Horse Riding Muscles

The muscles used in riding are unique to any other sport because of the position of the body while riding. The muscle groups needed to ride a horse should be developed religiously as a rider progresses in their training.

Exercising on a gym ball can simulate the riding position is many ways. The player is able to move the ball around using their pelvis and hamstrings. By following specific movement patterns, the rider can gain increased mobility in the pelvis and lower back, two areas that are important for polo playing. The ball encourages and imitates a similar posture to the position required for riding a horse. By adding some exercises, players can further strengthen these horse riding muscles.

Perhaps the most important muscle groups needed for horse riding are the thighs, adductors, quadriceps and hamstrings.  These muscles are not only used to deliver cues to the horse, but also to hold on. Continuing with the use of the ball, you can train strength, coordination and stamina with three simple exercises.

1-    Sitting on the gym ball, let’s squeeze it with the hamstrings and take the center of gravity far back, separating our feet off the floor and trying to keep that position of balance/strength as long as possible. Starting with a minimum of ten seconds.

2-    Lying on a mat on your back, let’s squeeze the gym ball with knees and feet (knees bent), then take it to one side and the other with slow movements, controlling that the ball is well tight. Try to top 5 repetitions for each side, as you manage to do easily, increase the intensity by adding repetitions.

3-    Sitting back in the gym ball, will perform trunk rotations to both sides, with arms stretched forward together. When you are rotating to one side, will move from a sitting position to a semi-squat without losing contact with the ball. And going from side to side will return to a sitting position again, but only as a transition, not to sit still. Start with 3 times for each side and once you manage to make it easy, start working in units of time: 30 sec, 45 sec, 1 min.

The muscles must be stretched well beforehand and afterwards because they tend to shorten and hurt when riding. Athletes from all sports are now training away from their field and polo players are following this trend in order to improve their skills and body function.

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