out much quicker than if you are consistently taking deep, clear breaths. You are engaging a variety of different muscles to stabilize and control your dirt bike, and you need razor-sharp focus to safely navigate the track or trail. When you hold your breath, you starve both your muscles and your brain of much needed oxygen. If you hold your breath through a particularly difficult section of the trail, you also will end up gasping for air later.

Fix it:

Ideally you should be breathing consistently throughout your ride. As you practice, be aware of your breathing, and notice if you start to feel out of breath, or if you feel your heart pounding– this is a likely indicator that you have been holding your breath!

You should also note places along the track or trail where you know that you can take a moment to regather yourself, like an easy straight without obstacles. Surprisingly enough, when you are in the air jumping is a great time to relax for a moment and catch your breath as well. Ideally you should be controlling your breathing all the time and won’t experience shortness of breath, but as you make a few laps chances are you will start to fatigue.

We are constantly breathing, but it’s important to focus on your breath when you ride dirt bikes. If you tend to hold your breath when you ride, try to focus on breathing steadily all through the course. Keeping your breath stable will allow you to ride for longer, and it will help your body relax which will make your ride much safer.

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