Rider's ribcage. Exercises off the horse.
Posted by Irina Yastrebova on Friday, March 27, 2009 10:27 AM
When you perform these exercises the number of repetition and amplitude are of less value in comparison to correctness and precision of execution. Stay absolutely focused on your body, feel how your muscles are working, make movements slow and deliberate, breathe deep and even. Repeat from 3 to 10 times depending on the quality you can sustain.
  • Elbow to opposite knee - Lay down on your back with your knees bent, legs together. Put your hands behind your head. Lift your head off the floor by supporting it with your arms, your elbows are pointed into the ceiling. Think about resting your head on your hands. Create abdominal push and lift your knees up: thighs vertical, calfs parallel to the floor. Without changing position between your elbow, head and chest, advance your left elbow to your right knee. You do it by pulling the left side of your ribcage toward right hip, you should feel contraction in your stomach. Do not try to reach your knee with your elbow, you will engage your shoulder and neck muscles instead of abdominal muscles.
  • Plank position - Stand down on your elbows and knees. Create an abdominal push, straighten your legs backwards and hold yourself with your spine in neutral position (no sagging down or roaching your back). Your legs can be slightly apart. If that all you can do for 15 to 30 seconds just work on that. More advanced variant would be to lift one of the legs off the floor while you holding your plank position. Do it carefully, without loosing your alignment, lift just a few degrees. Make sure your pelvis stays stable, no twisting or lowering one hip compare to the other. Keep the position for a few seconds. Bring your leg down and lift the other one.
  • Reversed Sit-up with Rotation - Seat on the floor, legs together, bend your knees and stabilize your feet either under sofa, or ask someone to hold them. Seat close to your legs, back in neutral and arms folded in front. Create abdominal push, exhale and slowly lower your whole body (from the hips) down just a little bit, 5-15 degrees and at the same time rotate to the left, bring it back on inhale, keep your back straight. Next time you lower yourself rotate to the right. Alternate left and right. Make sure you do not collapse in the middle of your torso or lift your seatbone during rotation. Do not arch your lower back. Lowering your body father is less important than doing more repetitions.
  • Twist - Lay down on your back with your knees bent, legs together. Put your arms on the floor, at 45 degrees angle to your body, press them down slightly to stabilize yourself. Do not arch your back. Create abdominal push and lift your knees up: thighs vertical, calfs parallel to the floor, legs together. Slowly lower your legs to the right. You can go all the way to the floor, or only as much as you can control. Hold your legs yourself even when they are touching the floor, do not let go. Slowly bring them up again and lower to the left.
  • Physio ball, thighs on the ball, rotation - Lay down on the ball, hands on the floor. Keep your legs together and straight, muscles engaged. Walk forward until the ball is on your thighs ( closer to the hips is easier variant, closer to the knees is harder variant). Keep your abdominal push, back in neutral and lift one leg off the ball for a few seconds. Put it down and lift another. As in Plank exercise make sure your hips are level.
    Advanced variant: While lifting the leg rotate your torso so your hips become close to perpendicular line in relation to the floor. You will have to roll on the side of your supported thigh. You will alternate legs and rotate. This requires a lot of core stabilization, otherwise, the ball will roll from under you. Pause every time you have your leg in the air with maximum rotation through the torso.
There are numerous abdominal exercises of all kinds on the website My Fit. Click here and you can built the whole program for developing abdominal muscles.
Happy riding...
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My blog is about teaching, riding and training. I share what is important to me in my work with horses and riders. The writing helps me to think things over and have a better understanding of training ideas and priciples.
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