As Equestrians we all know that we need good core stability, and if you ever ask for a good way to improve it you will more than likely get told to plank.
The Plank is a great exercise for core stability however is it really riding specific?
Don’t get me wrong I am aware that to be completely riding specific you would need to do it on your horse…………………..anyone?
However there are ways to make things more specific for your sport by considering the movements, actions and muscles at work whilst you are performing.
In riding we use our core stability to absorb the movement of our horse (i.e. to stop us wobbling around) but we are also doing a lot of other things with our legs and hands at the same time.
So, we use our core but we are not on a stable surface and our arms and legs don’t stay still either!
Which is where I think the Plank starts to look a bit basic. If you are new to core training or new to riding then a stationary plank is a great place to start but for those of us a little later in the game it’s time to up the ante with our Planks!
So what are we trying to achieve?
Firstly we want a stable core whilst moving arms and legs.
So how about lifting opposite arms and legs whilst maintaining a stable plank? You could also try moving the lifted arm and leg away from you too.
Then we want a stable core whilst the ground underneath is not stable.
If you have a gym ball try doing a plank with your forearms on the ball, and if you want an extra challenge circle your arms as if stirring a pot.