View Full Version : workouts beside riding?

Mar. 6, 2012, 05:46 PM
Hi guys!
Do any of you active riders do anything else alongside riding such as running/swimming/eating healthy? If so what?
Also, do you know what any of the professional riders do to keep in good shape for the high demand of their riding?
Thanks for your responses!

Mar. 6, 2012, 05:49 PM
I run, lift weights, and bike about five times a week. I do it because it makes me feel better to not be out of breath when I am riding my horse. Also I like the way that it makes me look and feel. I cannot comment on what the pros do though.

Mar. 6, 2012, 05:52 PM
Yes, I started working out once I got to the point where I realized that in order to ride well, I needed to be much more fit. I started CrossFit www.crossfit.com at a local affiliate almost a year ago. I also try to follow the Paleo diet, although had kind of fallen off the wagon over the holidays (am now doing a strict 30 days to get back on track!). Both have made a huge difference in my general fitness and feeling of well being.

I know a lot of pros who run, and my trainer does yoga.

Mar. 6, 2012, 05:53 PM
I go to the gym 5-6 days a week and ride around 4 days a week. One riding day per week I specifically work on strengthening exercises (stirrupless, two point, etc)
At the gym I do a weight circuit twice a week or so that includes leg and arm strengthening targeting various muscles. On those days I also do core work. Then I swim twice a week for 30-45 mins. And the remaining 1-2 days I do some other sort of cardio. (walking, exercise machines, jogging, biking, whatever)

Mar. 6, 2012, 06:08 PM
Running 3x a week, biking 2x, and when possible I swim 2x a week instead of a run and bike. Also, core work after each run and arm strength training after each bike.

And, on weekends 15 stalls a day and 15 water buckets, and 4 groomings. Pretty sure that makes up for not actually working out then :)

Mar. 6, 2012, 06:17 PM

Mar. 6, 2012, 06:18 PM
Debbie Rodriguez has a set of DVDs out called "Success in the Saddle". Although she's a dressage rider, her videos target the areas that riders need most - hips, thighs, core, and shoulders. They're surprisingly tough and although I'm pretty fit, I was sore the next day after I started doing them.

Mar. 6, 2012, 06:21 PM
Insanity by Beachbody, and I bike 20 miles a day, weather permitting.

Mar. 6, 2012, 06:44 PM
I run, bike and swim, as I am training for a triathlon. Per week, I run about 15-20 miles, bike about 30-40, and swim countless laps in the pool. I enjoy it, and it does make a big difference in my riding fitness. As for eating healthy, I moreso just try to eat the bad stuff in moderation. ;)

Mar. 7, 2012, 11:20 AM
I do yoga and pilates three times a week. I've found it really helps improve core strength. I also have a book called the Rider's Fitness Program that I don't use as much as I probably should, but if you're looking for exercises that translate specifically to riding, it's a great resource for that, as it explains on each page how the exercises relate to things you do in the saddle.

As for the pros, one of my trainers is really into running, and she does Crossfit as well. Way too intense for me, but she's in great shape!

Mar. 7, 2012, 11:26 AM
Insanity by Beachbody, and I bike 20 miles a day, weather permitting.

Ahhh Insanity is amazing. I do Insanity and I alternate with Tony Horton's P90X, both are great. THan after I'm done with that I do abs and every other day I lift weights. Occasionally I'll go for a run but thats rare.

Mar. 7, 2012, 11:30 AM
Netflix has a video called "Ab Attack" and it's amazing.

Mar. 7, 2012, 02:03 PM
My goal is to start running again once the weather warms up but I use the excercise ball a lot.
I find this helps my back, butt, thighs and abs.

