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 absolute 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. Having 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.
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.
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 waistline. The old-fashioned 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 is 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, and then use it.
Core Exercises for Horse Riders
All instructors are now recommending their riders strengthen their core to improve their riding. There 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 are 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 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 a passion for teaching you.
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Good luck and enjoy your riding. If you have any questions or need some advice about core exercises and back pain or posture then contact me.