Core Exercises and Horse Riding

Core Exercises have become the latest craze for horse riders, and rightly so. The core muscles are the key to good posture, good horse riding, good balance and absolutely for back pain control. Core training exercises are taught by gym trainers, personal trainers and of course Physiotherapists.  The core muscle is the key to any exercise program. A strong core will give you a Flat Stomach a strong stable back and more energy.

As a Physiotherapist, I design exercise programs for all of my patients.As a horse rider, I have designed a complete core training exercise program specific to horse riders. Core exercises for horse riders need to be more functional rather than just the same as other do. To have a strong core is great but how to use it in the saddle requires specific exercises and movement patterns. Many riders have a strong core but don't engage it when riding. Pain is also an inhibitor of the core. If you suffer back pain your core switches off and slowly weakens with time.

before and after APR

 If you want more information on this program then have a look at Applied Posture Riding, this has become one of the most popular horse riding exercise programs sold. The core muscle provides stability so all the postural and working muscles, with stability, the body can work, and burn more energy, more efficiently. Stability through the lower back and pelvis puts the body in a better alignment, therefore minimizing stress on the joints. Trauma and injury during or after exercise are less likely to happen.

Core Exercises

If pain occurs then the workouts need to be modified, this interrupts the exercise program, pain is most often caused by over exercising and or exercising in bad postures. A huge number of my patients present with injuries related to exercising and their sport. Very few are injured due to a trauma or an accident, most pain results from poor movement patterns during exercising.

 Abdominal exercises for women do not need to be heavy and hard. Women want a flat stomach and a toned small waist line. The old fashion abdominal exercises, like sit ups, have been proven to be ineffective, too hard and unsafe, causing stress and strain on the lower back joints. This why women give up and then find it difficult to get back into an exercise regime. I believe it is important to teach women more so than men about the transverse abdominal muscle and how to engage it, then test it, then train it, then use it. 

Core Exercises for Horse Riders

All instructors are now recommending their riders strengthen their core to improve their riding. 46There are many Pilates exercises available to everybody and certainly doing any exercises as well as core exercises will help your riding. Any exercises that will increase your general tone and fitness is of value. Many horse riders think they are fit and toned just by riding, in fact, horse riding without doing any other exercises will give you stiffness and usually a lower back pain. The least a horse rider should do is  stretch.

 However, core exercises are the be all end all for horse riders. A strong core when riding gives the rider stability, control, strength and precision to perform aids with skill and clarity to the horse. A rider with a weak core is usually bouncing in the saddle has a wobbly lower leg and uses the reins to balance. A weak core causes a rider to stoop forward and be unbalanced. As a rider coach, my specialty is teaching horse riders to ride. I focus on the horse riding muscles and especially the core.

My programs teach riders everything about the horse riding posture and the core. If you have a passion for your riding I have the passion for teaching you. Have a look at Applied Posture Riding.

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Good luck and enjoy your riding. If you have any questions or need some advice about core exercises or back pain or posture then contact me. Annette Willson