It’s been just over a month since the title-deciding Formula One race in Abu Dhabi, which saw Max Verstappen take an incredibly controversial win, denying Lewis Hamilton of a record-setting eight world championship title.
We’re not going to discuss the events that went down in that race, but instead, we’re going to talk about something far more serious: Max Verstappen’s form whilst working out.
It’s no secret Formula One drivers need to keep themselves in peak physical condition, finding the perfect balance of being lightweight, yet still have enough muscle to withstand the high levels of g-force their bodies undergo during a race – we’ve even previously seen Verstappen himself looking rather uncomfortable using a machine specifically designed to improve the strength in his neck.
But a recent video Max has posted to his personal Instagram account shows him performing a circuit workout that has us, and hundreds of people in the comments, confused. Max’s circuit includes single-arm dumbbell push presses, a great full body exercise; kettlebell romanian deadlifts to improve hip flexibility and strengthen your glutes; and thoracic rotations to help open up the chest and improve mobility.
British fitness trainer and Under Armour ambassador Bradley Simmonds kicked off the comments with “No disrespect but let’s train properly.”
Other comments taking aim at Max’s poor form include “Lol what is this workout?” and “Bro, you need a personal trainer.”
DMARGE spoke to former NRL hotshot and founder of Flow Athletic, Ben Lucas, to find out exactly what Max is doing wrong in his workout, the potential consequences if he were to keep it up, as well as the right way to perform each excerise, if you wanted to replicate them at home.
Firstly, Ben agrees that “his form is very off in this video.”
“The exercises are fine, but they need to be done better to not only ensure that Max gets results, but they keep him injury free.”
“The first exercise is the squat and one-arm press. In his squat, his knees are coming over his toes, which leaves his knees suspectible to getting injured, but also means that he is not getting much benefit through his glutes or quads, which is the point of a squat.”
“When squatting, your knees should never come over your toes. Instead, sit back into your squat like you would sit into a seat. Get as low as you can, then squeeze your way back up to standing.”
It should be noted that some personal trainers say it’s actually fine if your knees come over your toes a little bit, but that’s a debate for another day.
Ben adds: “With the press, I would reocmmend having two dumbbells and pushing them up at the same time if your squat form is not on point, because that will keep your body more balanced. If your form is good though, the single arm press is very good for ensuring both sides of your body are working equally, rather than one side overcompensating for the weaker side.”
“The second exercise is a deadlift with a kettlebell. His curved back and nek and super straight legs are likely to leave him with a back, neck, shoudler and possibly even a hamstring injury.”
“To deadlift, hold the kettlebell in your hands while standing up straight. Rolle your shoulder back and down, suck your abs in. As you start to lower into the deadlift, keep the straight form as mentioned above. Your back and neck should be straight, your abs should be tucked in.”
“As for the lower body, push your butt back as you would with a squat, have a slight bend in your knees as you lower. As you raise yourself back up to standing, squeeze your glutes, reset to make sure your shoulders are back and abs are tight.”
“For the last exercise, thoracic rotation in quadruped (on all fours), again he needs to improve his posture. his neck is haunched which is really bad for the health of his neck and back.”
“First thing, rather than just being on all fours, sit slightly back towards your feet and that will help keep the lower back still and safe. Then put one hand behind your head, and slowly bring the elbow towards the opposite hand on the ground.”
“Then slowly come all the way up so your elbow is now facing the roof. Make sure your head goes with it, you don’t want to injure your neck. In Max’s video, he is going too fast to get the benefits, his posture is off and his range of movement isn’t quite hitting the mark.”
So, while Max might be an absolute wizard behind the wheel of a Formula One car, his knowhow when it comes to working out seems to leave a lot to be desired. Just as we wouldn’t recommend you try imitating his driving when on the road, we also have to stress to not copy his workout at home, but take Ben’s comments onboard instead.