A while ago I was asked to do a video on the proper shoulder, hip, heel alignment when riding a horse. Since I’m a believe in rider fitness as well I thought I’d show a very simple exercise that helps with alignment and a few little ways to improve your alignment without having to think really hard. So what’s this secret movement that helps you ask??? SQUATS!
Oh yes the dreaded squats. (ok well I used to dread them). When done properly squats can seriously help with your riding and you can literally do them anywhere you have room to stand! Now that I know how to do them properly they are so much fun and I won’t lie I actually envision jumping my horses and the rhythm of his canter underneath me as I squat. (I do have a great imagination) And it makes squats so much more fun to do.
Now as you prefect these you can add stability balls or devices to activate your core more like you are when you are balancing over a moving horse but don’t rush into it. Master the simple squat and then think about adding more stability exercises later.
Now the biggest things to remember:
1.) Keep you shoulders level. DO NOT round your back or throw your shoulders down. Find a spot on the wall to look at and think “eyes up” (humm sound familiar?) to keep yourself from going forward and keep those shoulders relaxed but straight. If it helps imagine releasing the rein over the jump!
2.) Push your booty back. Like straight back. Don’t keep you butt in the same spot. This causes you to fold your shoulders forward, round your back and come up onto your toes.
3.)Think TOES UP! Keep your weight in your heels. DO NOT go up on the balls of your feet. This will cause a knee injury because you are adding excessive pressure on your knee-joint. If you feel like your going to need to step back to keep your balance while squatting you are doing it right! Keep thinking Toes up.
So as you squat think: Eyes up, shoulders relaxed and straight, booty back and toes up. Just close the angles of your hip and your knees. Envision that jump! It helps!! Seriously it does 😀
But if this sounds confusing have no fear I put together a video to help explain. It is a tad long (sorry about that) but it helps explain a little bit more in detail.
If there are more things you’d like to see, questions you’d like answered or just to chat feel free to comment below, send me a message here or on Facebook.
Until Next Time!