To kickstart our June edition of Training for Equestrians, we have begun our focus on training the core, using compound exercises that require you to stabilise yourself, teaching you to maintain your equilibrium, and strengthen the muscles that work to keep you in balance.
The first exercise involved a squat with low weights in each hand, the requires you to lower yourself and your arms in unison, at a slow count, focusing on your breathing and on stabilising your stomach and abdominal muscles to make that your centre.
A compound exercise to work your core, this exercise requires you to stabilise yourself while you lower yourself into a squat, while at the same time lowering your arms, and then rising again to standing position bringing your arms up to just under 90 degrees (shoulder height).
If you don’t have kinesis, free weights (dumbbells) can be used, at low weights (5 kgs), and you should execute the exercise slowly, with three slow counts down, and four counts up, concentrating on keeping your centre of gravity, and using the same amount of strength on each side.
You should ask yourself if you are centred during the exercise, if your arms are lowering at the same time, if your back is staying straight and your chest remaining open?
The second lesson below was again on core strength, and we set out to dismiss some of the common misunderstandings, that core strength is about a ripped stomach, and that abdominal crunches are the key.
Core stability exercise: this movement requires you to stand with slightly bent knees, keeping your gravity centred and your balance even on each foot, and use an elastic rubber band to rotate your arm against the bands resistance, slowly executing each rotation focusing on keeping your back straight and your stomach muscles activated!
Can start with your arm beside your body and rotate out, and then rotate same side outside to inside, and then change sides to face the other way and work with the other arm.
Am I working my core?
While abdominal crunches can be used for certain goals, core strength is about much more than just tight abs, and the core can be worked in a range of ways, and can be applied in all exercises that we do.
The picture shows my stomach after 8 months of no abdominal crunches. I have a hernia in my stomach, so have been applying other exercise methods to tone my stomach, and work out my core.
To learn new ways of working your core, and perhaps find relieve from the ab crunching, stay tuned here, we have exercises on way to help you reach your goal, and if there is something specific you want us to cover please write to us here, or message our Facebook page, Core Training for Equestrians! You can also meet The Core Trainer for technical support and advice!