Exercises to stregthen riders back

teabiscuit

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Oct 21, 2005
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lie on the floor with arms stretched out in front of you and legs straight behind you and slowly lift your arms and legs off the floor so your like a bannana, hold for a few seconds and relax-it's quite tough so be careful-repeat and build up.
 

Werehorse

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Jan 3, 2005
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A couple of yoga moves for your back, the cat and the cobra.

Not sure how best to describe, I will try but type them into google and you should come up with something better!

Cobra is lying on your front hand palm down by shoulders forehead on floor. slowly lift up head the neck and back, think about lifting each vertabra at a time following each other (think snake-like!) go as far as is comfortable, look upwards. Hold for a few deep breaths and slowly lower yourself back down. Repeat a few times.

Cat. Get onto your hands and knees. First arch you back up into a rounded hump, look towards you thighs/knees. Then move through to a hollow backed stretch belly dropping towards the floor, head back, look at the ceiling. Take it slow, you should be like a cat luxouriously stretching! Take big deep breaths throughout.

There will be more but thats the ones that spring to mind.

Hope this helps.
 

Rugby+Riding

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Dec 1, 2005
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Back Exercises

Well this to a certain degree depends on why you're asking ?

What problems do you have ? i.e. where in the back lies the problem you wish to fix. The above posts assume you have a lower back strength issue. Being a riding forum I would also assume that the problem relates to the lower half of your back - but its only a guess.

THis could be a number of things. You could have impact issues with the muscles that support your vertebrae. You could also be suffering a translocation problem from poor pelvic alignment and support strength (look at your feet - if they 'naturally' point in or out when you walk you have a pelvic allignment problem)

If its the vertebrae thing then gym exercises that would help would be back extensions - the banana thing suggested is ok but if you're getting spasms the range of motion will add to the problem whereas the extensions allow the muscles a full stretch-contraction cycle.

My best suggestion would be to first go see a physio to diagnose exactly what the problem is. You don;t want to be wasting valuable riding time by working hard but not fixing things.
Second attend a Pilates class regularly - the basis of pilates is core strength and pelvic control. THis will allow you're pelvis to effectively manage the muscle contractions that affect the upper and lower body thus making your movements stronger and more controlled.
Third if you want to fix yourself up quickly get yourself down to a gym for some free weights (do not use machines !) this will educate your entire body to support itself better. You should be focussing on posterior chain core movements such as squats and deadlifts that will strenghten up your shoulders, back, glutes and hams. All muscles used in riding. A bonus is that with the right diet you'll even look better in your jods afterwards and be more likely to get up ok if you fall of....

Hope this helps
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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Make sure your stmach muscles are strong too as they support your back, strong stomach and strong back muscles together.
 

laura jeanne

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Jan 7, 2004
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Wally said:
Make sure your stmach muscles are strong too as they support your back, strong stomach and strong back muscles together.
Yes, this is stressed in yoga. For instance in the cat exercise, when you round your back up, you should also pull in your stomach at the same time.
 

virtuallyhorses

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Mar 1, 2002
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Yes, it is the abdominals that should really be strengthened - not the back. It is your abodominals - your 'core' as they are referred to these days - that keep you upright and strong - allowing your back to be supple. So crunches, leg lifts and any number of pilates type exercises will help you with your riding.