Riding by itself is not enough to keep you fit and balanced enough to influence your horse in the best possible way. Though riding is great exercise, in order to become better, more balanced and supple as a rider, you should be doing other exercises too. In fact, exercising at a gym with a personal trainer can make you more flexible, make your hips more relaxed (as riders tend to have tight hips) and give your half halts more power.
In this article, we’ll take a look at how you can improve your performance by exercising more.
How can exercising help you with your riding?
As a rider, the most helpful exercises include core exercises. In order to be able to sit quietly, balanced and keep up a nice posture, your core muscles need to be super strong. Your core is what controls your posture, balance, and even your seat.
As riders, we tend to have tight hips and inner thighs. By stretching and opening our hips, we can sit more relaxed and keep our heels down better. As your heels stay down, your safety stirrups stay on the correct spot under your foot.
What kind of exercises can you do?
For riders, body weight exercises, such as Pilates and yoga in addition to corrective exercises, can be very useful. Pilates can help you strengthen your core, as all exercises are based around core muscles and correct alignment and posture. In fact, many riders prefer to do Pilates in addition to their riding. Pilates also helps improve your flexibility and is a great way to recover from injuries.
Yoga is a fantastic way of improving your balance and flexibility. As your flexibility and balance improve, your posture gets better as well. You will be able to hold your shoulders back for longer periods of time and sit more quietly.
Corrective exercises at the gym with a personal trainer are important for riders who have tight shoulders, chest, and back. Many riders do their day job at a desk, hunched over a computer – this results in a bad posture and tight neck, back, hip flexors and chest.
How can I get started?
Getting started with new exercises can be daunting. However, wherever you are, you will be able to find a gym or a Pilates/yoga studio that offers classes and private instruction. You don’t have to do it alone, and shouldn’t either, if you are a newbie to exercising.
The best idea is to contact a local personal trainer or a Pilates instructor and get started. You will be amazed to how much your riding can improve!
Riding is super fun and it can be excellent exercise. However, you will surely become a much better rider yourself when you take care of yourself on other fitness areas as well. Head to the gym or a Pilates class and you will soon feel the difference!