Often I hear riders say they can’t exercise off horse because they can’t perform the movements; they can’t squat, lunge etc pain free so they avoid it.
The thing is, rider or not you should be able to perform basic movement patterns pain free. They are the foundations of your everyday movement and a key component of being able to keep moving and of course riding well into old age.
Your bodies ability to move through different planes of motion also helps to prevent injuries.
So, it’s vital you work towards performing some basic movement patterns for:
- Ease of everyday movements from yard work, to house work, picking up small children etc.
- Management or prevention of pain.
- Longevity of movement.
- Injury prevention
That’s a few good reasons and we haven’t even got to how it will improve your riding.
If a body moves well off horse it is more likely to be in control and absorb force on horse. As well as the aforementioned injury prevention. If riding has created pain issues in your back, knees etc I know already that not riding is not an option so instead of suffering why not do something to help the problem.
I know if this is resonating with you you’re already saying “that’s a great idea but how can I do the off horse exercises if they are painful.”
Say, you can’t Squat, you can try breaking the movement down. Really focus on your positioning of feet and knees then make it a half squat. Or I like to try Bench Squats -sitting on a bench and standing up from there-it’s basically biomechanically correct getting up off the sofa! Or I do Gym Ball or Trx Squats to help you take some weight/pressure away from the knees and encourage you to use your Glutes more.
There’s more options than that if neither of those work for you, I break movement patterns down in various ways in order to bring back movement patterns. The same system can be used for a Lunge, Hip Hinge or Shoulder Activation.
If this is something you want to tackle this year to improve both your overall life performance as well as your riding performance my tips are:
- Break the movement down-make it smaller or adapt it.
- Strengthen the surrounding muscle groups of painful areas
- Don’t give up!
If you’re struggling with movement and pain issues working with a professional can really help you get a strategy to overcome it-points at self as a large hint……..