Motor racing drivers are among some of the fittest athletes on the planet, which is why we asked rising star Seb Morris to show us how to get a body for any circuit
You need to be extremely fit to be a motor racing driver, a well-rounded athlete. And if you’re into endurance racing, like Seb Morris, which can involve driving in races that last anywhere between six and 24 hours, then you have to be at the top of your game mentally and physically. Racing in a high-intensity environment for several hours can take its toll on mind and body, particularly when you consider you’re working under considerable G-Forces.
“I’ve spent a lot of the last year bulking up,” explains Morris. “Previously I used to do a lot of cardio work, but I was finding that after an hour I was getting muscle fatigue. I’ve put on 10kg in that time and I feel better for it. It means that I’ve got more fat stores during the race. We have to be careful, though, because like jockeys, we have to be careful how much we weigh.
“The workout I’ve created provides us with strength without putting on too much weight, and also takes into consideration the position that drivers are when they’re racing. Often our feet are raised and we’re turning while activating the core. Our upper bodies tend to be quite hunched and front loaded, which is why you’ll see both pushing and pulling exercises; the idea being that it should help you reset your posture.”
SETS 5 | REPS 10
This focuses on explosive power. Weight gain is a critical factor for any racing driver, so we need to get as much strength without putting on too much weight, and this should give us that. Push up from the hips as quickly as you can and then return slowly. This will activate your shoulders, hips and core, three of the most key areas for us.
SETS 5 | REPS 10
This is an exercise that will balance out your body and isolate your back muscles, which is good for your overall wellbeing. Get your chest directly underneath the bar and engage your core. Pull yourself up with an explosive movement then take 5 or 6 seconds to return. This isolates your back muscles.
SETS 5 | REPS 10
This exercise is very important and works your hamstrings, calves and glutes. When pushing, you want to be on the balls of your feet at all times and take long strides. When we’re braking we hit the brakes at about 140kg of pressure, so this exercise is fantastic endurance for the legs.
SETS 5 | REPS 10 EACH SIDE
Core is massively important, so we need to get it burning. Get a wall ball and, in a lying position facing a wall, come up and throw the ball against the wall. Rotate with the ball once on either side, then return to lying position, and repeat.
SETS 3 | REPS 8
The neck is the most important part of a racing driver’s body, so it’s important we work it hard. However, you should never work this body part alone, so make sure you use a PT to show you correct form. With your hips down, bend forward and lean so that you’re stretching to grip the bar. Engage your core and, taking your time, slowly raise your neck and return. Then, after 5 reps, raise and hold for three seconds, then return.
ABOUT SEB MORRIS Morris was once the youngest ever podium finisher in Ginetta Juniors, and in 2011 he was was awarded the WRDA Welsh Young Driver of the Year award. Since then, he’s gone from strength to strength, driving for Sunoco at the Daytona 24-hour race in Florida in 2016 and winning the British GT Championship a year later, thanks to three wins on tour and setting a lap record at Spa-Francorchamps.