When to Workout | When to Ride
There are only so many hours in a day and trying to figure out whether to ride or workout or do both…can be a difficult decision. Being an equestrian, I know that the body can only take so much on a daily basis. Both working out and riding can wear the body down, so a rider must be careful not to weaken their bodies by doing too much.
Fatigue and soreness are good signs that the body has done enough. Muscles that become depleted effects how you move and work in the saddle. In reality, riding performance worsens when the rider is fatigued and running out of stamina to perform. This is can lead some serious strains or injuries for a rider. You can avoid this by establishing when it’s good to time tot work and when it’s a good time to ride.
Consider the last time you didn’t do anything; no workout, no riding?
The body can only handle so much! To develop a better muscular stamina, the body needs to rest. My best tip in deciding when to work out and when to ride is a rider should set one rest day a week. I take my Sundays to rest. That means no hard workout or ride or barn chores for one day. Let the muscles rest.
Ask yourself the following questions when choosing which days to workout and which days to ride.
What did you do yesterday?
If you lifted weights, consider just riding. The benefits to lifting (anaerobic exercise) is that the day after is a great time to develop endurance by doing cardio (aerobic exercise). Riding can be a great cardio if you’re willing to ride at your peak ability, not just sit there and balance. Work your horse at his peak ability! Ask for better performance by getting the horse’s hind end active and to carry the back round.
If you rode yesterday then go for a weight lifting session prior to riding if possible. Weight training will be fine after the ride but if you can align and engage the core before getting on the horse, that would be better. The day after a ride is a good time to get into the gym and lift. Not heavy enough that you become too sore to ride the next day but just enough to continue conditioning your muscles.
Example of Weekly Layouts
Day One: Lift and Ride
Day Two: Ride
Day Three: Lift and Ride
Day Four: Ride (or Rest)
Day Five: Lift (or just Ride)
Day Six: Ride (or just Lift)
Day Seven: Completely Rest
When your only option is to ride day after day, then make sure you lift and condition your muscles at least 3-5 days a week. This helps with structural alignment and ensuring that muscles are not depleting but rather building more endurance. A balance of cardio and weight lifting increases the peak performance in muscle stamina. Decided which days to ride, which to workout and which to rest by planning out your week.