Core conditioning is so so so important, the function of the torso muscles are to provide stability for the spine in the form of a brace and to connect limb movements together. When riding motocross, you will find yourself in many situations where the unexpected happens! In these circumstances, you will have two options, triumph or crash. The difference between the two is often whether you are strong enough to ride out of the crash. This is where the valsalva maneuver comes in handy. What is the Valsalva maneuver and how can I learn to do it? 'A forceful exhalation against a closed airway that decreases venous return by increasing pressure in the thoracic cavity' (Picture the cartoon character Popeye, as he blows his muscles up by blowing against his thumb)
Bracing your torso when going into corners, over bumps, and on the take off and landings of jumps will create muscular tension that will protect your spine whilst keeping your form strong. So next time you ride, ask yourself this: "Do I feel the muscles in my stomach area work when I ride". If not, do something about it as you may be missing out on a lot of riding potential!