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Would you pay for dressage-specific fitness training?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by OreoCookie View Post
    I've looked for this from personal trainers I've worked with in the past, and always been disappointed.

    I've always been fascinated with fitness and how the body works. I've recently developed my own routine that is helping me tremendously and am actually toying with the idea of studying to become a certified personal trainer myself in the next couple of years to offer workouts tailored to the rider.

    I personally think it's a good idea. Many personal trainers and gyms don't have any idea how to assist our riding muscles.
    I'm just finishing up my certified personal training degree without a real plan of what I would like to do with it... Maybe I should look into this? I'm not sure how much more specific you can get towards riding focused than a really good overall program though...

    Can someone give me some ideas of what it would consist of? I know core strength and stability is obviously a huge factor but other than that I'm really drawing a blank... Thanks guys!

    Comment


    • #22
      Off the top of my head;

      Balance
      Core
      Symmetry (straightening a crooked rider)

      Paula
      He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

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      • #23
        There is this....http://www.horsegirltv.com/equibarre/

        Comment


        • #24
          Originally posted by KateD View Post
          I'm just finishing up my certified personal training degree without a real plan of what I would like to do with it... Maybe I should look into this? I'm not sure how much more specific you can get towards riding focused than a really good overall program though...

          Can someone give me some ideas of what it would consist of? I know core strength and stability is obviously a huge factor but other than that I'm really drawing a blank... Thanks guys!
          I find there are specific deficiencies in rider strength.

          A couple things I like to focus on - balance between opposing muscle groups. For instance, there's a good chance that a riders 'pull' muscles are pretty strong. They can probably do rows and bicep curls easily. Get them to do a few pushups, and there's a good chance they can't, or at least can't as easily as the pull exercises. If your pull muscles are overdeveloped, guess what you're going to do when you ride? Yep, pull. Develop your push muscles more, along with your core, and you'll find yourself able to hold your horse with your core and relax/give with your arms and upper body easier.

          Another thing to do with asymmetry - working body parts individually. When you do bicep curls on a machine or regular squats with weight, you allow your stronger limb to take on more weight as the weaker limb gets tired. By separating them - doing single leg squats, dumbbell curls, etc - you force the weaker muscle to get stronger instead of hand off the work to it's partner.

          There are other aspects to look at as well. An overall program can work well, but there are lots of little tweaks to make it particularly more suitable for riders.

          I personally am maybe a little old school - I like circuit training, very little equipment, mostly body weight exercises that I can do at home. I find it very effective when I have trouble getting to the barn to ride.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by HorseKrazy View Post
            I have had a wonderful book for quite awhile now, 'the riders fitness program' that is specifically aimed at equestrians. It's by dianna robin Dennis, John j mccully, and Paul m jurris. I also just hired a personal trainer that will be incorporating the books 'movements' into my workout program! I can't wait to get buff!
            I bought this book probably 6 years ago or so. I made it through two workouts. The exercises in it are good but it's one of the worst laid out fitness books I've ever read.

            Every workout is completely different with different exercises. Muscle confusion and combating boredom I get, but not when it's laid out this way. You either have to memorize every exercise in the book or you have to stop and flip to a random page for every new exercise.

            It also uses gym equipment, so you have to take the book with you and stand there in the middle of the gym flipping through it to see what you're next exercise is. You can figure out substitutions, but it gives exercises with just about every piece of equipment there is: resistance bands, dumbbells, weight machines, foam rollers, balls, cables, steps...

            I found the workouts to have very little flow and the whole process was just cumbersome. I felt like I spent more time organizing myself than actually working out.

            Edited to add: Just reread where you said you have a personal trainer. It would be a good book to give to a personal trainer to help educate them to better exercises for riders since the trainer can guide you through them without having to fumble with the book.

            Comment


            • #26
              Originally posted by OreoCookie View Post
              I find there are specific deficiencies in rider strength.

              A couple things I like to focus on - balance between opposing muscle groups. For instance, there's a good chance that a riders 'pull' muscles are pretty strong. They can probably do rows and bicep curls easily. Get them to do a few pushups, and there's a good chance they can't, or at least can't as easily as the pull exercises. If your pull muscles are overdeveloped, guess what you're going to do when you ride? Yep, pull. Develop your push muscles more, along with your core, and you'll find yourself able to hold your horse with your core and relax/give with your arms and upper body easier.

              Another thing to do with asymmetry - working body parts individually. When you do bicep curls on a machine or regular squats with weight, you allow your stronger limb to take on more weight as the weaker limb gets tired. By separating them - doing single leg squats, dumbbell curls, etc - you force the weaker muscle to get stronger instead of hand off the work to it's partner.

