[Guest Blog] 5 Exercise Routines for Horseback Riders

Horseback riding is great physical exercise because it needs you to have balance, endurance and strength so it’s important to keep up your overall fitness levels if you are embarking on a horse riding hobby.

The fitter you are the better your horse riding will become so it’s in your interest to work out, outside of the riding, to raise your general health and fitness levels. Not only will you feel better and more energetic but your riding will benefit as well.

Source: https://pixabay.com/photo-450548/  

Our friends from Equisupermarket.co.uk shared with us five exercise routines which you can try out to keep up your overall fitness as a horse rider:

1. Aerobic exercise routines

Aerobic exercise helps us to stay at a healthy weight and also helps to improve our endurance levels so try running or walking regularly to help get your heart pumping and increase your aerobic health. The fitter you get, the faster you can run. Try signing up for a local running club or entering a 5k race.
2. A Pilates routine

Pilates is a great exercise routine to get into as a horse rider because it works on your postural muscles and strengthening your core, helping to improve your stability and balance – this will help you to stay balanced when in the saddle as well. Try joining a few classes near you or buy yourself a Pilates fitness DVD which you can try out in the comfort of your own home.

Many gyms also offer Pilates classes, or you could sign up with a personal instructor for one-to-one sessions to make sure you are getting the routine just right to help strengthen all the muscles within your abdominal area.
3. A Yoga routine

Some of the techniques you will learn in Yoga will help you to strengthen your position as you ride as well as helping you to remain relaxed and comfortable during your riding experience. Again, you can sign up for a local class or buy a DVD to get you started.

Yoga is great for stretching, improving flexibility, core strength and breathing exercise to keep your body agile and relaxed which can really help with reactions when out riding. It’s also a great way to stretch out the muscles and wind down after a long hard day in the saddle.
4. Weight exercises

Handling a large horse requires a certain amount of strength so adding in a weight training routine to your regular exercise will help to improve your riding ability by developing lean strong muscles and improved endurance.

You should commence by using a set of dumbbells which you can lift comfortably and try practicing a set of six exercises, resting for a couple of minutes in between each repetition. You should aim to do sets of curls, press, triceps extension, lunges, squats and rows.

As you get stronger you can increase the weight of the dumb bells and increase the number of repetitions you do for each set, helping to develop and strengthen your muscles as you go – this will help particularly on longer horse riding adventures.
5. Intensive workouts

While you need to start out with lighter exercise routines, as you get fitter it’s important to challenge yourself and to push your goals further and harder to help keep improving on your fitness and endurance levels.

You could try increasing weight levels and you will also need to push yourself on the aerobic exercises as well. Try increasing your activity levels so your heart is raised and your breathing is harder but without exhausting you.

Try increasing the length of time you carry out your aerobics routine for, and making it faster and harder. Fast, short spurts followed by rest breaks can help you to push your endurance levels.

Always remember to warm up before attempting any exercise routine, and cool down afterwards to avoid strains and sprains and muscle problems. Horseback riding is a fun activity with all sorts of benefits for your health and fitness but the stronger you are to start with, the easier you will find coping with the physical requirements.

Riding horses can be undertaken at any fitness level but the fitter you are the better as it will save you from getting too saddle sore and suffering with aching muscles every time you get down from the horse.

Keeping up your overall fitness routine will help you to have more energy and feel healthier and fitter for life in general as well as providing much needed endurance and strength to help you enjoy lengthy horse riding trails rather than suffering through them.

A combination of aerobic, cardio and relaxation exercises will help to keep all of your body working effectively for whatever type of activity you are undertaking every day, as well as enabling you to take care of your horse by becoming a more effective rider.


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