Fitness

5 ways you can train like Daniel Ricciardo

© Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool
Written by Greg StuartPublished on
The Red Bull Racing driver explains how all you aspiring racing drivers can train like an F1 hero.
To many amateur, aspiring and even professional racing drivers, the gulf between their level of fitness and that of an F1 race-winner like Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo may seem to large to bridge.
But while it’s true that Daniel and his F1 rivals are super-fit athletes, there are still simple fitness moves that any racer can incorporate into their training regime. Whether you're down the local gym or just at home, these tips will help improve your performance the next time you hit the track.
Here are five key areas Daniel suggests would-be F1 drivers should concentrate on...

1. Neck

Daniel Ricciardo: “When you’re training for racing, you’ve got to hit the main muscle groups, and one of the most important is your neck. Lie on your back, lift your head and turn it slowly from left to right. Try and aim for 75 repetitions, then repeat on the front. That builds up good endurance and it’s obviously pretty safe in terms of injuries because you’re not using any weight apart from your head. Your neck’s fragile, so you don’t want to start by putting 10-kilo plates on the side of your head – that takes time.”
A strong neck helps on constant-radius corners
A strong neck helps on constant-radius corners

2. Trunk

DR: “For your core, a very good basic move is bridges, or planks as some people call them. That not only builds strength around your lower back and your core, but actually if you get into a bit of a place mentally with it, it teaches you how to control your breathing too.”

3. Reactions

DR: “Reaction and reflex stuff can really help raise your game. Stand really close to a wall, facing it. Stare at the wall as a mate behind you throws a tennis ball at it. Then when the tennis ball bounces off the wall, you’ve got to catch it with one hand. That’s good for your reflexes and your peripheral vision. It’s fun too!”
Daniel Ricciardo explains workouts to help you train like an F1 driver.
Daniel getting his reflexes firing pre-race

4. Agility

DR: “A great exercise for speed and agility is using the speed ball – or the floor-to-ceiling ball – that boxers use. Focusing on hitting that is good for rhythm, precision, accuracy and just getting into a bit of a flow, as well as for a bit of endurance.”

5. Cardio

DR: “If you’re training for racing, it’s a good idea to do a basic endurance exercise, and my preference for that is cycling. Get out on the bike and get a steady heart rate. I’ll vary how long my rides are, but for a good, solid endurance ride, we’ll be out for two and a half hours.”

And remember… you’ve got to keep it fresh

“I think one thing with training that’s important, especially if it’s someone who’s just getting into it, is to keep it fresh and do things that you actually enjoy doing. Training can be fun and it’s important to enjoy it, so find new things to do to keep it exciting.”