The big three lifts are for more than just powerlifters, and bodybuilders. These movements are great for motorcyclists as well to build strength in all the body’s major muscle groups. So what are the Big Three and why should a motorcyclist care?

The big three are

  • Squats
  • Deadlifts
  • Bench press

Strength training will improve bone density so if anything were to happen, strong bones are better than brittle ones. The rider will build some muscle mass with strength training which protects the body internally and gives the rider strength to control most situations (if possible). Also, having a strong body helps the rider to control the bike more efficiently, prevent injuries down the road, and even picking up the bike when you tip over.


When the bike does tip over, think about what muscles are engaged to lift it off the ground back to two wheels. Just to name a few, major muscle groups you will engage include your hamstrings, glutes, quads, latissimus dorsi, abdomen, and even your chest. Another example can be if you get a flat tire and need to lift it onto a truck or a trailer. These are all compound movements just like the big three I will be discussing.

Please keep in mind the importance of proper form. Focus on your positioning. Are your toes pointed where they should be? Is your grip even? Is your spine in a neutral position? Are you driving through your heels? And lastly, are you engaging the muscles you should be? Focus on every part of your body and the movement you will be executing. You do not want to throw your back out lifting a 350lb motorcycle or deadlifting 350lbs in the gym.


Making all the right connections
Make that muscle-mind connection and really focus on the muscles you want to work with a particular movement. This goes back to form mentioned previously. By focusing on proper form and thinking about which muscles you want to engage, you will ensure you are doing the exercise properly and building muscle as well as preventing injuries that can happen when rushing through a movement or being careless.


Take things nice and easy.
Resistance training is just that. Resistance. Any movement where you are strength training and moving your body against gravity, is going to be resistance training. This includes bands, body weight, or weights. Keeping form in mind once again, you do not want to jerk the weight off the ground or speed through squats. Injuries aren’t fun. You will be out of the gym and you will be out of riding for most of the season if not all of it. Nobody wants that so take it nice and slow. There is no competition except you against you.


The big three are very taxing on the body because they engage your major muscle groups. These exercises should be performed on separate days to give your muscles time to repair themselves but they can be performed more than once a week. Muscle soreness will occur and you can work through this. Your body will adapt to the stress it is being put under. Sets and repetitions will vary depending on goals however keep your reps below 12-15 to focus on strength and increase the weight you are using.

Part 2 here – Soon

Article By Cassandra Carillo
Instagram @LittleCarillo


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