Pelvis Control
Some of the exercises on this page do not have suggestions on how many repetitions you should do, because they are more for developing your feel and you can do them as much as you feel comfortable.
1. Back/Forward Pelvis Movements on a Physio Ball.
Sit on the physio ball sideways to the mirror. Sit straight, don't slouch. Put your legs slightly apart with a 90 degree angle in the knees. Now looking at yourself in the mirror roll your pelvis forward and backward, slowly, stopping in the middle (neutral) position. Notice which position is most comfortable for you and which one reminds you of your position in the saddle. Check if you want to move your shoulders when your pelvis moves. If you do, work on separating the pelvis movements from your upper body.
2. Side-to-Side Pelvis Movements on a Physio Ball.
Same position as for the first exercise, only in front of the mirror. Move the ball to the right and then to the left in a slow controlled way. Watch yourself in the mirror, you will see your left and right hips go up and down. See if you have excess up and down movement in your shoulders. Try to limit it as much as you can. Which direction do you loose your balance easily? If you have an uneven loading in your seatbones you will be tempted to slide off. For example, if your left seatbone is a heavy one, you will feel like it is very easy to move your ball to the right. The ball will practically move itself, sliding to the right from under you. To the left, it will be easy to control the ball movement. Work on your control and balance.
3. Standing Pelvis Movements.
This exercise will not only help you with pelvis control, but, if done correctly, it will strengthen the muscles around your hip joints. Stand in front of the mirror, hold on with your left hand to something (door way, wall etc.), tighten muscles in your left leg and lift your right hip joint together with the pelvis. Your right leg being attached to the pelvis will go sideways and up about 10-20 degrees. Make sure that your left leg is firm and straight and doesn't deviate or collapse to the left. Make sure you are lifting not just the leg, but the pelvis too. For that, put your right hand on your waist area and feel a bone with the bottom of your hand. Try to push this bone up into your hand. Change legs. Repeat 5-10 times on each side going slowly up and down and do 2-3 series.
4. Pelvis Movements on the Floor.
  • Lay on your back, bend your knees and put your feet on the floor parallel and slightly apart. Put your hands on your stomach. Lift your buttocks up and then lower them down. Notice that you did it with your Gluteus muscles (buttock muscles). Try to do the same with your stomach muscles. It is very hard at the beginning. The Gluteus muscles are better and stronger at lifting your buttocks, and they want to jump in. Repeat 5-10 times going slowly up and down and do 2-3 series.
  • Next, arch your back and feel your pelvis rotating forward. Bring it back.
    If you have lower back problems be careful with arching your back. Either don't do it at all or do it very slowly, just to feel the beginning of the rotation.
  • Next movement is to lift your left hip, hold, put it down, then lift your right hip, hold, and put it down. This one, too, can be done with the Gluteus muscles or stomach muscles. Try it both ways, notice the difference. Be careful to keep the rest of your body quiet and don't move the shoulders when you lift your hips. Again, observe, which side is easier to do and with what muscles (buttocks or stomach). Is there a difference in how far you can lift your left and right sides? Repeat twice more on the weaker side. Repeat 5-10 times on each side going slowly up and down and do 2-3 series.
  • Now comes the interesting part. After you have mastered all previous exercises, try to roll your pelvis all the way around its perimeter. You can do it clockwise or counterclockwise. You can also do a figure 8 - it is like lifting your hips in a circular motion one after another very smoothly. It is only possible if you have learned how to lift your hips with your stomach muscles.
Irina Yastrebova, Riding Instructor and Trainer.
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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