Five core exercises all equestrians need in their lives

bitofbritain-Week1

 

Five core exercises all equestrians need in their lives

Developing core strength will make you a better rider in all three phases. Strong core muscles improve your balance and posture in the saddle. Whether you are gearing up for your first Beginner Novice or aiming for next year’s Olympics, core will have a positive impact on your riding.

Earlier this year, I shared five core exercises to help you work your core. Here are five more core exercises that you can add to your workout regime to keep yourself equestrian fit:

1) Russian twists – This exercise is one of the best ways to work your obliques, the muscles that help rotate your torso.

  • Sit on the floor with your hips and knees bent at 90-degrees.
  • Keeping your back straight, lean back so your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Explosively twist your torso as far as you can to the left.
  • And then reverse the motion, twisting as far as you can to the right.
  • Repeat twisting back and forth until your obliques can’t take any more.

Remember to contract your abs during this exercise. You can also make this exercise more difficult by holding a medicine ball, dumbbell, or weight plate and moving it with you as you twist back and forth.

 

2) Spiderman plank – Although gruelling, this is a terrific bodyweight exercise that works both your core and your upper body. Plus it will also give you some cardio, getting your heart pumping and blood flowing.

  • Start in a traditional plank position with your forearms on the ground and your body straight as a board.
  • Bring your right knee forward towards your right elbow, then return to the plank position.
  • Repeat by bringing your left knee toward your left elbow.
  • Keep alternating sides and try to get to at least a total of 10.

How to Do a Spiderman Plank | Abs Workout

It is very important that you keep your body straight and core contracted throughout this exercise to get its full benefits.

 

Reverse crunches – This spin on crunches is a super way to work your lower abs (aka the lower region of the rectus abdominus muscle).

  • Lie on a mat with your knees bent and feet planted hip-distance apart.
  • Put your hands beside your hips, palms down on the mat.
  • Lift your knees into your chest to raise your tailbone off the floor.
  • Lower your legs back toward the floor.
  • Repeat.

Exercise Library: Reverse Crunches

Make sure you keep control of your legs throughout this exercise. If you rush through this exercise and just start whipping your legs around, you won’t be building muscles and you could even hurt yourself (that would be embarrassing and unproductive).

 


 

Scissor kicks – This simple exercise is highly effective at kicking both your transverse abdominis (the deepest muscle in your stomach) and hip flexors into shape.

  • Start by laying down with your back pressed against the floor.
  • Position your arms so they are fully extended to your sides with palms facing down.
  • Lift your legs up so that your heels are about 6 inches off the ground, you should have a slight bend in your knees.
  • Lift your left leg up to about a 45-degree angle and at the same time, lower your right leg until the heel is about 2-3 inches from the ground.
  • Switch movements by raising your right leg up and lowering your left leg.
  • Repeat until the burn is too much for you.

Scissor Kicks For Women Abs | How To

Remember to keep that core contracted during this exercise and the slower and more controlled you move your legs, the better.

Cross-leg diagonal crunch – This crunch variation is dynamite at strengthening your obliques.

  • Lie down on your back.
  • Bend your knees and place your feet flat, and shift your hips over to the right. Extend both legs straight in that direction.
  • Take your left leg, cross it over your right leg.
  • With your hands behind your head, crunch straight up to the ceiling.
  • Repeat for 20-50 reps on that side.
  • Then reposition yourself and do the same number of reps on the other side.

Try to really get your shoulders up during this exercise to engage your abs.

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