We know all of you are probably feeling the cabin fever and have no doubt been looking for ways to shake off some energy. We know you have all seen a million home workouts on social lately, but we wanted to make sure you had a workout routine that is tailored for an equestrian.
So today, we have an amazing guest blog post about how equestrians can stay fit in this time of social distancing, barn closings, gym closures, stay at home orders, and just plain terrible weather!
Heather Grigg a NAFC certified personal trainer and owns Heather Grigg Fitness by Design, which she runs out of Burn31 fitness in downtown Landrum, S.C. Heather has put together an amazing list of exercises so that when everything opens back up, we will all be ready to go!
First, let me say this, equestrians are athletes and all athletes, no matter the sport, need a well-rounded fitness routine to go with their training for their sport. For equestrians, it's important to have a strong and stable core that supports good posture, balance/stability in the saddle, a fluid and following seat, and overall body alignment.
Check out these 6 really good core exercises to help strengthen the core.
1. Stabilized Crunches, lay on the floor press your feet against the wall with your knees at a 90-degree bend, try to keep the abs engaged while lifting the shoulders off the floor and pressing the low back into the floor. Add a twist to each side to engage the obliques.
2. Russian Twist, you can add weights to make it a bit more difficult. You can also lift your legs to a 90% angle
3. Bicycle Crunches
4. Planks, which really gets the whole body involved.
5. Deadlifts which will focus on strengthening the lower back
6. Superman which again is working to strengthen the back, it also includes the hamstrings and glute muscles.
Legs are another important area for equestrian riders because they use their legs to help guide the horse. Here are 6 good exercises for legs.
3. Standing Leg curls, use leg weights if you have them, hold on to a chair lift the knee to a 90% angle and extend the leg.
4. Standing Hamstring curls, use leg weights, hold on to a chair keep the upper leg straight and lift the ankle towards the butt.
5. Calf raises
6. Reverse Calf raises, stand with heels on a step, lift and lower the toes.
Getting the core in shape will help a great deal with balance however combining core exercises with balance exercises will help even more. Here are some great yoga poses to help with balance. For details on doing these poses at home click HERE.
1. Tree pose
2. High Lunge
3. Chair pose
4. Extended Triangle pose
5. Half-moon pose
All in all, staying active daily is the key. A great way to do this is getting in a 30 - 60-minute walk 6 days a week. A great way to do this is to rope in your barn buddies - on the phone! Just because you can't see your barn buddies doesn't mean you can't grab your cell phone and head out for a chat while you get in a brisk walk. Strength training 3 to 5 days a week will also help you. Get in 30 minutes to an hour brisk walk 6 days a week along with strength training 3 to 5 times a week depending on their goals and training for events. And accountability from a professional, such as a personal trainer, can really help them meet their goals and excel at their sport.