The effect of integrating riding specific exercises into your fitness program, or just doing it once or twice a week as your fitness program, will yield fabulous results. Many riders such as Eventing Champion Bettina Hoy and Dressage Champion Jessica von Bredow-Werndl uses fitness training for improving performance in the saddle.
- The benefits of fitness training for equestrians
- Why Cross-Fit makes you a better rider
- Exercises for your training
- Vary your fitness training
- Training at the stables
What are the benefits of fitness training for equestrians?The first big bonus, whether you ride just for fun or want to improve your scores in the dressage arena; an improved, stronger, balanced and secure position in the saddle.
- You want to be able to follow the movement of your horse more easily?
- To be able to sit to the trot without bouncing?
A training series dedicated to equestrian's fitness!Our new training series "Fit Like Hoy" with eventing rider Bettina Hoy is here to guide you through your training. Other trainers such as Jessica von Bredow-Werndl and Benjamin Werndl also have exercises to complement your fitness training and help you in the saddle!
Why Cross-Fit makes you a better rider?You may think `Oh I do not have enough time to go the gym´ but the bonus of training developed by a rider is they understand this and show us all the exercises, firstly in a gym setting and then in the stable. Using equipment everyone has, a rail and lead rope for pull ups, a stable fork or broom for shoulder exercises, even just taking water to your horse can become a workout! This doesn't mean hours every day either, working out twice a week for 15-20 minutes is enough to see an improvement in your riding. The same way horses have a natural crookedness, so do the majority of riders ( that pesky inside hand that has a life of it's own?) and the exercises here also help us improve our symmetry and coordination, meaning not only can we overcome that pesky inside hand but means we can better help our horses crookedness, both natural and rider related. There are targeted exercises that enable us to improve our flexibility and stability in the saddle, with an improvement in our overall balance. For someone riding a green or spooky horse, this can make riding enjoyable again and a whole lot safer. Self-awareness and increased control of your own body and muscles is a great way to achieve an independent seat, meaning finer, more precise and effective use of the aids. Being able to synchronize your leg, weight and rein aids means a happier and most likely, more willing, horse that better understands your aids and what you are asking, meaning a more successful and above all, more harmonic partnership with your horse. Keep in mind that everything you do helps. Even just a few minutes of warming-up before riding can make a difference. You will also see that the exercises get easier with time, you might find that carrying heavier weights or doing more repetitions gradually becomes easier.
Here are some exercises to get you started:
What are Shoulder Rotations?This exercise helps you gain mobility and flexibility in your shoulders. This is perfect for riders that struggle to sit upright and will help you to ride with quiet, independent hands. Keep in mind for all exercises that you should take your time, you shouldn't feel pain, take it slowly and don't overdo it.
How to do it:
- Stand comfortably with feet shoulder width apart
- The hands hold on from above, to your bar, broomstick or fork - Arms outstretched throughout the exercise
- The tighter you grip the harder the exercise is.
What is there to know about the Mobility exercise?Not only does this exercise helps you stretch your muscles but also prepares your ankle, knee and hip joints for work.
- Take a step forward with one leg
- Hands are placed either side of the forward foot
- Allow the front foot to move 90 degrees
- Push the hips forward and down and push the knee to the outside with your elbow
- It should be slightly uncomfortable, but should not get worse during or after the exercise