At St. Vincent Sports Performance in downtown Indianapolis, Jeff Richter trains some of the best racecar drivers in the world. As the head strength and conditioning coach, Richter’s training focuses on preparing the driver’s body for the forces it will endure over the 2-3 hours of a race as well as their memory so they can perform at a higher level on the track.
“G forces aren't just handled by the neck,” Richter explains during a training session with IndyCar drivers Conor Daly and Ed Carpenter. Decelerating and accelerating into and through a turn challenges the neck, chest, shoulders and core isometrically from many different directions. In order to effectively prepare the body for these forces, drivers must be challenged under these same stresses in their training.
“As a driver, you need to feel strong and comfortable bracing against these forces,” says Richter. “We do a lot of anti-rotation core drills combining Iron Neck with a pallof press. You can do a pallof press standing, seated or against the wall.”