For our July series we introduced a range of very simple yet effective tools that you can use at home. Horse riders often don’t have time to or extra money to go to the gym, as of course all their time and money is spent on their four legged friends, so it is crucial to be able to work our core without working our bank account.
The fitness ball is a great tool and there are many exercises that can be done as shown below.
Stand with your knees slightly bend and back straight, looking straight ahead, and with a fitness ball (or medicine ball for the more advanced) and move the ball from side to side, keeping your arms horizontal with your shoulders, and gradually increase the speed focusing on tightening your stomach and pelvic muscles.The key is to keep the point from your hip bone to the ground completely still, while your upper body rotates evenly from left to right.
Lying on flat ground hold the fitness ball between your ankles and with slightly bend knees lift the ball up to 40 degrees and then slowly lower the ball to the left and then to the right, thinking on keeping your back flat against the ground and tightening your abdominal muscles, ensuring that the middle of your body is working to keep you stable.
In plank position with your hands placed on either side of the fitness ball, gently lower yourself down and up in a push up action, concentrating on keeping your stomach muscles tense, and your body aligned.
The key is to lower yourself down and lift yourself up without shifting your weight to either side, and maintaining control over the speed of your push up motion.
The TRX is another tool that you can purchase and take anyway, and is extremely worth while if you are a busy, or on the road, sort of horse person.
Using the TRX. Begin in the start position with body tilted back, hips slightly down, and back and neck straight, and slowly raise your arms above your head, keeping your body aligned and solid. You should again focus your energy on maintaining a strong mid section, tightening your stomach muscles, and breathing slowly in and out.
Finally the kettle bell, can be substituted for any sort of heavy ball, or weight, and can help you build up the muscle you need to really put that core to work!
To work your core while also increasing the flexibility and strength in your lower and upper back, this exercise requires you to stand with knees lightly bend, with a weight in one hand, (can be a hand weight, kettle bell, or improvise something you can hold that is around 5 kg, i.e. a bag with rice), and with the other arm on your hip you lower your body slowly keeping your back straight and keeping the movement working from your hip up, so that your lower body remains completely stable. Focus on tightening your abdominal muscles, and keeping your chest open and neck straight.
This was our July set, stayed tuned for August, and if you have any comments, questions, or for a specific workout designed especially for you, write to us here, or at firstname.lastname@example.org or by private message to The Core Trainer.