Top 5 Static Balance Exercises To Improve Trail Riding

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Person static balancing with a dirt bike on a single track trail in the woods

Static balance exercises can quickly improve your dirt bike riding skills. Static balance exercises focus on improving the ability to keep your body stationary over a base of support, such as a dirt bike. Good static and dynamic balancing skills will help especially in slower, more technical trail riding and in overcoming many typical obstacles such as logs, rocks, and ledges. Looking ahead and slowing down before obstacles will become easier and more controlled with a good balance.

In this top 5 list of static balance exercises, we cover our favorite static balance exercises on and off the dirt bike. We also designed them so that you can incorporate them to your warm-up routine. This way, you will be able to quickly improve your trail riding in a matter of few weeks.

1. Center Stand Static Balance Exercise

Let’s start with a simple exercise. Position your dirt bike on the center stand on a stable and level ground. Position the dirt bike with the foot pegs on the middle on the center stand for a balanced stance. Gear up and hop on the dirt bike.

Person standing on a dirt bike placed on a center stand in a neutral riding position

Now, find your neutral standing riding position and get comfortable with the dirt bike. Stand on the foot pegs with the palm of the feet. Focus on how the centered balance feels like and how the front and rear of the dirt bike is equally weighted. Pay attention to your arms and do not lock elbows. Same with your legs; they should be slightly bent. Look ahead and keep your back slightly curved. This is your neutral riding position.

Person standing on a dirt bike looking ahead while static balancing on the foot pegs

In all static balancing exercises, your body positioning is important and will help maintain your balance better. When starting your ride day or warming up your bike, this is a great exercise not only to reset and learn your neutral riding position but to increase static balance.

While some beginner riders may find this simple exercise difficult mainly for not being able to climb on the dirt bike that is placed on the center stand, this should be very easy and we can move on to more challenging balancing exercises.

2. Static Balance Using an Obstacle

Using an obstacle works as a stepping stone to free balancing exercises. You can use a dirt bike, trials bike, mountain bike, or any bicycle for this exercise. If you find this difficult at first with a dirt bike, we recommend using a bicycle.

Dirt bike balancing against a tree with a rider standing

In this exercise, we are going to use an obstacle to help getting into the neutral riding position and maintain static balance.

Find a level or slightly declining ground with a large rock or a tree. The obstacle should be at least a foot in height so that you can push the center of the front wheel against it. It should also be stable and not move when leaning against it.

Rider getting ready to stand on a dirt bike with front tire against a tree

Start with positioning the front wheel firmly against the obstacle. You can perform this exercise with the engine on or off. With engine running, use the clutch to slightly give pressure against the tree. With engine off, push the dirt bike against the tree and lock at least the rear brake.

Now, slowly begin to stand on top of the the dirt bike and find your neutral standing position. Use your arms to stabilize the dirt bike. If you find it difficult at first, slow down. Put pressure on the right leg slowly and keep looking ahead. Small movements will be better and easier to control.

Rider standing on the foot pegs on a dirt bike practicing static balance

Once you are able to stand on the dirt bike, keep looking ahead. (I clearly need to practice that more!) Try to stay on the neutral position longer and longer. Beginners usually struggle to stay up for more than 5 seconds, a good result is 30 seconds or more.

Quick tips to improve this exercise:

  • Use a center stand next to your left leg if you find it difficult to get into a standing position. You can use it to balance and be able to stand and then move the left leg on to the foot peg.
  • Once this static exercise gets easy and you can stay on for more than 30 seconds, moving back and forward from the center position will further increase the difficulty level of the exercise.
  • To make the exercise even more challenging, drive slowly into to the obstacle. Slowly approach the obstacle and position the dirt bike front tire into the obstacle the same way. Keep pressure with dragging the clutch and hold it for a period of time. Then push down on the forks and use the suspension rebound to roll backwards to escape the obstacle and repeat.

Read also: 5 Tips To Improve Dirt Bike Clutch Control

3. Free Balancing With a Dirt Bike

Once you are able to use an obstacle and stay up for more than 30 seconds, you can add free balancing to your exercise routine. It is a practical skill that will quickly transform your slow technical riding and going over obstacles.

Rider with a dirt bike on a single track getting ready to free balance

Start with a level ground or in a slight incline. Turn the handlebar all the way into the left and place your left leg down. Lock both brakes.

Find the balancing point and slowly get on the dirt bike while continuously looking far ahead. Use the palm of your feet to keep the balance and slowly start standing on the dirt bike. The key is to use the handlebar as a support and keep your body centered. Move the left leg slowly on the peg and stand fully up.

Person static balancing with a dirt bike on a single track trail in the woods

Once you are able to balance and hold the position, you can turn and move the handlebar from side to side to continue static balancing on the dirt bike.

Quick tips to improve this exercise:

  • If you find it difficult to stand up at first, use the center stand to help balance the bike with your left leg.
  • You can also slow ride into a static free balance with the dirt bike. This is a great exercise, since you can practice it every time you stop on the trail. Slowly come to a stop and balance as long as you are able to.
  • Grassy field and low tire pressure will help when initially working on static balance.

4. Bicycle Balance Exercises Transfer to Dirt Bikes

You can also practice static balance with several different ways and one common tool that can be used is a bicycle. Any bicycle. Using a bicycle makes the balancing exercises easier mainly because of the lighter weight and lower height. It is also very accessible and doesn’t require going out on the tracks and gearing up.

Person standing on a bicycle practicing against a picnic table

Same principles apply. You can begin static balancing exercises by using an helper, a person holding your front tire in place. Next, progress into using an obstacle to balance and finally onto free balancing.

5. Static Balance While Putting Your Gear on

One of the easiest ways to improve your static balancing skills that will immediately transfer to dirt bike riding, is to stand on one leg while putting your gear on. If you do this each time you go out and ride, you will immediately notice how much it improves your other balancing exercises and overall balance.

When putting on your socks, boots, and other protective gear, stand on one leg. This may sound easy but it is not. I remember talking with few old timers and they say that if you put your socks and boots on while standing on one leg every day in the morning, your balancing skills will improve within the first week. If you keep doing it consistently, your skills will further improve. I can testify to that.

Read also: Single Track Riding Tips for Beginners

Conclusions

A good balance on a dirt bike is something you can easily show off and brag about. But it also is a skill that will make you a better rider, usually within a few weeks. When you’re able to slow down to a stop and stay on the pegs, overcoming any obstacle and riding difficult technical trails will become much easier.

Don’t dab, stay on those pegs!

Last updated: June 28, 2022