For the past couple of weeks we have been focusing on the core starting with the abdominals and then the obliques. This week we are going to start looking at the low back.
There seems to be quite a bit of fear around working the low back as any kind of ache here is seen as a danger. Firstly, your spine is not that fragile-I’m pretty sure any of you that have fractured vertebrae etc. took a pretty bog whack to do it! Secondly, if your legs are killing the day after a spinning class or a hard core riding lesson (is it just my instructor that missed a career as a bootcamp trainer….) then we might moan a bit but it doesn’t scare us into thinking something is wrong; so why should your back be any different?
Your lower back forms part of your core and being strong in this area actually helps to prevent back pain. Your back is also your main shock absorber whilst riding-anyone who spends a lot of time in sitting trot or canter may have found they had back pain afterwards, this is where a strong low back can help you. It also common to see riders leaning back particularly in sitting trot; this is due to them trying to brace against the movement, which again can cause back pain.
If the muscles are strong they will be better able to absorb this force meaning you will brace much less in these paces-which in turn will make you ride lighter and with a better position as the tendancy to lean back will also have gone.
So as I know this can be new for people we are going to start with just one basic exercise that can be done at home with no equipment.
Lying on your front, face down with your hands in line with your shoulders, elbows going back. Lift your upper body focusing on forward rather than up. Just come as far as is comfortable and return to start position. Try working up to 3 x 10 reps.
These should be done slow and with control, do not force the movement there is no particular height to aim for just what feels right for you. If you do find it a little uncomfortable to start with try taking your legs further apart and squeezing your bum a little.