Riding with uneven shoulders…
in the sitting trot or when you land a jump or when you’re turning a horse?
Riders who suffer from uneven shoulders lack the structural engagement of the largest muscles across your upper back (the muscle at the back of your neck and across the back of your shoulders). The compensation of having a weak trapezius will result in having uneven shoulders. Symmetrical structural balance in your upper back allows the lower core to be more even in the saddle.
When a shoulder drops or collapses, it can happen any time, a “shrug like movement” is the muscular fix.
The major problem is that horseback riders become weak in this movement and the result is the shoulder rotates instead of moving up.
Uneven shoulders can ruin your seat!
The trick to training the trapezius is to go very slow when bringing up the shoulders. I like to hold the shoulders at the top for a 5 count each lift to get a quick burnout. By doing this, you are rebalancing the muscle strength along the whole upper back and neck.
Use either free weights or resistance bands when doing a simple shrug. By no means will performing this exercise give you a thick neck. Many women are weak in their neck muscles, especially horseback riders. When you first start doing this exercise, you will get muscular sore around the neck but this is the process for densifying muscle fibers. Start with just once-a-week performing shoulder shrugs. You will get stronger so make sure to start with light weight and high reps. Once you are comfortable there, try increase your resistance but lower your rep range to 12-15.
Riding horses requires the back of your neck to engage for position support. You need to strength and mobilize this area of your body in order not to get stiff and rigid. Learn more about the trapezius muscle in our position alignment course, see your options.
ThisMore Training Tips
● Watch yourself in a mirror as the shoulders go up.
● Shoulders go up to the ears and back down.
● There is NO rotation in the shoulders as they move up in the shrugging movement.
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