Horse riding and core training

The core is a complex muscle system that includes: the pelvic floor muscles, the transverse abdominal muscle, the multiphydus, the internal and external oblique, the rectum of the abdomen, the sacrospinal muscle and the diaphragm. It is well known that training the core improves our overall balance and the strength of the upper and lower limbs with a result in an improvement in sporting performance.

Core training

Many sports performance, therefore, depends on the stability of the core muscles: horse riding is part of these. In particular, jockeys must train this musculature because good stability at the abdominal level helps to control the horse and to give it correct orders. The rider does not just "stand on the saddle": the horse responds to the stimuli that derive from the muscle commands given by the rider. Which muscles are mainly involved? adductors, quadriceps, buttocks and core muscles.

The correct maintenance of the posture and the consequent set-up during the race depend, in fact, on the core that will have to work efficiently even for long periods of time. The athlete must therefore try to improve the strength and endurance of this muscle group if he is to succeed in giving perfect commands to his horse throughout the competition.

The exercises

There are several valid exercises that jockeys can perform to improve core stability and thus performance. When preparing for the competitive season we recommend exercises with free weights performed standing on an unstable surface: this type of work is recommended to improve the strength and power of the core. Another simple but effective exercise that strengthens the oblique muscles is lifting the handlebar with lateral bending of the torso.

The specific training of jockeys is what reproduces the stimuli of horse riding. Using a tool like an exercise ball plays a key role. In fact, this tool allows you to create instability, forcing the contraction of the core muscles as a result as when riding. On Wellness Ball Active Sitting jockeys can perform three fundamental exercises that reproduce the position of the ride. The first, which is also the simplest, consists of sitting over the ball and alternately lifting the knees towards the chest.

The second is the "prone cobra" exercise performed on the Wellness Ball, which activates the abdominal muscles in a similar way to when the jockey is bent forward on the horse.

The last one is the "knee tuck". This exercise, which may seem apparently more difficult than it really is, activates the abdominal rectum, the transverse muscle and the muscles of the lumbar area, so it is also very useful in preventing some injuries.

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