Foundations before Sexy

The majority of my clients’ programmes don’t look “rider specific” for the most part.

That’s because in order to be better at sports specific movements you must be better at regular movements. That means initially we build a solid foundation of movement patterns such as squat, hip hinge, push and pull. Along the way as it’s intended to be sports specific, I will explain why certain muscles or movement patterns are required for riding; for example, building strong glutes with squats and deadlifts will improve hip and therefore seat stability.

Once we’ve got movement patterns, we work on force absorption. Your ability to absorb force whilst maintaining stability without rigidity not only enables you to ride better it also minimises injuries.

We still do the sexy looking stuff, but it only forms part of the work. Often, it’s not about training a movement but more about understanding how our bodies currently move during that movement without having to focus on the horse at the same time.  Using a gym ball to create movement and instability or a band exercise to look at tension under movement can help you to figure out that you tip left or that your right hand is stiffer etc.

We can teach soft, balanced weight transfers or finite movements in the snazzy looking stuff which can be game changing in some instances but that’s only possible if we’ve built the foundations.

So, if you’re looking to improve your rider fitness instead of focusing on the overly specific stuff, first establish whether you have a good breathing and core activation pattern, how you hip hinge and how well your shoulders work in conjunction with the rest of your body. That way when you go to do the sports specific stuff there’s a better chance of you nailing it.

Want some help with your rider fitness? I’ve got just a couple of spaces left for in person or zoom 121 training.

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