Some of you might have raised a few eyebrows when you read the title of this article, after all, who associates horse riding with weight lifting? Well, you should have a real think about that – can you imagine the strength it requires to not only mount a horse, but stay on one and control it as it gallops away? Here are a few key pointers to consider when strength training as an equestrian.
What Muscle Groups Should I Train?
Equestrian activities like horse riding and show jumping require an absolute strength in the leg and thigh muscles as well as a keen sense of core strength, too. Many horse riders will tell you that to have complete control of a horse you must have a lot of power behind you when riding, so you get the most out of reign control and positioning – you’ll have to walk pretty far to find a fat jockey at a race track!
What Goals Should I Set Myself?
How you prepare your weight training as an equestrian is completely down to the individual’s needs, so factors such as age, weight, riding style and what kind of facilities are available to you will all need to be considered. If possible, enlisting the help of a personal trainer who can help to tailor exercise programs specifically to a person’s needs.
What Should I Be Eating?
As stated before, a personal trainer can also help guide you on exactly the right nutrition you need to be feeding yourself to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts and build muscle. Just like feeding your horse a balanced and healthy diet, you too need to work on exactly the right fuel to be putting into your body. If you can’t afford yourself a personal trainer, don’t worry, there are plenty of other resources out there to let you know exactly how you should be eating.
When Should I Train?
It’s good sense to timetable your workouts after you have finished riding for the day, as doing them before will often result in you shying away from practicing technical skills on the horse because your muscles are aching. It’s good sense to give yourself separate days, if possible, to focus on gym work and separate days of work on the horse. Saddle sores are bad enough without rubber legs to go with them!
How Can I Prepare For Competitions?
Equestrians are often involved in various competitions throughout the year, so these will obviously affect exactly how hard you train in the run up to these events. Seasonal events will require a build-up of intensity in the lead-up to them, while parring back as you get close to the competition as to not overdo yourself. It’s always advisable to schedule regular breaks in training to give yourself time to recuperate.
Should Strength Training Take Priority Over Technical Skills?
In a word: no. If you find you have limited time to dedicate to these two activities, then make sure that your technical training with the horse takes priority. After all, the reason you are doing the weight training is to get better at certain skills in the long run.