Better Balance — Increase Core Strength and Stability
By Bridget Braden
All humans and horses are asymmetrical; these imbalances limit a horse from doing everything perfectly symmetrical, such as bending equally left and right and yielding off both left and right legs the same. Similarly when riders are asymmetrical it limits their core stability, and their legs and seat can inflict negative pressure onto the back of the horse leading to the disruption of the movement the pair is doing. If a rider allows this kind of weakness to continue, their body will never let go of bad habits. Stability and symmetry are fundamental requirement for all riders because of how much our imbalances are magnified and affect the horse. Luckily, we can workout and strengthen our position off the horse to be more stable in the tack.
For two great exercises to help you improve your core stability, grab a BOSU and lay on it with your back centered on the dome. Remember to take your time, move in rhythm, and keep your core muscles engaged during all exercises.
Exercise 1: Alternating Leg Lift and Crunch
Lay with your back on the BOSU ball, arms extended straight over your head, knees bent, and feet on the ground. Lift one leg up and in toward your body while simultaneously reaching both arms forward toward the knee in a crunch movement. Alternate legs, always keeping one foot on the ground. Do 15-20 controlled crunches.
Exercise 2: Toe taps
Lay on the BOSU ball with both feet off the ground, knees bent 90 degrees. Put your hands behind your head to support your neck and head. Keep your chin up. Breathe and find stability. Stay here for 10 seconds, then, alternate reaching one foot down to tap your toe on the ground, while keeping your opposite leg in the lifted start position. Take it slow and do 20 toe taps.
TIP: Let your body move on the ball and stability will develop. Shaking is a good thing!
View these exercises on the BioRiderFit Youtube channel at youtube.com/user/BioRiderFitness. More core stability exercises are available with BioRiderFitness.com memberships and look for the BioRiderFit App coming soon.