May 13, 2020 – Despite this uncertain time out of the ring, as a strength trainer, nutrition coach and founder of The Equestrian Strength Coach, I know there is so much equestrians can be doing at home to improve their riding once they return to competing!
Riders, I am going to walk you through various workouts and options to keep you in the best possible shape while barns are closed. Ideally, I would like to see each rider train 4 times a week during this time. Each session should be geared towards gaining strength in some capacity. Cardiovascular work is secondary, as that will not be as difficult to get back once riding starts up again. Ok riders, let’s get into this thing!
Day 1 can be done various ways depending on how hard you want to make it. The most simple way would be to perform 3 sets of the given exercise before moving on to the next. Another way would be to make 3 giant circuits, meaning you would do 1 set of each exercise then start all over again until you repeated it 3 times. You could also make this a timed workout using the circuit approach. If you haven’t trained in a bit then I suggest moving slowly and focusing on the movements. Record yourself doing them to check your form, don’t look sideways in the mirror as it will inhibit proper form and concentration.
Day 2 is more cardio based. You should move as quickly as possible with correct form. Push-Ups are hard, but extremely effective and they one of the best bodyweight exercises for showing upper body strength improvements. They are also very “scalable,” meaning you can start off with easier variations that will eventually lead you to doing proper push-ups!
If you are someone who enjoys running or ellipticals more, I’d suggest sprints on this day. Generally bouts of 1:40 steady state work and 20 seconds all out effort is a good place to start. Total rounds can be kept between 6-10.
Day 3 can be approached the same way as Day 1, although the exercises are a bit more technical. To increase difficulty, I would suggest adding more sets and/or reps.
Day 4 is similar to Day 2, but it is an AMRAP, which means as many reps as possible. Using these little circuits is a great way to test improvements in conditioning and mental toughness as they require you to really push through each session. Be sure to record your rounds each week, trying to be a little bit better each time!
Stay tuned for updates on workouts with bands and weights!
Meet The Equestrian Strength Coach
Brittany Cacossa-Aureliano the founder of TESC, has many years experience as a strength coach, plus she as ridden for over two decades starting at an early age with her mother, hunter/jumper professional and judge, Jill Aureliano. During her early riding career, Brittany rode countless young ponies and horses showing in the hunters at local and major competitions throughout the East. She graduated from college in 2014 and began teaching and showing professionally. She has experience working for New York Sports Club as a personal trainer. Wanting to learn even more, she got her Crossfit certification and there, found a true love for strength training. After years of Crossfit, Brittany wanted a more competitive way to train so she began Powerlifting. She competed in many USAPL (USA Powerlifting) meets, winning many. From there, she became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). To learn more or interested in a personal fitness program, visit their website.