Dino Fretterd is one of those genius equine massage therapists who I was fortunate enough to be introduced to several years ago here on the West Coast. He has helped so many horses - mine and those of clients & associates, and we all rave about his work. He is a consummate horseman with an extraordinary knowledge of the anatomy of the horse.
For all of us who ride horses it’s common practice to “pray it doesn’t rain” and mess up our riding or showing plans. Since our prayers for no rain don’t always get answered, we need something else to do while we wait for the arena to dry out. With space and equipment being in short supply, why not try a combination of these simple but powerful body weight basics.
Body Weight Exercises:
Pushups: I suggest the ‘bottoms-up’ style. They are great for your core and allow anyone at any fitness level to do them. I demonstrate how to do them in my video topic “Staying Fit on the Road” during the burpee exercise segment at the beginning.
Burpees: These have a great cardio component to them and are actually 3 exercises in one: pushup, squat, and vertical jump. I also show you how to do these in my video topic “Staying Fit on the Road.”
Sit-ups: If you have back issues stick with a crunch.
Squat Thrusters: These are perfect for someone not quite ready for a burpee and will provide a great cardio component. I demonstrate them in the video below.
Squats: These are the best practice for riders to “feel” what having your weight in your heels should be like. Try consciously lifting your toes inside your shoes as you squat down. This will shift your weight off of your toes and into your heel. In the video below I show you how to do a proper squat.
Alternating planks: Core, core, and more core! In the video below I show you how to do this great core exercise.
Side lunges and side to side: Side lunges help mimic the shift in weight and balance we experience when riding. They also helps us strengthen both sides of our bodies. The side to side adds a cardio element to the exercise. I demonstrate these in my video topic “Staying Fit on the Road.“
Once you’ve chosen what exercises you’re in the mood for, then you need to choose a format. Here are some fun options:
10 Rocks: Choose 3 exercises and do 5 to 10 reps—depending on your fitness level—of each exercise for 10 rounds. Find 10 rocks or hay cubes (or something similar to these), place them in a pile, and then move one each time you complete a round. When your rock pile is all moved then you’re done!
Max in 20 minutes: Choose 3 exercises and split them up like this: 3/5/9 reps and then do those 3 as many times as you can in 20 minutes. For example: 3 push-ups, 5 sit-ups, and 9 squats.
Holy Hundred: Choose 3 exercises then do 100 reps of each before moving on to the next exercise. This is a great format if you’re in need of a workout that you can just set your mind to and grind away at.
Fast 50: Need or want a little competition in the barn? Try challenging your barnmates to this workout. Choose 1 exercise then see who can do 50 reps the fastest!
If you’d like more personalized help, I offer virtual training to riders everywhere so I’d love to hear from you!
“A true horseman will only ask athletic feats of his horse if he has his own body under control.”
– from The Principals of Riding/German
National Equestrian Federation
The Essential Elements of Fitness (FREE VIDEO)
Rider and Professional Fitness Trainer, Robin Martinez, outlines the essential elements of fitness that must be incorporated into your workout routine in order to achieve fitness for life.Running Time: 2 minutes and 18 seconds
Staying Fit On The Road
As a rider, fitness expert Robin Martinez, knows how hard it is to get to the gym during show season. You arrive at the show grounds at the break of dawn for the first class and can’t leave until the horses are snuggled in their stalls for the evening. Robin shows us how to maximize our down time in between classes and get in a great workout, whether it’s back at the hotel, in the RV or even in the barn aisle!Running Time: 8 minutes and 43 seconds
Riding Specific Exercises for the Gym
As a rider, you want your time in the gym to enhance your performance in the saddle. Join rider & fitness expert, Robin Martinez, as she shares exercises specifically designed for the unique requirements of an equestrian athlete.Running Time: 9 minutes and 18 seconds
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