1) Lay flat on the floor, prop your legs up on the ball, ball square against your butt, (looks like you are sitting on a chair but sideways), knees bent over ball and spread about 1 foot apart, enough to give you a grip on the ball. Relax your leg and use your deep abs (lower abs), to pull your knees/ball to your chest. Being careful not to death drip the ball, just enough to hold it.
(arms flat against your side)
- 60 reps
2) Plank on ball- lay flat on floor, move ball out so you have your ankles on the ball about 6 inches apart. Pull abs in towards floor, lift your booty in the air to make body straight, hold 1-2-3, down again and keep going.
-60 reps
3) Reverse plank- lay on top of the ball, stomach to ball, pull abs in, face the floor, legs extended behind you resting on toes like you would be doing a push up. Hands behind head like you were doing a crunch. Allow your body to sag over the ball, then lift yourself upwards, using your back muscles and abs. Do not over extend back, you only want to come to a straight back posture like you were standing.
-60 reps
4) Similiar to #2 but for your obliques- same posture but staying flat on floor, pull abs down to floor, and roll ball side to side while keeping back flat on the floor. Being sure not to hold ball too much with leg otherwise you will not use your core as much.
5) Lastly my FAV, use wall or couch. Place ball about 2 feet from wall or what ever is comfortable. You want to lay on the ball, ball on the curve of your back. Pull legs up and place feet flat against ball. (Chair position again). Do 60 crunches.

Mar. 7, 2012, 04:23 PM
My goal is usually to workout 6x a week, some days I will go early in the morning and at night if time permits in order to free up a day later in the week.

I do the elliptical machine or treadmill for half an hour to forty-five minutes, depends on if I am going twice that day or not and how much time I have. I like the elliptical as its easier on my knees/ankles and I find it is a better all-over body workout, but nothing beats the exhaustion of a good, hard run. When the snow and mud are gone, I like to run outside. There is a lovely trail behind my barn that makes for a great jog.

Lately I've started skating once or twice a week. It isn't as good of a workout as running (for me, anyways), but I do feel tired, my legs hurt and my heart rate is always elevated after a good hour or so. I count an hour of skating to be the same as about half an hour on the treadmill. Also great for balance- I've noticed an improvement in my upper body while riding. Not sure if this is from all the gym time or the skating, but an interesting correlation nonetheless. And, its way more fun.

I think its great when riders are active and fit. My old barn usually got a 'running club' going from about late April-October. It was assumed that around 6:30 each evening there would be someone from the group around to run with. I never ran alone and it was great to have motivation from fellow riders. My coach loved it and everyone's riding improved massively just from being fit. She always told us that if we expected our horses to be fit and athletic, then the least we could do was try and be fit and athletic ourselves.

Mar. 8, 2012, 12:07 AM

Mar. 8, 2012, 12:39 AM
Spinning classes are a killer cardio/core work out which can greatly enhance your endurance in the saddle. Luckily I ride 3-5 horses a day and I'm in the best riding shape ever (as far as endurance/strength in the saddle go). Haven't worked out in over a year and half but when I didn't ride so much I would do 3-5 spin classes a week.

Mar. 8, 2012, 02:30 AM
Spinning and Pilates. As often as I can as long as it doesn't cut into riding time, but I have been known to do all 3 on the same day! Of course, then a good strong nap is also in order. ;)

Mar. 8, 2012, 08:46 PM
I've been dancing ballet for 15 years and I firmly believe it has had an enormous impact on my riding. It works muscles you never knew you had, improves your posture and core strenght, and is a great workout. Maybe not for the faint of heart but I can't imagine where I would be without it.

Mar. 9, 2012, 12:05 AM
Crossfit for me too! Actually having ab muscles for the first time in my life helped so much with my riding, I can't even tell you.

Gali's girl
Mar. 9, 2012, 01:27 AM
What's ERG?

I just bought the Succes in the Saddle DVDs, and I plan to pair that with Wii fit (running, hula hoop, boxing, & step) :)-

make x it x so
Mar. 9, 2012, 09:17 AM
I'm relatively new to the whole working out thing, but I vary it up between traditional jogging/elliptical/cardio stuff (for running, C25K was a dream come true!) and some more focused ab/bodyweight stuff.

A website I've found really helpful for good body workouts that usually don't require equipment is bodyrock.tv- it's a different 12 minute high-intensity interval work out every other day that is pretty good at getting a full body workout. I've noticed a difference in my ab and arm strength even just doing it irregularly and mostly "beginner" variations of the exercises.

Lately, it's been mostly the strength exercises because I pulled or strained something in my leg, (based on my online self-diagnosis, it's my iliotibial band) so I don't want to run and stress it.

