Your personal fitness plays a massive role when it comes to riding your horse, I learned this the hard way. A week off from riding and you will be quick to feel the side effects of not being constantly in the saddle!
A lot of people have enquired & asked about my fitness routine, how I stay fit riding my horse so I have teamed up with my gym trainer from Titan Fitness, to put together the top 6 exercises that help me stay fit when it comes to riding my horse.
There are so many muscles we use whilst riding that we don’t use on a day to day basis, keeping these muscles alive & kicking with some simple exercises is key!
Have a read below at my 6 go to exercises, these can be done prior to riding, at home or before you go to the yard, my personal favourite is doing them just before I go to bed!
What is this exercise good for: Glutes – building up your leg muscles
How To Do This Exercise: Keeping your feet shoulder width apart. Start by Keeping your back straight at all times, lower your hips down below your knee level, then pushing back up. Make sure to exhale when you are standing back up. While doing this be sure to squeeze your glutes & abs at the top for the best results.
Reps: 3 x sets of 10
What is this exercise good for: Strengthening your glutes, quads, hamstrings & calves
How To Do This Exercise: Place one foot elevated behind you. Keeping your back straight at all times,on your standing leg, keep your foot flat as you lower your knee towards the floor. Exhale as you stand back up squeezing your glutes & abs at the top.
Reps: 3 x sets of 10
Single Leg Deadlift
What is this exercise good for: Hip strength and power – also good for balance & stability
How To Do This Exercise: Hold a weight in one hand, keeping your two feet together. Keep your back straight through this movement, lower your body forward lifting your leg backwards. (If you are holding the weight in your right hand lift your left leg, using the same technique on the opposite side) Breathe out as you stand back up making sure you finish in the same position you started.
Reps: 3 x sets of 5
What is this exercise good for: Strengthening your core, improves balance & posture
How To Do This Exercise: Start on the ground face down with your feet together, elbows placed under your shoulders. Lift your body off the floor keeping your body straight from your calves to your head. Breathe in deeply and exhale slowly squeezing your core muscles tighter as you exhale.
Reps: 3 x 20 sec planks
Band Apart Exercise
What is this exercise good for: Strengthening your shoulders
How To Do This Exercise: Start by holding the band in both hands, keeping your elbows just slightly bent, begin by lifting your arms so that the band is just below your chest. Breathe out & pull the band apart squeezing the back of your shoulders. Slowly go back to the starting position & repeat
Reps: 3 x sets of 5
What is this exercise good for: Improving flexibility, prevent injury
How To Do This Exercise: Start by simply placing one leg at a time on the foam roller, applying pressure from your body weight begin by rolling up & back on the foam roller, or in this case if you dont have a foam roller a hard cardboard roll will do the trick. Regularly foam rolling before & after you ride your horse will help you prepare your muscles for the workout ahead.
Reps: 5-10 minutes of foam rolling
So there you have it & you even get to look at some cringy photos of me doing each exercise!
Why not try out a few of the above, you dont have to do them religiously 2-3 days a week to start off is perfect. You should start to see a huge improvement in your posture, strength & flexability within the saddle as the weeks go by.
Thanks for reading, & from experience I highly recommend you guys doing regular physio sessions too. When you think about it, you ride your horse for at least 20-30 minutes a day and most of the time you just hop straight up without any warm up or warm down stretches. Look after your body, you only get one!
Disclaimer: I don’t claim to be a fitness fanatic and I am taking no responsibility for an injuries accrued, if you are in any pain please contact your physio or doctor.
Give Titan Fitness a follow on Facebook to keep upto date with some more great exercises!
Until next time,