Last week we talked about how leg and glute strength were integral in lower leg stability, hopefully you have been doing the little circuit so your legs are feeling the burn now.
Today we are going to look at another area that may affect your lower leg position, and that is the stability of your pelvis. You see we focus a lot on having a mobile pelvis as riders but in fact it also needs to be stable. Part of this is what would be considered core stability but there are also many other muscles of the hips that help to keep it stable that your generic core stability would not hit. It usually focuses on just the middle.
So what has your pelvis got to do with your lower leg? Well it's obviously attached! Think about it your leg comes directly out of your hip socket so it makes sense that it's direct attachment to the body must be stable. Imagine a table leg that has not been securely fastened to the table-the leg will not be very stable and in fact the whole table won't be.
So, in order to stabilise your lower leg you have to start further up the chain at the pelvis. You will find this is true of most things in terms of the human body, a stable pelvis and shoulder joint will fix a lot of problems. But I won’t go into that whole can of worms right now it’s just important to bear it in mind.
Anyway, how can we stabilise our pelvis? Well there are actually quite a lot of muscles involved in hip stability but other than the Glutes that we have already covered last week the abductors are probably the most important to consider. The abductors are responsible for taking your leg away from your body (the exact position you are in on a horse) so they need to be strong to deal with this properly. It is interesting that many riders may experience pain in this area that can be wrongly mis-diagnosed as being due to a tightness when in fact it could be a weakness-again a blog for another day.
Today we are going to strengthen our abductors specifically.
Officially the abductors are the Glute Max (that’s your big bum muscle) Glute Medius and Minimus and Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL).
The Clam is a great exercise and can be done as a beginner and advanced exercise.
Clam and advanced clam
1 Leg Squat and Side Leg Raise
So I know this feels like I haven't addressed your lower leg at all but I need you to trust me that if you build solid foundations in this case your pelvis the attached limbs will be much easier to control, so if you are struggling with your lower leg please give this a go and put the work in doing these exercises 4-5 times per week and I promise you will see results, and not just in your lower leg so this is definitely more bang for your buck work.