04 Apr How To Keep Your Hips Healthy And Mobile As A Dressage Rider
Part of being a good rider is having mobile hips. When hips are tight, it can lead to common issues such as low back pain, hip pain, bouncing in the saddle, unevenness and so much more. Problems in the hips aren’t just related to tightness. A hip can be tight and weak while at the same time unbalanced. So its not just about stretching, its also about strengthening and improving pelvic position and therefore your biomechanics.
There are several muscles around the hip area that need to be strengthened and also focused on for mobility to allow the hip to move correctly. Your hip stabilizer muscles control range of motion within your hip socket. They need to be both strong to maintain correctly alignment while also relaxed to allow freedom of movement. It’s this elastic strength we require in dressage.
As riders we need our hips to stay neutral, so the strength of our quadriceps contribute to an overall balanced leg, along with strength in our hamstring and hips. This is why exercises that use all of these muscles together are so beneficial to riders. Equally exercises that are one sided to help improve symmetry because its very common for us to use one leg more so than the other which is always easy to notice when you do rising trot.
Ask yourself, are you rising through both legs evenly? Is the weight in both stirrups even?
So having exercises that break the two sides of body up and improve balance, symmetry and strength, but also combining all the muscles that are in front and behind our legs are really great for riders to. This is exercises such as lunges, toe taps and single legs bridges.
To begin with today, though I wanted to start with a few hip stretches to help improve your hip mobility.
Take a look at this video and try the stretches out today, become aware of where you are tight and where you need to put your focus into.
Then be sure to check out our Dressage Rider Training program which is all about improving your overall rider strength and fitness specific to dressage. We work on helping your improve overall biomechanics and alignment over a 12 week program. Just 3 x 20 minute workouts be week to help you take your riding the next level. Including specific workouts addressing leg strength and hip stability. Learn more here.