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Fit to Ride: Is that a six-pack under your show coat?

This week Horse Nation hardbody Biz Stamm gets to the core of the problem, literally. So sit up (get it? sit-up!) and pay attention.

From Biz:

Hey there, Horse Nation. As riders, and as people in general, we constantly need to re-evaluate ourselves in order to grown and progress. Looking at the judge’s comment card can be a very useful way to evaluate both your own and your horse’s weaknesses. Even if you’re fairly capable of being brutally honest with yourself, it can be useful to have a fresh set of eyes from time to time. Recently I attended a horse show and had such an opportunity.

For the most part, I’m very aware of both my horse’s and my own deficiencies. The fact that judge commented that I needed more bend in my 10m circles and needed to get my horse more uphill was not surprising.  One comment, however, caught me a bit off guard.  I like to think of myself as a pretty fit person, so when the judge said “needs more core strength to support horse,” I was kind of shocked.  Obviously she couldn’t see my six-pack abs under my show coat.

But then I got to thinking.  Yes, I’m good at keeping up with the cardio end of being fit, but I have no real strength training routine.  I could at least benefit from a quick, daily core workout.  So here it is, Horse Nation, my quick core routine that I am pledging to do 5 days a week.  Who wants to pledge along with me?

Leg raises:  Lay with your back flat on the floor.  With knees bent (or for more of a challenge, keep your knees straight) slowly raise your feet off the ground, and then slowly lower them until your feet are almost , but not quite touching the ground.  Repeat 30 times.

Oblique leg raises:  Lie on your back with your knees bent.  Raise your feet and legs so that your thighs are perpendicular to your chest and you calves are parallel to the ground.  Slowly bring your knees to the right, back to center, and then to left back to center.  Repeat 15 times. Not only is this exercise great for melting away those muffin tops, it’s also a killer low back massage.

Plank:  One of my favorite exercises.  Lie flat on your stomach. Tuck your toes under your feet, and lift your hips so that they are in line with your back and legs. You should feel your abdominals contract.  Hold this position for 30 seconds, or as long as you can.

And just because working out is always more fun with music, I’ll leave you with this song.

Go riding!

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