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Good Exercises for riders? Especially for a strong core?

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  • Good Exercises for riders? Especially for a strong core?

    I have gym this term at school, so I have decided to make use of the exercise center to improve my riding. I want to start doing some exercises at the gym to improve my riding, especially my core strength. My horse can get pretty strong, and sometimes I end up collapsing forward which doesn't help the situation! I was just wondering if anyone had any suggestions for exercises they like (I'm open to suggestions for things other than core work, too!). I will have some help from my gym teacher who is a personal trainer outside of school, so he is very experienced. But he has loads of other people to work with, and I want input from other riders, anyway! Thanks!

  • #2
    And then some more plank.
    Throw in some burpees just to make your life more miserable.


    • #3
      Get a book on pilates exercises; become familiar w/ them and ask trainer for technique verification during class. There is a book called "Pilates for Dressage" which might be helpful even if you aren't into riding dressage...
      We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........


      • #4
        Get a resistance band. Go on Pinterest and find a bazillion ways to use it to work every part of your body.

        And pilates is definitely your friend.


        • #5


          • Original Poster

            Thank you everyone! I like the idea of the resistance band, and I'll look into that pilates book! I was doing planks today for the first time in class! They are incredibly painful, but I can definitely see how they would be helpful.


            • #7
              Exercises that work the muscles on the back of the body have made me much stronger and stable in the saddle, helped tremendously with strong horses. Triceps, shoulders, lower back, butt, hamstrings, calves. Of course abs too, especially the low abs. Machines are great but floor work, pilates and yoga are important. Lots of stretching throughout the day, water, and hot showers cut down on the soreness and make riding bearable the day after a hard workout.


              • #8
                Planks are great.
                Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole


                • #9
                  Planks are hell.
                  But yes they work.
                  Pilates helped me, and actually Yoga helped my balance in the saddle a lot and makes me more even to my bad side.
                  Don't be afraid to lift heavy (with instruction), women don't have the hormones to make them "bulky". Doing lots of reps with a small weight is definitely less effective then a few reps with a heavier weight.


                  • #10
                    Core strength

                    Muck stalls
                    Carry water buckets
                    Sweep barn floor
                    Move baled hay


                    • Original Poster

                      Thanks guys! Keep the suggestions coming! Pixie, I already do that for 20 horses I'm just looking for things to do during my gym class this term =)


                      • #12
                        Planks of all varieties are great (side planks, walking planks, uneven planks a million other planks lol) squats! Your glutes/hip flexes etc are all part of your core. Doing a variety of squats and jumps like power jumps and 'belt kicks' will tone up your core. Also try doing balancing excercises on a half or full bosu ball. This will force you to use your core for stability.
                        Reverse wood chops are great too!


                        • #13
                          Just ride a big, font end heavy warmblood and half halt keeping your shoulders back and heels under you= core workout!


                          • Original Poster

                            Thanks for the replies, guys!


                            • #15
                              My favorites are the dumbbell plank row and the medicine ball squat.

                              Dumbbell plank row -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NP3Wke4GLA
                              Its important to really hold your core and keep yourself straight. Don't rotate your hips as you do the row. 10lbs and 5 reps per side is usually a good starting point.

                              Medicine Ball Squat - Grab an 8-10 lb medicine ball. You will be doing a basic squat except every time you squat down you will press the medicine ball forward away from your chest, when you raise back up pull the ball towards your chest. You want to keep your upper body from leaning forward, try to hold your core and remain as perpendicular to the ground as possible throughout the exercise.

                              Regular old plank is pretty good too!
                              Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique


                              • #16
                                I do a Denise Austin "Pilates for Everybody" DVD that incorporates resistance band work and my trainer thinks my position has improved 100 percent in just 6 weeks.


                                • #17
                                  Lunges. When my horse was on stall rest and I wasn't riding as much, I rode another horse on a LONG (2-3 hour) trail ride and was really sore the next day. I noticed when I did a lunge that all those muscles hurt. So I conclude that lunges really work your riding muscles!!! Probably no need to hold weights. Just do "lunge" steps doing as many as you can until fatigue. Rest. And do some more!!!! Also great if you are a downhill skiier!!! Works your quads and butt muscles!!!


                                  • #18
                                    To strengthen your core, v-ups, "lemon squeezers" (a type of abdominal workout-sit up crunch), plank holds, leg lifts and half leg lifts while hanging frm a pull- up bar, hollow rocks hanging from the pull up bar. My gymnast daughter does these three times a week for 45 minutes and has 6pack abs! You could look up gymnast conditioning!


                                    • #19
                                      Plank, plank punches, side plank with hip raises, ball lifts (place a yoga ball between your feet while lying in your back, lift the ball towards the sky then back down without touching the floor) ball side to side (ball between feet, legs 90* from torso on back, take legs left to the ground and right to the ground), hammer cross...
                                      chaque pas est fait ensemble


                                      • #20
                                        Air Squats, with thighs below parallel, concentrate making sure your weight is in your heels.
                                        Good Mornings
                                        Weighted Squats
                                        Wall Balls
                                        Double under jump rope builds awesome cardiovascular endurance with core.
                                        Google a few crossfit exercises, they concentrate on core muscles. Many require minimal to no equipment or weights.
                                        Never underestimate weight in the heels.
                                        no hoof, no horse
                                        no head, no horseman. just wear it.