Fitness is Key


Karting to Open Wheel Formula – is the Fitness regime different?

Fitness for Joseph Burton-Harris has been carefully managed by Dean McNamara at Sydney Sports and Exercise Physiology since he was 13 years of age to ensure a strong body without injury or damage to his natural physical development. While you are under the age of 25years, your physical training as an athlete needs careful consideration to ensure you have a long healthy future in your sport.

During his karting career Joseph’s slight frame of 45kg at 5′ 6” at aged 15 racing against drivers in their 20’s meant fitness and conditioning centred around strength. With no seatbelts or Hans device, core and neck strength were a particular focus.

Typical exercises Dean would supervise with young Kart drivers include:

  • Hanging Leg Raise: Hang from a bar and lift the knees or straight legs to a horizontal position to the hips then return to the hanging position
  • Dead Lift: Pickup a heavy weight from the floor and return to the floor whilst maintaining a good posture in the back (no arching of the back; Feet must be placed at shoulder width)
  • Neck exercise: Lay on a bed with the head over the edge maintaining good posture (straight neck) for short periods of time. All exercises should be supervised by a qualified professional as these may cause injury if not supervised.

Open wheel Formula racing now means longer races for Joseph with a strong aerodynamic package on the Formula Mazda that makes it harder to turn in the faster corners. This requires forearm strength over core and neck with a 6 point safety harness and Hans device; whilst conditioning or cardio fitness also becomes critical.

Recommended exercises for young Formula drivers include:

1. Turkish Get-up

2. Dead LiftJBH_DeadLift

3. Chin UpJBH_Chin_up


Dean McNamara talks about why these exercises are important


For more information on Fitness for young race car driver contact Dean McNamara at Sydney Sports and Exercise Physiology