Best Workouts for Race Car Drivers Before Season 

Best Workouts for Race Car Drivers Before Season 

Best Workouts for Race Car Drivers Before Season 

From the outside looking in, you might think that you don’t need to be in peak physical condition to drive a car for a few hours, but race car drivers actually have to go through a ridiculous training workout regime in order to be in prime form for the start of the season.

However, in the last few years, thanks to shows like Netflix’s “Drive to Survive,” we’ve seen not only an increased interest in sports like Formula 1 but also more understanding of the sport from the general public, thanks to the exclusive behind-the-scenes look that the show offers.

Nowadays, most people know that drivers like Max Verstappen or Charles Leclerc have to go through rigorous training to be able to win races, and in today’s article, we’re going to talk more about just that.

Why Do Drivers Need to Keep Fit?

Driving a race car is not the same as commuting to work on a regular vehicle. In fact, every time a driver steps behind the wheel, they’re subjecting themselves to insane acceleration and deceleration.

From a standing start, an F1 car can pull around 2G and braking at the end of straights can generate as much as 6G in some cases. Around 1G comes purely from lifting off the throttle, and drivers have to put around 353 lb (160 kg) of force into the brake pedal in order to achieve the rest.

To top it all off, the cornering forces are just as brutal, with some tracks causing drivers to experience six times their body weight for brief periods and between 4-5G in sustained turns. To be able to endure these forces, drivers need strength in their neck, core, and legs, along with enough stamina to last from the first lap of a race until the last.

That requires a significant level of cardiovascular endurance, as the heart rate average can reach more than 170 bpm for the duration of a race, which is slightly more than what a typical adult might experience while running.

What are the Best Workouts for Race Car Drivers?

Considering the force they have to be able to withstand and the endurance they need to have, it’s clear that race car drivers need both cardio and strength training.

During the off-season, when they are in preparation mode, drivers typically have one workout in the morning and one in the evening, so it’s essential for them to have accessories like chalk (in liquid form), resistance bands, and specific types of shoes for each session.

Cardiovascular Training

When it comes to cardio training during worhouts, most race drivers opt for either cycling, swimming, or running, and all three are great choices. Running is the most taxing one on the body, so it closely imitates racing as drivers usually run for around an hour or so; however, cycling both indoors and outdoors is also a fantastic choice.

On recovery days, swimming is a fantastic alternative to just laying around or taking walks, which makes it a perfect addition to pre-season training.

Strength Training

Race car drivers do not have to be muscular, but they still need strength in order to perform at the highest level. Typically, most drivers focus on neck, core, and lower body training, but the upper body is often included as well, even though it’s not of the highest priority. Let’s now look at some of the exercises that race car drivers do in their off-season training.

Romanian Deadlift

The Romanian Deadlift, or RDL, is a great exercise for drivers as it minimizes the energy they waste when braking. It strengthens the glutes and the legs, helping drivers maintain a controlled posture when sitting down in the vehicle.

Dumbbell Push-Up

By elevating the hands using dumbbells, you can dip the chest lower, which makes the push-up harder. Dumbbells also make you work to keep a good balance throughout the movement, thus stabilizing the core and spine, which is vital when you’re in a race car.

Weighted Dead Bug

A terrific workout exercise that requires strength and stability in the shoulders while also engaging the deep core muscles, which are vital for racing. Along with that, it keeps the glutes active, something that every driver should be focusing on, considering the amount of time spent in the driver’s seat.

Goblet Squat

The squat is a basic but must-do exercise that helps build leg and core strength, both of which are vital for drivers as they can help them generate force when braking.

Renegade Row

The renegade row targets the back muscles, but along with that, it also hits the small stabilizing muscles in the core, which the drivers use when taking a corner. Additionally, the extra training for the upper body can be useful in keeping the drivers injury-free as well.

In Conclusion

Hopefully, our article helped you learn more about what kind of the workouts and training drivers need to do to remain at the top level. Even though driving in itself doesn’t necessarily look like a sport that requires a ton of strength and endurance, the reality is that it puts an extreme strain on the bodies of drivers due to the speed at which they move.

That’s why it’s crucial for them to put the work in the gym and on the track to ensure they can handle the strain of multiple races every season.