Welcome to part one of our six-part video series featuring exercises to improve your flexibility, strength and fitness for riding. This series is brought to you in association with Dee Holdsworth of Dynamic Sports Therapy
A rider’s lack of flexibility, strength and fitness can severely limit their ability to perform, but by following the exercises in our videos, a relatively small investment in time can have far reaching positive effects on your performance as a rider.
You should warm up your muscles by taking a brisk walk, or similar, after riding before performing any of these exercises. If you suffer any ongoing physical issues, we recommend you speak to a health professional before you start.
Each exercise is shown at three different levels of difficulty, so you can choose the version that is most suitable to your current physical condition and then progress through the levels as you improve.
How to improve your core stability
Part one’s exercises are ideal for riders who struggle with tightness in the back and/or a weak seat. They can also help improve lower leg stability.
Exercise one: hip extensions – improves flexibility of the hip and strength of the gluteals, particularly useful when riding half passes and flying changes.
Exercise two: hip flexor strength and core stability – increases the rider’s depth of seat and control of the pelvis while allowing the spine, upper body and thigh to move with the horse.
Exercise three: lower body control – Improves the strength and flexibility of the adductors. This is particularly helpful for improving the stability of a rider’s lower leg while going across country.
About Dee Holdsworth
Dee is the founder of Dynamic Sports Therapy. A keen rider, she has competed at national level and was part of the small stables team at the London 2012 Olympics. Dee works with some of the world’s leading horse and rider combinations, including some of those on track for Rio 2016.
Dee is an equestrian sports science graduate from Hartpury College and went on to complete the International Therapy Examination Council Diploma in equine sports massage, delivered by veterinary chartered physiotherapist Mary Bromiley, and now stands as the ESMA Chairman.
Dee is a level four sports massage therapist with the Sports Massage Association. She also holds certificates in human and equine kinesiology taping and muscle energy techniques, as well as using deep oscillation therapy.