Ok, so last week we talked “Car aerobics”
This week I am continuing the theme of things you can do off horse to improve your alignment and body awareness on horse without really doing any “proper” exercise.
I think the easiest way to incorporate sneaky exercise in is to make it fun and easy to fit in.
For this I recommend some props though.
Most popular with riders is a gym ball.
I know it can be a bit cumbersome but having one all blown up and ready to go at home means you can hop on for 5 mins whenever the mood strikes you.
If you work from home using it as a desk chair is a super-efficient way to use it. I actually find it way more comfortable than an actual chair now, and it means I fidget constantly whilst I’m on it.
You can just sit on with your feet on the floor. This in itself makes you sit up straight and use your core muscles. You can try lifting one foot at a time or if you are really strong both feet!
I also like to sit astride it (as if sat on a horse in a dressage saddle) to stretch the front of my hips out-absolutely glorious when they feel tight.
You can of course do all of these things watching TV. So you can pop your favourite soap, drama whatever on and spend say half an hour watching it whilst sitting on a gym ball trying to lift your feet and stay balanced or, kneeling on all fours or kneeling up (carefully! You don’t want to explain your concussion injury was as a result of falling off a gym ball in your living room!)
All of this will massively improve your body awareness and over time your alignment (when it’s good you will stay on) and your core stability.
Slightly less cumbersome to have around the house is a wobble board. These can be bought fairly cheaply online and don’t take up much space. Just standing on one requires good alignment and stability. Try taking phone calls or sending texts/emails whilst stood on it, when you get really good try standing on one leg. Do squats on it during the ad breaks. Get your partner involved and throw a (soft) ball to each other stood on them.
These can all sound like kind of daft suggestions when you compare it to the strength and conditioning programmes you may see event riders doing, but unless heavy weight training is something you want to do then that kind of training isn’t going to work for you.
Just trust me on this one and try some of these out for yourself and watch your body awareness and core stability improve massively without you even noticing you’ve taken up an exercise programme!