In RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN, kinetics-and-riding specialist Eckart Meyners, provides 180 anytime, anywhere exercises that have been systematically and successfully put into practice by riders at many levels of ability and experience.
The cool thing about incorporating Meyners’ “mini-workouts” in your fitness plan is that they not only train and sculpt your body, they help create new structures and connections in your brain! Ultimately, this cuts down on preparation time prior to a ride and speeds up all your coordinated motion patterns during training and competition.
Here is a mini-workout you can easily do while sitting at your desk—these exercises focus on the pelvis, which is an integral point of connection with the horse:
1 Hip Movements on a Chair
Step One Sit on a chair and alternate lifting your left hip and your right. Pay attention to how high you are able to lift each hip and how difficult it is (or isn’t) for you. Repeat the movement 10 times with each hip.
Step Two Sit as far forward on the edge of the chair as possible, and again repeat 10 times.
Step Three Slide all the way back toward the backrest and lean your upper body forward. Support yourself with your forearms placed on your thighs. Lift each hip another 10 times.
Step Four Shift all your weight to one forearm so your weight on that thigh “blocks” movement in the respective hip joint. Try to lift that hip 10 times.
Step Five Shift your weight to the other thigh and repeat.
Step Six Finally, repeat Step One of the exercise. You will notice that you are able to lift your hips significantly higher and that the movement feels much easier.
2 Reverse Hip Movements on a Chair
Step One Turn your chair around and straddle it with the backrest in front of you. Place your forearms one on top of the other along the top of the back rest, and rest your forehead on them.
Step Two As with the first exercise above, lift each hip 10 times.
Step Three Now, lean your chest against the backrest and “hug” the backrest with your arms.
Step Four Again, repeat the hip movements, which you will find rather difficult this time.
Step Five Finally, return to the forward-facing position from the previous exercise, with your back against the backrest, and repeat the hip movements. How easy or difficult have they become? How high can you now lift your hips?
3 Hip Movements on a Clock Face
Step One While sitting in your chair, imagine a clock face on the seat’s surface. Move your pelvis forward and back on the clock face, from six to twelve o’clock. Pay attention to how this movement feels to you.
Step Two Now execute all the steps from the first two pelvic exercises above while continuing with the six-to-twelve-o’clock movement. Check the mobility of your pelvis after the exercise—you will find that it has increased and moving your hips is easier.
RIDER FITNESS: BODY & BRAIN is available from the TSB online bookstore, where shipping in the US is always FREE!