Sometimes when looking at rider fitness programmes it can be hard to see why seemingly regular fitness exercises may be of benefit to your riding. You may be thinking that in order to be effective it needs to look like you’re riding as you do it.
However footballers, golfers, rugby players etc all train for their sport doing “regular exercise things “ . There will just be a particular emphasis on certain movement patterns or areas of the body that will be specific to that athlete. The focus is not to mirror the sport, that is what they do in separate training sessions doing drills etc. The focus is to improve the movement patterns and performance of the body as a whole, to prevent repetitive patterns causing injury (if a golfer never gained strength rotating the other way that could be a problem) and to make the body strong enough to withstand the forces placed upon it during the sport.
Riding requires the ability to remain balanced and in control of your body whilst under load-I.e on a horse.
Therefore training off horse needs to be movements that require good body control and/or balance.
Initially this needs to be mastered at body weight and then progressed with a load. This load could be a band, barbell, dumbbell whatever or it could be just making your position or the surface more unstable-load does not necessarily mean heavy weight it just means increasing the difficulty in some way.
So if you’re looking to improve your riding with some off horse training look at the areas you struggle with. Is it your stability? Is it your ability to move limbs independently and do multiple things at once? Have a look at exercises that may also require those things off horse and that would be a good starting point!