Developing Core Stability & Counter Balance
Favorite exercises for a beginner, lower level amateur
Try these exercises twice a week for two weeks straight.
Exercise: CHEST PRESS
Exercise: RUSSIAN TWIST
Preforming the Russian Twist on the exercise ball has challenged my body in a much different way in comparison to other abdominal workouts. Engaging my obliques has been super beneficial in educating me on what true core stability actually means, as while I often believe that I’m engaging my abdominals, I will collapse in my ribs to either side while riding. This lack of self support throws my horse off balance, especially in lateral movements such as the leg yield. By using my obliques to stabilize my body as I engage my core, I can stay with the motions of the horse. Instead of bracing in the saddle each stride, I feel strong and fluid. Despite finding the Russian twist to be quite challenging as it works this area of weakness, it has still become one of my new favorite exercises due to the rewarding sense of self improvement. Developing my self carriage and straightness has acted as a major fundamental which is improving every other area of my riding.
Exercise: JUMPING PLANK
Jumping plank is the perfect challenge to utilize balance, endurance, and strength simultaneously. Placing both hands on the BOSU ball forced me to find stability in my shoulders, chest, and core to support myself while I worked my lower body. It is a mental challenge amidst the physical exertion, as it required a surprising amount of coordination to work my legs according to the pattern of high knees and jumping. This lead me to recall the importance of independence while riding. I have struggled with isolating different parts of my body, where I must work different muscle groups simultaneously yet separately. For example, I have a tendency to brace with my arms while I use my lower leg, instead of these areas working individually. Achieving isolation takes a great deal of focus, and I’ve found it to be highly efficient to practice it through exercise, without the additional element of a horse. Incorporating full body movements such as jumping planks has been assisting me in finding this crucial mind to muscle connection to be an independent rider.