The Ultimate Core Exercise For Dressage Riders
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The Ultimate Core Exercise For Dressage Riders

October 21, 2019

hi I’m Nicola Smith from As dressage riders we need to have incredible core
strength. Now this isn’t the type of core strength that comes from doing a
hundred crunches a day, it’s the type of core strength that keeps our body still
and creates the illusion of stillness when we’re riding. So we want to do
moves that are isometric and they are holds. and they are about improving the core
strength through our entire core unit. Because our core is the central part
of our body. If you chop off your head, your arms and your legs, what is left
is your core and this includes all the internal muscles that help stabilize
your spine, it includes the muscles down the side of us as well as our rectus abdominis
which is what a lot of those crunches train. But we want to
make sure that we are keeping our body strong and functional. Front, top, back,
inside and out, so that we can create that illusion of stillness when we’re
riding. So a great move to do that is your plank. So bring yourself around so
you’re on all fours and then drop down onto your elbows. Now to set your plank
up, often what happens is people put their bum right up in the air like this or
they sag through their bottom. Now to do a great plank it’s all about a full body
muscle contraction. So you start at your arms, make sure your elbows are
underneath your shoulders and then lift yourself up into your shoulder blades. You’re not hanging and sagging like this When we do that it means we’re hanging
off our ligaments and our joints, we are not using our muscles. So push through the
forearms up into the shoulder blades. Stay on the knees if you need to, then brace
your belly. So if I was to push you on your hip you wouldn’t move, you’re like a
solid tree trunk in the wind. Then to make this harder you come up onto your toes. You want to squeeze your thigh muscles so you feel it left your kneecap and then
you want to tuck your tail between your legs like you’re a scared cat. So every
single muscle is working when we lift ourselves up, versus hanging out like
this on our joints. So think push through your forearms,
up into your shoulders, brace your belly. If you’re pushing just into your
elbow you’ll get carpet burn. So push into the forearms so you’re working all
the muscles of the back, brace the belly then squeeze the thighs, tuck the tail and
hold. So this is a great exercise to really strengthen your entire core unit. This is
how you’re able to hold moves like this for a really long time because
you’re using your muscles But when we don’t use our muscles and we have bad
form, that’s when you’re going to injure yourself. But planks are fantastic for
improving dressage rider core strength. So give them a go, choose the options
that are right and build yourself up and you’re going to start to notice how much
more stable you become in the saddle and that’s what it’s all about. When you work on your
rider fitness as much as you do your horses, this is when the two of you are
going to shine together

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