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Lower Body Workout for Horse Riders

Why is it important to gain strength in your lower body while riding? Obviously your legs and bum are instrumental when riding a horse, the stronger your legs are, the easier you’ll find to hold the correct leg position, and continue to give your horse maximal communication with minimal effort. Is this blog post will be taking you through a legs and bum workout, featuring five exercises. 

  • Box Squats 
  • This exercise can be done using a chair or bench. Standing with your feet hip width apart, toes facing forward, and the chair behind you. Have your hands clasped together in front of you. As you exhale, hinge your hips back, keeping your chest forward, bending your knees and sitting down. Make sure the majority of your weight is in your heels and not your toes. With no momentum, as you inhale slowly stand, using the power and strength from your quadriceps. Once standing relax your hands by your side, engage your glute muscles and push your hips forward. Keep repeating this exercise, 12 reps and 3-5 sets.

    Make the exercise harder? Coming away from the bench or chair and doing squats with no sitting support. From this you can then add a jump after each squat. As you extend your legs to stand, push your feet off the ground & jump up vertically. As soon as you land come back to the squat position to control the landing. Keep repeating the jump squat exercise, same reps and sets. Keep this exercise slow and controlled. 

  • Curtsey Lunges 
  • Again, start by standing with your feet hip width apart, toes facing forward. Have your hands clasped together in front of you. Inhale, exhale to take your right leg behind your left leg onto the toes and bending both knees. Make the stance big and have even weight in both legs. Inhale to come back to centre, exhale to now take the left leg behind the right. This exercise is great for your increasing stability while riding. Keep the reps the same on each side. 10 reps on each side (20 reps) 3 sets. Try not to collapse the chest in this exercise, keep looking forward. 

  • Squat walks and Step Ups 
  • With this exercise, start by taking the same stance as your box squats. The exercise involves holding the squat position and stepping up onto a raised step or ledge. Keep your chest up and looking forward. This will target the glute muscles, quadriceps and hamstrings. Keep the amount of reps high, with 3-5 sets. 

    The squat walks are similar, but you keep the squat stance and do small steps from side to side. 6-10 steps to the right, and the same on the left. Try not to stand up in between each rep. 

    Make the exercise harder? Adding a resistance band will enable you to keep a good form in your squat by having the band around your thighs. Using the band also creates better mind to muscle memory, also forcing you to open your hips more, pushing the band apart. 

  • Wall Sit 
  • This exercise is a great finisher for the legs and bum workout. Lean your back against a wall, start to bend your knees and walk your feet out in front of you. Make sure your heels and knees are in line, and your knees and hips, creating a 90 degree angle in your knee. Make sure you keep your back flat on the wall. This exercise targets your balance and strength in your legs, glutes and core. Take control of your breathing, hold the wall sit for 20 seconds, and rest. Slowly increase the hold for up to 1 minute. 


    So there we have it, a short workout for horse riders to start targeting their legs and bum in this lower body workout out. Do check out our Youtube video which shows all the exercises in this blog post, following the link below. 

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OSgj6w_qLXI


    Also, do check out our other blog post on ‘Important Core Exercises for Horse Riders’ here! https://dvrequestrian.com/blogs/news/important-core-exercises-for-horse-riders