So everyone in the horse world is talking about this magic word “CORE”! – “Get a stronger core and be a better more balanced rider.” Well this is true a stronger core can certainly improve your position, balance and effectiveness of aids. But what exactly is your core???
Many people believe a strong core is having a 6-pack! Well I can ensure you that a good core extends far beyond just your abs. It basically includes every muscle that attaches to your pelvis, everything in the middle part of your body, front and back so basically everything besides your arms and legs. And you will use your core in almost every movement of the human body, especially riding. So yes its quite important!
The core muscles on the front of your body include 4 abdominal muscle groups: rectus abdominis, internal obliques, external obliques and transverse abdominis. The back core muscles include the multifidus and the erector spinae.
When we have strong core muscles it enables us to easily perform many physical activities, including riding. It enables us to have better balance and stability which of course is vital when we are trying to keep the correct riding position. A strong core also helps us to prevent getting injuries, such as lower back pain.
So whats the best way to keep our core strong?
There are hundreds of different core exercises which can be done to keep our core strong and you’ll find we post lots of different core workouts in our blog. However one of the easiest most effective way to keep our core strong is using an exercise called planking.
The plank is one of the best exercises for core conditioning. It not only strengthens all those core muscles, it also works your glutes, hamstrings, supports proper posture and improves balance.
It is important you get a correct form whilst completing this exercise to ensure you are working the muscles correctly. And ideally you want to work to being able to comfortably hold the plank for 120 seconds. But don’t panic if you can’t! Just take it in 15 second intervals Hold for 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and start again. Then gradually increase to 30 seconds, 45 seconds, 60 seconds etc.
So happy planking everyone! Get working on strengthening those cores for better positions in the saddle!