And just so no one freaks out, I am not relying SOLELY on my online diagnosis in my "treatment"- when it started hurting I consulted my mom, a Physician Assistant, and she said not to bother going to the doctor- just try not to aggravate it more and give it time.

Mar. 9, 2012, 09:19 AM
an erg is pretty much a stationary rowing machine :) (I live with a girl on the cre team... I have been subjected to the erg torture a few times... great workout but uses muscles I forgot I had!)

Mar. 9, 2012, 10:05 AM
I've been dancing ballet for 15 years and I firmly believe it has had an enormous impact on my riding. It works muscles you never knew you had, improves your posture and core strenght, and is a great workout. Maybe not for the faint of heart but I can't imagine where I would be without it.

I do ballet as well. I hate the gym and any "traditional" type of excersize, so I have to trick myself in to a workout. :)I may be weird but I could do barre work every day!

Ballet gives me great core strength and I work my butt of without even knowing it. You do have to love it though, or it won't be fun for you.

I also love the curves it gives me!

Mar. 9, 2012, 11:39 AM
I sign up for races every year. Last year I did 2 half marathons and 3 10k's. This year I am signed up for a Gran Fondo (103 miles on my bike with 9000' of climbing) and I have a couple of shorter races in mind to train. This makes me get out there and run or bike, even during horse shows. I also go to Spin and a core class 2x/week when I am home.

I really find that having a race/goal makes me keep working... and when I am riding (2-4 horses/day) or snowboarding I find that my cardio fitness is never a limiting factor.

Mar. 9, 2012, 06:49 PM
an erg is pretty much a stationary rowing machine :) (I live with a girl on the cre team... I have been subjected to the erg torture a few times... great workout but uses muscles I forgot I had!)

me too!!! The erg is also a great quick workout. i can do a 5k in about 22 minutes and i am way more tired after that then after running a 5k.

Mar. 9, 2012, 07:14 PM
I work out more to try and look good in my ballroom dresses than anything else, but doing ballroom and figure skating, starting when I wasn't riding, has been a HUGE help in body awareness, balance, control of my core.

For general working out, I get bored VERY easily by everything but machines that I can use while watching TV (not only does it keep me from being bored, it helps me time what I'm doing once the batteries die/counter breaks). Right now I have an eliptical. It's nice and it's easy on my bad knee that can't take pounding like running. So I'm constantly looking for different things to do instead of crunches or trying to do a set workout (I can't do videos for long, I feel like I'm wasting time doing just one thing and not watching a movie or a TV show while working out instead. I'm a compulsive multi-tasker if you can't tell.) Right now I'm doing a standing hand-weight workout for the core. And they KILLED me the first time I did them, though I suspect they meant smaller hand weights than 8lbs. The stronger my lats and obliques are, the better I feel in the saddle and the longer I can hold my two-point.

Oh, and I have dogs. Dog #1 wants to walk to Berrien Springs every time we go out (that would be a little under 20 miles), Dog #2 would prefer not to but is pudgy and needs to be less so. I try to get a minimum of half-mile up to the corner and half-mile back every day, ideally farther.

Mar. 9, 2012, 09:10 PM
I'm a non-comp swimmer on a very competitive team. (I used to compete, long story there...) I love swimming because it really pushes me mentally (I have to work myself to my max while staring at a black line and listening to water rush past) and physically (working aerobically with your face in the water, anyone?). It has greatly improved my focus (you cannot let your mind wander when you swim, between your technique, keeping track of your yards, and keeping track of intervals, you're always thinking) and my strength, as I get cardio and light resistance training all in one.

Another plus: It's low impact! No pounding on my joints.

Swimming has given me better focus and mental toughness, which has really helped my riding. I can flat for way longer than I used to without getting distracted or frying my brain. My strength and stamina have also benefited greatly from swimming.

That being said, swimming is a sport that takes a while to get into (For those started very young it comes more naturally, compared to those who start in adulthood who find it more dificult to pick up) and requires lots of attention. If you don't have an at least an hour to dedicate to it at least 4 days a week on average (some weeks of 3 days are OK, weeks with 5-6 days are best) it's not for you. Swimming requires a lot of "maintenance" because you have to retain your water feel and your conditioning.

