Increase your fitness for horse riding

In this article, I am going to give you 5 top tips to improve your riding fitness….

1. Loosen tight hip flexors

As a rider we are quite often in a ‘chair’ position, in the car, at work, on the horse, having a cuppa, watching Netflix, etc. We feel tight in our hips and continue to stretch and add in more stretching.

This might be part of the issue, it may be tight hip flexors in addition to dormant glutes.

When the glutes aren’t doing their job, muscle function and movement mechanics in the hips – as well as strength, power, mobility, stability, posture, and athletic performance – suffer. Learn more about how to correct this and some symptoms of weak glutes in this specific blog. 

2. Develop an athletic core

I often see riders (and trainers) doing endless sit ups, overworking the global muscles or progressing to (in my opinion) far too advanced exercises that will more likely end up reducing core strength and increasing injury occurrence. Learn more about sport specific ways to train your core in this specific blog. 

3. Learn about Nutrition

Many people do not meet their body composition nor fitness goals because of a lack of appropriate food education or mindset related to food. Take some time to educate yourself on the basics so you can set your self up for success.

I have many articles that may help you including nutrition basics detailing carbohydrates, protein and fat. Healthy snack ideas for busy riders. 

I also have many nutrition recipes and if you join the Ride Strong Academy you will get access to many nutrition PDF cards.

4. Improve your Posterior!

I am not referring to your bottom (well not only your bottom), I am referring to your posterior chain. The extensor complex – essentially the muscles etc that run down the entire back of your body. I have a few questions for you.

Do you get a dull burning in the middle of your back by your shoulder blades?

Do you get a dull ache in your lower back, particularly when you lay down?

If not great, lets maintain that! If yes, this CAN be avoided – it is NOT normal (in a functional and well balanced body)!

So we sit at our desks, in our car, on the sofa, and for us equestrians on the horse too. The posterior chain is neglected and then when we decide we want to get beach ready, its all about those guns, abs and quads – the mirror muscles. Poor posterior chain, no wonder it’s weak and droopy.

Learn how to work the posterior chain in this blog. 

5. Just Move.

Essentially any movement will benefit your body and mind and it is important to choose something you enjoy that fits your lifestyle.