              There are other aspects to look at as well. An overall program can work well, but there are lots of little tweaks to make it particularly more suitable for riders.

              I personally am maybe a little old school - I like circuit training, very little equipment, mostly body weight exercises that I can do at home. I find it very effective when I have trouble getting to the barn to ride.
              Thanks OreoCookie! I knew I was definitely looking past something! I was very fortunate to do many activities growing up, including dance so balance is second nature to me and I totally overlooked it! I also agree with the push/pull thing, I know in a lot of women actually really lack in upper body strength and I know that could be very beneficial to riders to work on all of those muscle, not just the biceps which are most often used.

              Comment


              • #27
                I'm curious, but what kind of exercises are dressage specific?

                Comment


                • #28
                  In a heartbeat, I would. My preference would be for someone to watch me ride (or a video), listen to my trainer/my specific concerns, then design a program with goals and specific exercises. I wouldn't mind doing the exercises alone as long as you showed me the specifics occasionally. I'm not sure about classes unless you found that all of us needed similar help. I think that there are a few Pilates instructors who have done this...I may be incorrect, but I think Chesapeake Dressage Institute in Annapolis, Maryland has a studio in the barn...
                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by OreoCookie View Post
                    I bought this book probably 6 years ago or so. I made it through two workouts. The exercises in it are good but it's one of the worst laid out fitness books I've ever read.

                    Every workout is completely different with different exercises. Muscle confusion and combating boredom I get, but not when it's laid out this way. You either have to memorize every exercise in the book or you have to stop and flip to a random page for every new exercise.

                    It also uses gym equipment, so you have to take the book with you and stand there in the middle of the gym flipping through it to see what you're next exercise is. You can figure out substitutions, but it gives exercises with just about every piece of equipment there is: resistance bands, dumbbells, weight machines, foam rollers, balls, cables, steps...

                    I found the workouts to have very little flow and the whole process was just cumbersome. I felt like I spent more time organizing myself than actually working out.

                    Edited to add: Just reread where you said you have a personal trainer. It would be a good book to give to a personal trainer to help educate them to better exercises for riders since the trainer can guide you through them without having to fumble with the book.



                    Lol, yup, ditto this. That's why is been collecting dust, but I have decided to break it out now that I am more comfortable with the basic movements. I am not bringing it to the gym today, but I will write down my sets.... Hopefully I will remember them! If Ididn't have a trainer already I could see how this book would be intimidating.

                    On a side note, the one thing I really like is how each exercise is accompanied by a photo of how this applied to my riding (that includes sport specific movements )
                    Last edited by HorseKrazy; Apr. 19, 2013, 04:04 PM. Reason: Adding more

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by cjgatesman View Post
                      I'm curious, but what kind of exercises are dressage specific?
                      All disciplines could benefit. But at the same time, in a one on one session or tailored workout, it's certainly possible to focus on that person's riding style.

                      An eventer that has to gallop in 2 point for 10 minutes could have a different focus on legs than a dressage rider. A jumper that has to be able to stretch their arms out to release over big fences could have a different focus on the shoulders and upper back. Etc...

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #31
                        Originally posted by right horse at the right time View Post
                        In a heartbeat, I would. My preference would be for someone to watch me ride (or a video), listen to my trainer/my specific concerns, then design a program with goals and specific exercises. I wouldn't mind doing the exercises alone as long as you showed me the specifics occasionally. I'm not sure about classes unless you found that all of us needed similar help. I think that there are a few Pilates instructors who have done this...I may be incorrect, but I think Chesapeake Dressage Institute in Annapolis, Maryland has a studio in the barn...
                        Thank you! This is really what I want it to end up being. It's good to know that people want this. Thank you all so much for your input. I need to do a bit more planning, but I think right now I'm going to offer my services at a few local barns and possibly also set something up on the internet where you can get me a video of you riding and I put you through some tests and then we come up with a program that can be done long distance. I have to figure out a lot of the logistics regarding that, so if anyone is good at webby/video-y stuff, please make a suggestion as to the easiest way to do this!

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          I would absolutely pay for dressage / riding-centric personal training. No doubt about it. I've tried various personal trainers, and even after showing them videos of dressage (at their request) and lending them dressage books, they just didn't get it. The "nearest" one got was having me bounce up and down on a large yoga ball while I did rotator cuff exercises. I'm beginning a foray into CrossFit this week hoping to find the silver bullet in my usable strength quest.
                          Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                          http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
                          https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

                          Comment


                          • #33
                            OMG I'm starting Crossfit this week too. I've already asked my dad to pray for me! Let us keep each other engaged!

