Why Horse Riding Is a Better Core Workout Than You Might Think!
In just about every sport, core fitness is crucial. The core, that is, the muscles in your torso, are vital to keeping you well balanced, allowing you to do any athletic things like jumping or running, and are essential in things that require a lot of full body coordination – such as dancing, martial arts or gymnastics. Whatever your sport, you are well advised to incorporate some core training into your fitness regime. A lot of people use training techniques like Pilates or yoga to complement their sport specific training and get a better workout for their core, but surprisingly, there is a fun, outdoorsy way to get the same great muscle workout for that all important core that you may not have thought of – horseback riding.
Why is Horseback Riding Good Exercise?
On first impressions, it seems very much like horseback riding is no exercise at all – that you are letting the horse do all the work and simply sitting there enjoying the view. In actual fact, just balancing on the moving animal gives you a good core workout akin to using any other kind of balance equipment (like wobble boards or Pilates balls), as your body almost automatically resists the effects of the horse’s movement to stay in a stable position. Horse riding also makes you use your legs in ways you won’t with most sports, and can lead to very good fitness in areas like the hamstring, quads and glutes if you do it regularly.
Other Health Benefits to Horse Riding
Horse riding isn’t just good for the core, but is also a good stress busting activity. You get to play around with nice animals, explore the outdoors, and actually feel like you are relaxed even when your muscles are being toned and trained. Interacting with animals has long been shown to have good psychological benefits, especially for stressed people, and that time in the fresh air surrounded by nature can do wonders for your mental state. All of that, combined with a powerful core workout certainly makes getting kitted out for riding with the right equine equipment (and you can find a great range at One Stop Equine if you are new to the sport and want to pick up your riding gear online) and get out riding!
Riding for Beginners
Almost all riding stables offer courses and training for new riders, so you don’t have to worry about how you will learn how to do basic ‘horse maintenance’, and will be matched to a horse suited to your size and ability. Call your local stables and make an inquiry about getting started with horseback riding for enjoyment and fitness benefits, and they will almost certainly be happy to set you up with an instructor and all of the facilities you will need (including a horse!).
Horse riding is a rewarding way to get back to nature that is also extremely good for the core. If you are looking for a core workout with a difference, learn to ride!