If cardiovascular and muscular fitness is not developed to any great extent by “on-horse” riding, then what home-based training is essential?
When the muscular fitness of the rider is not sufficient then it becomes increasingly difficult for them to own their position on the horse. Increased muscular fitness enables the rider to maintain their energy and composure with the natural movements of the horse. Muscular fitness includes: Muscular Endurance, Maximal strength, and Muscular Power. While riding, equestrians rely on isometric muscle contractions to stabilize the body, maintain posture and signal and communicate with the horse.
One thing you might do right now is establish your level of muscular capability by measuring your isometric control. We have created an Isometric Pistol Squat Self-Test you can do at home, to create a “subjective yet handy” way to measure your current ability, as well as a measure of improvement in the future. To benchmark your efforts, download the Standards on the Measuring Chart below.
Isometric training is an exercise held at a specific angle or multitude of angles for a prolonged period of time at different intensities (Duchateau and Hainaut 1984). Isometric training has been shown to improve muscular endurance, strength, and power (Kitai and Sale 1989).
Show Jumpers will engage an isometric hold at two distinct moments: as they approach the jump, and immediately afterwards. Below is a home based exercise that enables you to strengthen both upper body and lower body isometric holds at the same time.
If you wish to improve your isometric control incorporate this exercise three times a week for 3 weeks. At the end of that time, repeat our Isometric Pistol Squat Self Test to check your progress.
For added motivation this week, you might even enjoy creating a personal three week challenge, placing a photo of your first attempts on facebook and seeing by how much you can better your results in the timeframe. Better yet, reach out to a fellow rider and share the challenge!
Next week, we will look at further ideas to improve your Show Jumping using rider based exercises at home.
From the desk of EVENT READY BODIES
For more information contact us [email protected] or 06 3561494
ESNZ Jumping Team
4 April 2020