Happy Wednesday! On Wednesdays I share my workouts, and this week I am all about fitness for equestrians.
Let me back up a sec and fill you in on one of my summer adventures. I started horse riding lessons a month ago. I’ve always dreamed of being a rider but thought it was an opportunity lost in childhood. But then I thought why can’t I learn now? The only thing stopping me is my own self-limiting beliefs. A month later I am learning the art and sport of dressage at a stable in Shelby Township MI called Bit by Bit.
I am in love! I’ve found my sport. Unless you’re an equestrian you probably think dressage is boring to watch. Actually, a lot of equestrians think dressage is boring. But almost all agree on one thing which is dressage is all about being a good rider. Many equestrians who do jumping/hunting practice dressage to improve their riding. I didn’t want to just learn to ride; I want to learn to ride well. So, I am starting dressage.
Dressage is a very good core strength and balance workout. It also challenges your leg muscles. It requires mental focus so you are in tune with your horse. Unless you own your horse and practice arena you are limited to the time to practice and learn to a weekly lesson. This is one reason why it’s extremely important to exercise for equestrian rider fitness on a regular basis. Equestrians are athletes and like all other athletes we must keep our bodies in peak condition to perform well. So which exercises should equestrians be doing?
Equestrians need good core strength, balance, and strong legs. The five exercises listed below are the top exercises every equestrian should perform. You can perform each of the five as 15 minute circuit performed daily, you can use them as a stand alone workout performed 3x a week, or mix them up into your existing fitness routine. The great thing about these exercises is that they are so common you probably have at least one of them in your fitness program already.
At a minimum you should perform 3 sets of these exercises 3x a week.
1. Squats 3x 25
2. Lunges 3×25 each side
3. Weighted calf raises 3x 15
4. Plank 3x 30 seconds
5. Wall sits 3x 30 seconds