Mar. 10, 2012, 02:47 AM
me too!!! The erg is also a great quick workout. i can do a 5k in about 22 minutes and i am way more tired after that then after running a 5k.

Both of my SO's sisters were or still on a crew team and we have races on the Erg... exhausting!

Mar. 10, 2012, 12:20 PM
I run and swim -- both pretty casually. I tend to do about 1k at a time swimming, and 2-3k running (with sniff/pee breaks for my canine running buddy). I ride 3-4 days a week, and try to do 2 other workout days.

Both are good for maintaining cardio fitness, and I like what running does for my leg strength. I find swimming super relaxing (I guess bluebuckets and I have opposite experiences!), because aside from just keeping a tally on my laps, I don't think about much, and I find the sound of water pretty hypnotic. Great for upper body strength, and I find my posture improves when I swim consistently.

Mar. 10, 2012, 01:01 PM
I tend to do a lot of group classes at the gym; I do a kickboxing class on Monday, spin class on Tuesday, a sports conditioning class on Wednesday which is very comparable to insanity or p90x, on Thursdays I do stadiums with my dad and finally on friday I run on the treadmill :)

Mar. 14, 2012, 11:49 PM
Pilates is the single most effective thing outside of the saddle that I've found for riding. It does amazing things for your core and upper body strength. Running is great too, it helps my legs to feel stronger in the saddle. And I've been doing 90 degree squats with an exercise ball between my back and the wall. I can see the difference in my outer thighs, which I think is an area that's often neglected but important to riding strength.

Mar. 15, 2012, 04:06 AM
I just moved to Ohio, and I'm looking for a gym. I love the TRUE Pilates machines, as they truly give you a very long lean look. Classes are expensive as heck, but the results are worth it. My old gym in MI I used to do the random program on the treadmill for 60 minutes, and then usually sit in the sauna or steam room. I had a medical issue where I gained about 40 pounds, and I'm definitely not "show ready" yet. Until my TS's and Vogel's fit again - my horse will enjoy the home life :)

Mar. 15, 2012, 04:57 PM
I run, do lots of ab stuff, and bike. Any endurance stuff really helps me!

Mar. 15, 2012, 05:03 PM
Dressage rider chiming in here....

Best thing I have done/and easiest......Ellipitcal trainer 5/6 days a week/30 minutes. I rotate between HIll Climb, Cross Country, Rock Climb, and Afterburn. Best thing I have ever done...Sitting the trot is nothing now. I feel strong and dropped another pant size. I admit that I cry every time I look at that machine, I wimper again around the 20 minute mark..but damn do I feel great when I finish.

I do watch what I eat.....No dairy, no soda (not even diet), no processed white carbs.

Mar. 15, 2012, 10:04 PM
Sheesh, you guys are hard core. I try and run about 2-3 miles, three times a week. That doesn't always happen. Sometimes I do some crunches afterwards. I ride 1-2 horses 5-6 days a week. Other then that, I'm too tired from life to do more!

Mar. 15, 2012, 11:47 PM
Currently, I have a broken ankle, but prior, I was working out 7 times/week.
A 'body sculpt' class (super hard!), running 1-2x week, swimming, yoga, spin class, and then riding 2x/week. I will be swimming more, as I am planning on doing a triathlon (super sprint). Id most defiently helps my riding!

Mar. 16, 2012, 03:42 AM
Does getting up and refilling my coffee cup at work count?


Guess it's back to the dreadmill...

Mar. 16, 2012, 02:47 PM
me too!!! The erg is also a great quick workout. i can do a 5k in about 22 minutes and i am way more tired after that then after running a 5k.

When I was in uni I rowed crew, and it was when I was the fittest I've ever been. Since I moved up north to the great white yonder (close to the northwest territories... yup, that north) we don't have any ergs up here! My workout routine is SHOT so I've been testing a few different ones out and have settled on p90x. If I miss a day or two, that's alright, just pick it up where I left off and away we go!

I like that the workouts switch movements every minute or so, constantly moving, stretching, lifting, pushing, what have you, plus the alternatives that are easier or more challenging are pretty cool. All I have for equipment is a yoga mat, two 8 lb weights and a resistance band.