The 3 Best Exercises for Horseback Riders

The 3 Best Exercises for Horseback Riders

Horseback riding requires an enormous amount of strength, muscular endurance, and balance to be able to straddle and control such a large, powerful animal. Riding activates all the major muscles of the body, but the ability to stay upright and stable while simultaneously absorbing the power of the horse comes primarily from the core. The following exercises will strengthen all major muscles of the body, with a particular focus on core training and stabilization, specifically for improving your horseback riding.

1. BOSU Squat

The BOSU squat mimics the balance needed to stand in the reigns on the horse and uses the quads and core to control the movement patterns and power that a horse exerts. This exercise improves balance control while also improving lower-body muscular imbalances as well as soft tissue and neuromuscular conditioning. The BOSU squat will train balance, muscular endurance, core stability and promote the correct range of motion needed to protect hips, knees and ankles from injury when riding.

How to perform:

  1. Stand on the flat side of a BOSU ball with a shoulder-width stance. Maintain good spinal position with your chest up and head looking forward. This will be your starting position.
  2. Flex the knees and hips to lower your body, keeping your knees aligned with your feet and hips. Squat as deep as flexibility allows. Do not allow your knees to cave or allow your thoracic spine to flex.
  3. Pause at the bottom of the motion, and then return to the starting position by extending at the knees and hips.

2. Seated Physio Ball Cable Rotation

This exercise is specific to being seated in the saddle and using the core to stay balanced and upright while riding. The cable rotation improves rotational strength and the ability to resist being thrown off balance in the saddle.

How to perform:

  1. Adjust a cable machine so that the anchor point is between waist and shoulder level when you are seated on a ball.
  2. Use a stability ball that allows you to sit with your hips and knees in a stable position.
  3. Maintain a neutral spine and upright posture, exhale and rotate your arms and torso away from the resistance on the cable machine.
  4. Hold for a brief second and then slowly return to the starting position.

3. Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell swing will train your anaerobic cardiovascular endurance and power endurance in the posterior chain so that you are able to withstand stand up riding for a longer period of time. The kettlebell swing is a great exercise if you have issues engaging your hamstrings to get your legs back and underneath yourself when riding or find yourself falling forward.

  1. Start with your feet slightly wider apart than shoulder-width.
  2. Hold the kettle-bell with both hands and then push up from your heels and quickly thrust your hips into extension by contracting your hamstrings and glutes.

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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