Formula 1 Driver Daniel Ricciardo Hits the Gas on His Home Workout
You might not expect that a race car driver would be concerned about their fitness plan—but if that’s the case, you’re very, very wrong.
F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo spent time quarantining on a farm in western Australia, and while he was their, he used the location as the perfect setup to keep his training going. Ricciardo depended on his performance coach, Michael Italiano, who’s been working with Ricciardo for more than three years, to keep him in racing shape.
Ricciardo took Men’s Health to his farm, where he showed off his improvised outdoor workout space to walk us through his “farmer’s circuit” workout session.
“With F1 racing, we go through so many loads and G-forces, and our whole body, even though we’re tied down in the car, strapped in, our whole body is constantly going through so much stress and force, and the races are 90 minutes to 2 hours long,” Ricciardo said. “That’s why we need to be very conditioned from head to toe.”
However, he has to be sure to not get too caught up in the major muscle gains.
“But also we have to manipulate the exercises so we don’t gain too much muscle or weight. So it’s a very lightweight and lean sport,” he said. “That’s just how it is: the heavier you are, the slower the car is,” Ricciardo said. “It’s fun, he [Italiano] keeps it fresh. We’re not going through monotony. We’re changing things up everyday.”
Ricciardo says that he’s been training six days a week in isolation, and that Italiano has been developing improvised his workouts with equipment that they have available around the farm.
“You can definitely get creative, just keep an open mind,” Ricciardo said.
With that, he gets to his farmer’s circuit: five exercises, 45 seconds on and 45 seconds off, for each move for 4 rounds, for a total of 30 minutes of training time.
Daniel Ricciardo’s Farm Workout
Perform each exercise for 45 seconds, then rest for 45 seconds. Repeat the whole series for 4 total rounds.
“He’s going to slam this big truck tire with a sledgehammer. This is pretty much an upper body workout,” Italiano said. “[He’s] working his core. He’s going to alternate hand positions and feet positions, and get into a good rhythm.”
“He’s going to get nice and low in a sumo squat position, and he’s going to get right underneath the tire,” Italiano said. “He’s going to use his quads, glutes and lower back to really power through, power up, and flip the tire. It’s an explosive movement and also a really good lower back, lower body power move. This is really good for his posterior chain.. For Formula 1 drivers, their posterior chain has to be quite strong. It takes a lot of the braking load, so it’s important that we keep him very well conditioned from his posterior change point of view.”
“He’s going to safely pick up this log, and he’s going to do a squat into an overhead press,” Italiano detailed. “Overhead pressing is really good for his core, and also really good for his shoulder strength. It’s important that drivers have strong shoulders from controlling the steering. We really do work his anterior delts and his chest quite a bit.”
“These drivers endure quite a lot of G-forces through turning and breaking, so it’s really important that their core is very well conditioned and strong to be able to control the car,” Italiano said. “So this is a fantastic exercise to compliment this.”
“We’re improvising a sled drag, so we’ve got a chain drag,” Italiano said. “He’s going to stand up nice and tall, keep his chest up, straight arms, and he’s going to drag these chains toe-to-heel, toe-to-heel. This is really good for his posterior chain, working those glutes, and also for his core and arm strength.”
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