The trick to true core strength

Core Strength for Horseback Riders

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We’ve all heard that core strength is important for horseback riders. And it is important. But focusing too much on strengthening and not enough on creating ease in the body can actually strengthen an underlying cycle of stiffness and pain.

Stiffness and pain cycle

The stiffness and pain cycle prevents independent movement of riders’ legs, arms, head/neck and torso.

When a rider has low back pain, they’re often advised to strengthen their core muscles in order to support the back.

Where there is pain there is going to be stiffness (which may be unconscious) because the body’s natural tendency is to tense up around pain in order to protect the area. The increased tension leads to more pain, and the cycle continues.

Creating ease in order to allow strength AND free movement

Unless a horseback rider learns to consciously release stiffness and create ease of movement, core exercises can do more harm than good.

To make the most of your exercise routine, it’s a great idea to learn how to do your exercises without strain. One way to minimize unnecessary stiffness is to practice Active Rest. You can learn more and download a free audio guide here. An Alexander Technique instructor can show you how to do your exercises with freedom and ease so you get the maximum benefit. To get individual help, contact us at The Supple Rider.

About Emily Clark

Feel free to use this article in your newsletter or on your website or blog. Just make sure to include the bio and link below at the end of the article.

Emily Clark, of TheSuppleRider.com, is an Alexander Technique Certified Instructor who teaches horseback riders of all disciplines to eliminate pain and improve their posture so they can ride as one every ride.

She’s worked with equestrians for over 11 years. She loves working with riders because they’re so passionate about what they do.

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