Resistance Band Exercises For Horse Riders
Riding a horse requires a high level of fitness from the rider. With resistance band exercises, you can target exactly the places you want to strengthen your horse riding ability, posture and muscle endurance. Added resistance will add an extra level of difficulty and make you feel the burn, but it will also improve your performance in the long run! Booty bands are perfect for these kinds of exercises and come in three different sizes depending on your current fitness levels.
Horse riding involves the use of a wide variety of muscles in the body, but the key upper body muscles involved in maintaining a good seat and posture are found in the lower and middle backs as well as in the core muscles, including the abdominal and oblique muscles that help support the lower back. The muscles between the shoulder blades often help to maintain a balanced posture, and the arms are constantly engaged when holding and using the reins to control the horse.
Rebekah Alison Wintle, rider, owner and coach at RAW Dressage has commented that “resistance bands are a great tool for all riders not only for building strength but to improve stability within our movement. We need this to be able to ride effectively. Muscles can become tight and dysfunctional simply from being worked incorrectly due to weakness. In most cases these problems can be resolved with correct training, improving strength and stability and receiving sports massage from an understanding sports massage therapist to help muscles recover faster and more effectively.”
If you’re looking to improve your fitness for horse riding, resistance bands are a great way of adding another level of difficulty to your regular work out. The best part about them is that they are lightweight enough to tuck into your pocket to take with you to the gym, to the yard, or for convenience after you've been for a run and you want to concentrate some of your efforts on just your glutes. Here are some exercises for horse riders using our Booty bands for resistance training.
The oyster is a great movement to work out your core as well as your glutes, and it's fairly easy to do! Lie down on your side and place the Booty Band just above your knees. Use your arm to support your head and elevate your feet so they are the same height as your hips while keeping your knees on the ground. Raise your top leg like an ‘oyster' keeping your feet together. That's one rep! Repeat this on the other side by turning over and repeating the steps above, raising your other leg towards the ceiling.
Your core will have to work hard to keep your feet elevated, and your glutes will get the workout from the oyster-like motion from your legs. If you can't raise your leg with your feet elevated, then place them on the floor until you’ve built up your strength.
This exercise is great for working your glutes, your core and your abductor, and it’s one of the easiest to do! Simply place the Booty Band around your ankles and lie on your stomach with your arms out in front of you. Lift your arms, feet and knees off the floor, creating a ‘u’ shape. Hold this for a few seconds and release. That’s one rep. The resistance from the Booty Band will help your core and abductor engage, giving them a great workout. Repeat this step as many times as you wish. You’ll find that over time as your muscles strengthen, you’ll be able to hold this position much longer.
Another easy to remember exercise that will work out your chest and your arm strength is the chest press. Lie on your back with the Booty band around your chest. Put hold onto the band and push towards the ceiling using both hands and bring down slowly. That’s one rep. The slow motion of bringing the band back to your chest will give your arms and chest an extra level of workout. Repeat this 10 times. If you’re new to resistance band training, we recommend using a larger Booty Band with lower resistance until your strength builds up.
Horse Stance Side Raise
This simple yet effective exercise also gives a great workout to your upper arms, chest and your core. Get onto your hands and knees, and put your left hand flat on the floor whilst looping the Booty Band either onto your wrist or on your hand. Using your right hand, hold the Booty Band and pull out to your right side and slowly return. The slow movement will help engage your core for stability as well as work out the muscles on your arms and chest. Do this 10 times and repeat on the other side.
Plank Walk to Alternating Sides
The plank walk targets your arms, shoulders, core and lower back. Get into a plank stance on your hands and toes (if you're struggling to do this, you balance on your knees until you've built up strength) with your hands around shoulder-width apart and your legs around hip-width apart apart. Keep the core engaged and your legs and glutes locked to maintain the proper posture and a neutral spine. Put the Booty Band around your wrists. While keeping your body straight, take two ‘steps’ on your hands over to the right, stretching the band. Do this 10 times, then repeat on the left.
Lateral Band Walk
Another workout you can do with the Booty Band is the lateral band walk. This workout helps train your glutes, knees and abductors. Here, you stand with your feet about hip-width apart, place the resistance band around your ankles and sidestep to the right, with your left leg following until your feet are hip-width apart again. Sidestep three times to the right in the same motion to complete one rep. Repeat for the left-hand side for your desired amount of reps. Try and keep your hands by your chest. Pro tip: Try to keep tension in the band at all times for a more effective workout on your thighs.
Resistance bands are great for those trying to build up their strength, as they can be used during regular workouts to add another level of difficulty. Users should see noticeable results if using the Booty Band three to four times a week for a couple of weeks. So, if you’re looking to improve your strength for horse riding, use these exercises along with our Booty Bands! Remember they come in a pack of three, meaning you can work your way through the different levels of resistance depending on your current fitness levels.