                            Paula
                            He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by paulaedwina View Post
                              OMG I'm starting Crossfit this week too. I've already asked my dad to pray for me! Let us keep each other engaged!

                              Paula
                              Absolutely!! I'm equally excited and terrified. I'm glad another COTHer is doing it too My first day is Wednesday. When's yours? PM me if you want. I'm haunting the Crossfit website and trying to commit all the do / don't lists to memory. It seems like there's a lot to learn
                              Piaffe Girl -- Dressage. Fashionably.
                              http://piaffegirl.wordpress.com/
                              https://www.facebook.com/PiaffeGirl

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                My first session is Tuesday. One of the schools where I teach offers it so I'm taking advantage. I realized I had to do something after Fella and I did our first Western show last week and we lost time because he couldn't go in a straight line. Instead he was constantly course correcting to meet my changes in balance (he's such a good boy) because I wasn't strong enough to be responsible for my own balance.

                                I'll pm you.
                                Paula
                                He is total garbage! Quick! Hide him on my trailer (Petstorejunkie).

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by beckzert View Post
                                  Thank you! This is really what I want it to end up being. It's good to know that people want this. Thank you all so much for your input. I need to do a bit more planning, but I think right now I'm going to offer my services at a few local barns and possibly also set something up on the internet where you can get me a video of you riding and I put you through some tests and then we come up with a program that can be done long distance. I have to figure out a lot of the logistics regarding that, so if anyone is good at webby/video-y stuff, please make a suggestion as to the easiest way to do this!
                                  Well, check back through my posts - I have posted quite a bit and have posted videos. I'd be happy to be your first internet customer! I do Pilates, yoga, barre, and belong to a gym, so have access to whatever exercise equipment/stretches you can give! Seriously, when you're ready, just let me know. I'm happy to upload videos. Good luck with your business!
                                  LarkspurCO: no horse's training is complete until it can calmly yet expressively perform GP in stadium filled w/chainsaw juggling zombies riding unicycles while flying monkeys w/bottle rockets...

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    NO!!

                                    What dressage-specific muscles wouldn't be addressed with good old fashioned lifts? And what muscles shouldn't be addressed if you're trying to "specify" certain areas? You're really not not-using any muscles in dressage.
                                    If I saw somebody promoting a dressage specific workout, I'd expect gimmicks and unproductive exercises (think high reps and tiny dumbbells).

                                    However, everyone needs horse show money - if you can find clients willing to pay and not do their research on efficient workouts, why not?

                                    Maybe you plan to include some awesome lifting in your dressage program - then, that would be awesome!

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      I think (maybe?), what most people want is somebody to help them apply their muscles to their riding - how to use them; alignment; relaxing them. Seat-specialists seem to always be in demand. Like the abosolutely wonderful, amazing Sandy Howard, who will be greatly missed.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by GimmeQs View Post
                                        NO!!

                                        What dressage-specific muscles wouldn't be addressed with good old fashioned lifts? And what muscles shouldn't be addressed if you're trying to "specify" certain areas? You're really not not-using any muscles in dressage.
                                        If I saw somebody promoting a dressage specific workout, I'd expect gimmicks and unproductive exercises (think high reps and tiny dumbbells).

                                        However, everyone needs horse show money - if you can find clients willing to pay and not do their research on efficient workouts, why not?
                                        I could not disagree more. I would expect a dressage-specific workout to focus heavily on balance and stability exercises and core muscle strength, with far less emphasis given to the traditional large-muscle-group exercises that are designed to build brute strength. I would also expect a dressage-targeted workout to ensure that as we strengthen muscles, we do not compromise flexibility, which is something that a lot of regular old-fashioned workouts and non-riding personal trainers do not address or understand the importance of. Further, I would expect a dressage-targeted workout to help us learn to engage certain muscles (core) while simultaneously relaxing other muscles, in ways that aren't always intuitive. We need to learn how to use muscles in a very targeted fashion without letting the entire body become tense. Also, as OreoCookie mentioned, I'd expect a dressage-specific workout would help me overcome imbalances in my musculature so my body was balanced.

                                        I think trainers that work with dancers or gymnasts, especially at a high level, probably could do a good job. But your average trainer in your average gym doing old-fashioned lifts? I've had about 10 or 12 personal trainers in my life, and only one came close to the right mix. And it was still pretty far off.

                                        In terms of riders not "doing their research," frankly, I have a job that keeps me plenty busy and even though I do have a fitness background, I would much rather outsource this work at this stage in my very-busy life. We all reach a point where we just don't have time to do everything for ourselves and so we start hiring professionals with specific tasks.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Yes, I think most dressage riders would appreciate exercises that save the lower back and open the hips.

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