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VetTech2011 07-20-2012 02:54 AM

Exercises for the Rider
I've been working hard to get my horse back to soundness and now that we're there and have gradually been working up how long we ride and what HE can do ... we need to work on me!

Being months without riding I am out of shape. My problem area seems to be my core and cardio. That's gone down hill and my back muscles (believe it or not with my field) are not as strong. Legs do not need as much work.

I use to do different classes like yoga, Pilates, zumba etc. but due to my current employment and the hours I work these are no longer an option. I work 14 hour night shifts approx 3 times a week (sometimes 4) and there are times my shift extends beyond 14 hours. So scheduled classes no longer work for me.

What exercises do you do at home? A recommendation for a good yoga or pilates DVD with good instructions would benefit. I have gone through a couple but the instructions are minimal or very poor making it difficult to get the correct positions and full benefit of the program. I am more fearful of injuring myself without good instructions through the DVD/workout.

What is your workout routine? and what tips can you offer?

This is what I am doing currently:
- I ride for 30-45 minutes on my days off ~3 times per week. I am still conditioning my gelding back into riding. Due to the heat we're keeping rides shorter and less intense. I would rather condition him slowly over the remainder of the summer and pick up any intense work as it cools down.
The riding I am doing right now is mostly bareback due to a shoulder injury I cannot saddle him. So this is a good workout.

- I am beginning a "walk to 5k" challenge to build up my cardio. I can do a run either before or after working a shift. Add a little music. There are some good trails right in the area I work and I have my dog to accompany me.

- I am buying a ...big ball (what are those things called. Exercise balls? medicine balls? No idea) to replace my computer chair. I actually got this idea from a friend and its apparently worth while. Considering bringing one of those to work too.

- Eat healthy. I tend to snack at work and chose unhealthy choices of caffeine to keep me awake. This is being thrown out the window.

- Buy a zumba DVD. Zumba just because its a more fun cardio workout then running.

but my problem is I can't think of actual at home exercises to strengthen my core and I cannot go to a pilates class. It just conflicts with work.

Tips and suggestions would be great. Tips to improve on what I am already doing would also be appreciated.

DancingArabian 07-20-2012 03:58 AM

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You work 3-4 14 hour shifts, okay...what are you doing on the 3-4 days off you have a week? That's plenty of time to work out!

Try joining a gym that has a circuit or group workouts. I personally like Curves, especially since the Curves I joined offers Zumba throughout the week. Curves is a 30 minute full body workout that is as easy or as hard as you make it.

If you have a hard time working out on your own, doing structured activities are better. Unless you know what exercises to do, it's less stressful to just join a group and have at. That way, you know how long it will take and the bits of what moves to do are all figured out for you - you just have to show up.

VetTech2011 07-20-2012 04:50 AM

I would love to do classes like zumba, yoga or corefit. The trouble is they are offered weekdays in the evening and this is when I am scheduled to work and because of how my schedule rotates through I could catch the occasional class but then I am spending a lot of money to miss a lot of classes. That's why I'd like to try to get some ideas for exercises that I can just try to do at home or even at work instead of putting money into a membership for classes I will not likely get to attend often and I get bored just doing machines over and over.

I am looking for different ways where I can just workout on my own and at home, before/after work and on days off. I do not have the motivation to just go and use certain machines at a gym. I find I cannot keep my focus doing that. Since I can't get to the classes, I'd like to get certain exercises that would work on my problem areas that I could do at home or managed into my at work life.

But on my days off right now? I am riding each day I have off. I am trying to start running. Then I have errands to get done and a social life to keep up with because I'm only in my early 20's. I try to keep a regular sleep schedule in stead of sleeping all the time. I would like to encorperate more of an at home workout into my days off (or even before/after work). I'm just trying to get ideas for specific exercises for core and back strength and/or a recommendation for a yoga or pilates video that has good instructions. These I could do on my days off, before or after a shift, or even during a shift if its not a busy night.

I guess I could rephrase my question: does anyone have recommendations for at home exercises that focus on strengthening core and the muscles in my back? or any suggestions for a good yoga/pilates DVD to do at home?

VetTech2011 07-20-2012 05:13 AM

This is an example of my schedule. It doesn't allow for consistency to do the classes on the days I could potentially go (its a lot of money to make only the occasional class).

An example of a schedule for me: Monday 6pm-8am. Tuesday 6pm-8am. Wednesday off. Thursday off. Friday 6pm-8am. Saturday 6pm-8am. Sunday 6pm-8am. Monday off. Tuesday off. Wednesday 6pm-8am. Thursday off. Friday off. Saturday 7am - 8pm. Sunday 7am-8pm. Monday off. Tuesday off. Wednesday 6pm-8am. Thursday 6pm-8am. Friday 6pm-8am. Saturday-Sunday off.

I have worked out a method to be productive on my days off that would allow me to at least do an at-home workout. I will get off a shift at 8am and sleep a few hours then I will be up and doing whatever I need to do for that day. This allows me to be productive without putting myself or anyone else in danger. I don't know if anyone else on the forum has had to do such long shifts but ... your body does tend to shut down after so many hours. I can get about 16 hours before I feel ill and dizzy. It's just not safe to be driving or working with horses after such a 14 hour shift. I certainly cannot do it without at least a few hours of sleep. Sometimes I wonder how I function doing what I am currently. I am sure it will catch up with me sooner or later.

I just need ideas for exercises that will focus on the areas I need help with. So, maybe my re-phrased question will work better.

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