How often have you heard that riding doesn’t require fitness?
“You just sit on the horse right?”
“The horse does all the work doesn’t it?”
But we know different. We know that in order to be the best partner possible to your horse or pony, you need a certain level of fitness. A good rider must be balanced. A good rider must be able to move with the horse, whether they’re just training, hacking or performing a dressage test or covering serious ground cross country.
If a rider doesn’t work on their own fitness, it can cause issues such as poor balance and uneven pressure on the horses saddle as well as a whole host of other problems. With the right fitness routine however, a rider can avoid slamming into their saddle, can enjoy a light seat and as a result, their horse will benefit in a multitude of ways.
When it comes to rider fitness however, there are several routes that you can take. Whether you hit the gym or hit the pavement is entirely up to you however it’s worth noting that a well-rounded fitness routine would benefit any rider in the long run.
A Rider’s Ideal Fitness Routine
Fitness comes in all different shapes and sizes. Equestrian fitness looks a little different to the usual gym routine, for the simply fact that horse riding requires the use of unique muscle groups in order to help a rider with both balance, stability, suppleness and lung capacity. While mucking out does indeed help build a certain level of muscle and fitness, it may not be enough depending on the level that you’re riding at or competing at; this is especially so if you have multiple horses.
With that in-mind, it’s no surprise that incorporating a mixture of workouts can be of huge benefit. Here’s a run-down of a few different routines that we think would be of benefit for you…
- Yoga - yoga is incredible for balance and flexibility. This is ideal for those in the saddle looking to improve their seat while helping not only strengthen but lengthen muscles too, like those calves people so your trainer won’t be yelling, “Heels Down” quite as much as they used to.
- Core Strength Routine - it goes without saying that core strength is so important but that doesn’t mean hammering out 50 a day crunches will have you covered. Good core strength requires you t work on your entire core. That means your your central abdominal muscles, your obliques (side abdominal muscles) and your back too. Strengthening your core will help you become more balanced in the saddle and even help improve your position too.
- Lower Body Resistance - working on your lower body by carrying out a routine that includes squats, wall-sits, lunges and other lower body resistance exercises, will allow you to more efficiently use your leg muscles when riding. You’ll also find yourself with a much stronger and more steady leg position.
- Interval Training - cardio is great any way you do it, whether you incorporate it in your dog walk, go for a 5km jog or run marathons. But let’s face it, those who ride horses generally have little time to do much else, which is why interval training is so good. Not only does it help with your cardio but it allows you to work your cardiovascular system in a much shorter period. Think 20 minutes of sprints over a 40 minute run and you get the picture.
Here at Vivendi Apparel, our compression wear is here to help you run faster, rider stronger and more importantly recover quicker. By supporting your muscles and joints, increasing blood flow and oxygenation, you can enjoy a much lowered level of muscle soreness following workouts.
From our C180 Compression Leggings, worn in and out of the saddle to our Vega Phone Pocket Leggings, all of which provide compression benefits, we have you covered for virtually any activity in sizes 4 to 22.
For more information, check out our collections online now, currently with 40% off in our Spring Sale!
For more in-depth help regarding rider fitness, we recommend contacting your nearest qualified personal trainer who'll be able to help create a bespoke plan to suit you, your body and your physical needs.
Always consult a doctor before carrying out any new exercise routine.