Building strength in legs?
So today in my lesson i had a pretty tough lesson, they are always tough with this teacher in particular. Anyway, we were doing normal stuff, jumping and working on techniques and getting the horses to move nicely. Then At the end we all had to turn in and take up our stirrups 5 holes so we had jockey stirrups. The we had to w/t/c standing up in our stirrups, oh my it was difficult.
I struggled at first, but there was one moment when me and my horse were going and it felt amazing, but by the end my legs were tired, and there sore now. My instructor says this is one of the best ways to learn good balance and i can see now i need to work on that, but i dont have a horse so cant practice. I really want to build some strength in my legs so i can do things like this and not feel so weak, is there any good exercises i can do at home to help build leg strength. Thanks in advance :-)
* so for bad grammar and any spelling mistakes i cannot type on this ipad:?
March in place, bringing your knees high and keeping your upper body posture good, with 5 to 10 pound weights on your ankles. Slowly.
Lie on the floor on your back and do straight leg raises very slowly, hold for 3 to 5 seconds, with 5 pound weights on your ankles.
Stand next to a chair or counter, hold on with one hand, and slowly move your leg to the back. Hold for 3 seconds and repeat. Have 5 pound weights on your ankles. Do the same moving your legs out to the side.
Put a firm 8 to 10" ball between your knees and squeeze your knees together. Or get one of those spring things that are made for that.
Don't neglect the muscles in your hips and trunk (back, sides, stomach). The saying is, "Stability before mobility." You need a stable foundation before you can use your legs and arms well.
And, finally these suggestions are assuming you are in good enough shape to exercise. The other saying is, "Always check with your doctor before starting any excercise program." :shrug:
All the exercises that boots said are awesome ways to build your legs up. but dont forget squats!! just general working out like you do in a gym will help out alot!! especially if you're like me and you compete on a weekly basis and on more than one horse.
just think about the muscles you use when you ride and try to target those areas. for example when you post on a horse (if posting correctly of course) you use your inner thigh muscles and also your quads. doing squats also immitates posting and it targets a lot of the same muscle groups.you could also sit on a ab ball and actually post on it.
and yes its also good to build up your core muscles meaning your abs and especially lower back. my favorites are planks, reverse crunches, and the leg lifts (lay on the floor straight out with your hands tucked under your butt. lift your legs together up and lift them like you're trying to tough the ceiling raising your lower back off the ground). it will work your lower abs and also tighten your lower back muscles. the way i always think of it is your leg is your anchor and your core is your stability. you can have that anchor but if your not stable it does you no good.
have you ever felt out of breath at all after jumping or after any intense riding? if you have, its because you should build up your stamina. you can have all the right muscles toned but if you dont have stamina you're going to get wore out quicker. going for jogs or runs even if it isnt for long distances a little goes a long way!
I have been exercising to build my muscles to aid me in riding as well and have been reading many different exercise routines. Here's a good one which includes many of the suggestions above and rounds out with a good balance of exercise for your riding muscles...
Get Fit, Ride Better
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