Kaj Gruning is a certified personal trainer, performance, and mind coach who specializes in helping athletes of all disciplines obtain their fitness goals.
Today he walks us through four of his top exercises to help dressage riders with their mobility and flexibility in the saddle.
HOW TO PERFORM THE MOVEMENT:
Start with palms down and arms fully extended.
Pull your body up, keeping the shoulders down until your elbows pass your upper body, then extend your arms again.
Keep the shoulders down and ensure your body stays in one long line from your heels to your head as you perform the motion.
The closer you bring your feet to the wall, the harder the exercise.
TARGETS: stabilizing muscles of your back including trapezius, rhomboids, and rotator cuffs.
GOOD FOR: Maintaining proper posture in the saddle.
REPEAT FOR 3 TIMES FOR 5 REPS
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Exercise mat
HOW TO PERFORM THE MOVEMENT:
For side planks, start on your side with your feet together and one forearm directly below your shoulder.
Tighten your core, raise your hips, and squeeze your buns until your body is in a straight line from your head to your feet. Think about lengthening or extending your body.
Try to hold the position for at least 10 seconds without letting your hips drop then repeat on the other side.
For a forearm plank, rest both forearms on the mat and bend your elbows at a 90-degree angle, making sure they are aligned with your shoulders.
Ground your toes into the mat and raise your body up. Squeeze the glutes to stabilize the body. Try to hold the position for at least 10 seconds without letting your hips drop.
TARGETS: core, glutes, and obliques.
GOOD FOR: Maintaining your balance in the saddle so you can stay in better rhythm with your horse. Can help to reduce the risk of back injuries.
HOLD FOR 10 to 45 seconds depending on your fitness level. Repeat three times for each side.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Weights, workout bands (optional)
HOW TO PERFORM THE MOVEMENT: Hold the weight in front of your chest, with your hands cupped. With your elbows pointing down, lower your body into a squat. Allow your elbows to brush past the insides of your knees as you descend. Push the knees outwards as if you were trying to break the band. Avoid the knees buckling inwards try to push them out!
Return to a standing position and repeat.
TARGETS: legs, glutes, core
GOOD FOR: Increasing leg strength, reducing the risk of knee injury and pain.
REPEAT 3 TIMES FOR 15 REPS
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: None
HOW TO PERFORM THE MOVEMENT: Stand with feet together and hands clasped in front of chest for stability. Take a large step out to the right,lowering into a lunge. Sink your hips back and bend your right knee to track directly in line with your right foot. Keep the left leg straight(not locked) with both feet pointing forward.
Push back actively to return to a standing position.
TARGETS: glutes, core, inner things
GOOD FOR: Stretching tight inner thigh and groin muscles, helping riders maintain a long leg in the saddle.
REPEAT FOR 3 TIMES BOTH SIDES FOR 10 REPS
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: Foam roller, exercise mat
HOW TO PERFORM THE MOVEMENT: Place foam roller at lower back and slowly move your body back and forth. Avoid holding your breath, instead breathe into your stomach.
If the discomfort is too great, just put pressure on the area without rolling.
TARGETS: full body
GOOD FOR: Reducing tightness of muscles throughout the entire body. This helps lengthen and stretch muscles to increase flexibility and mobility. Tight muscled can’t move!
ROLL 10 -20 TIMES OVER TIGHT MUSCLES.
Find more exercise ideas by visiting KGFIT.com
If you are interested in starting a personal fitness program in the comfort of your home,
call Kaj at 813-447-4635