Personally, I go to the gym 3-4 days a week and do 30 min of cardio on the elliptical then another 15 minutes of weights focusing on my upper back, arms, thighs, calves and core. I have to go on my lunch break so I usually will only work on two sections per day.
I have noticed some obvious benefits (slimming down and more energy), but there have also been some surprising benefits I have really bad peroneal tendonitis that flares up from riding, but the stretching that I get in my calf muscles from the elliptical really help if I ride later after my gym trip. Also, focusing on my upper back is helping my posture in and out of the saddle
I have sadly gotten out of the habit (and gained back some of the weight...) but when I was working with a personal trainer once a week and doing cardio outside of that, it made a *huge* difference in my riding.
Finally, when my instructor said, "Sit up and hold to the base of the fence" I actually had the core strength and balance to do it! Before, I'd try... but the strength was not there and I'd collapse before the fence and then jump up his neck to try to fix it. We all know how well THAT works.
It was eye opening. While the trainer wasn't cheap, I spent far more than that on riding lessons where I could not progress because I just physically couldn't *do* what was being asked of me.
I also had tons more energy. My overweight out of shape self would have to limit commitments -- really only one major thing per day. In shape, I had the energy to do nearly anything I wanted to.
3x/week 1-hr weight training sesions with personal trainer when I'm in my home city (I try to keep it up a bit when I'm tasked out, but it drops off; I don't self-motivate for weight training very well. I've been good this week, 3 times but only 30 min sessions with crappy hotel-gym equipment).
Run 5-6 km 3x/week, more often when I'm away from home to compensate for reduced weight training. Occasional hill intervals, but mostly on the flat. No motivation problems with running, at least.
Riding 3-4 times a week when at home.
I used to do yoga 3x/week too. I keep meaning to get back into it. Timing, sigh.
When I visit my parents for a longer period, like for 2 weeks over Xmas, I get a pass for mom's Y and attend their aerobic/weights mix group classes. Different from my usual routine but fun.
I do see benefits with riding, and in general. My posture is better and my core stronger (heavy lifting does wonders for the core!). And of course I love that I'm gaining strength. I'm even seeing little lats now when I flex
Soon, very soon I will be able to do full pull-ups
Last edited by Coanteen; Nov. 2, 2012 at 12:38 PM.
I was in physical therapy earlier this year because it turned out my back pain was related to bad arthritis- chiro and PT and Pilates and very stern orders to not ride or run or lift.
Got through that, but I'm finding that I have the best work outs if I start with some of the PT exercises and stretches. Basically, I spend about 15-20 minutes on the ball with some 10-12lb weights, slowly and systematically stretching all of my major muscle groups. It's kinda combination Pilates/chi-ball with weights.
Then I do a few miles on the elliptical- I'm not gonna lie, it bores the heck out of me, so I've been doing more resistance over shorter distances. Random hill setting, etc. Even if I run out on the trail, I get to about 2 miles and just get too bored to continue!
After that, I do about 5 miles on the recumbant bike to cool down.
The crunches and final stretches, which I sometimes just do at my house, because we're lucky enough to live within walking distance of the gym.
I used to ride 3-4 times a week. I'm now lucky to ride 1-2, due to work kicking into high gear and having one rideable horse (which is more than a lot of people have, and I feel very blessed). I find that, regardless of my work outs, riding still kicks my core harder than anything else I do- then I run better, and then ride better still! The cycle of goodness!
I do CrossFit three times a week. Has helped me get into probably the best shape I've been in since I quit competitive swimming as a kid.
Other perks-definitely more fit in the saddle. Horses that used to wear me out are still tiring, but I no longer feel like I want to die! I do have the strength to sit up now too, however for me its always been more of a muscle memory thing than a strength thing. I also used to have some weird food pain I'm pretty sure was plantar facitis, however it has since gone away once I transitioned to barefoot shoes and running correctly.