The Best Stretches For Dressage Riders (In Less Than 5 Minutes)

Here I will guide you through what I have found to be the great stretches for dressage riders to do right before they ride. Help loosen the hips up and feel more mobile in the saddle.

This sequence is fantastic for mobilizing your entire body and getting it ready for the demands of the workout or ride ahead. The key with any warm up, is to move the body that is similar to the activity you are about to do. This means the ligaments, tendons and muscles are warmed up functionally and really for the demands of whats ahead and prevent any injury happening from tight stiff cold muscles.

Stretches for dressage ridersThey are great stretches for dressage riders who are also wanting to work on their fitness and to do this before a workout or run, but also great to do before a ride. You see many riders work in desk jobs and sit in a stationary position for a lot of the day, so in order to allow your hips, back and entire body to be supple and not hold the horses movement back you want to make sure your body is mobile and warmed up. This doesn’t mean to say you should do this every day before you ride (unless you want to), but if you have had a day where you have been stuck in a plane, car or your desk and you are feeling particularly tight and stiff, do this sequence and notice how much better you feel afterwards. Not only will your body thank you, but your horses will do.

In order to get the body fully mobile this sequence involves 4 key movements. Doing this sequence will get your ankles, hips and spine more mobile and supple. Therefore being ready to move more freely. Do this sequence 6 times through each side before you start your ride or workout.  The more often you do this the better your body will feel.


Step 1 – Walking High Knee Hug

Great for stretching your glutes and brings your hip into full flexion, which is particularly important for those who spend lots of time at a desk. 
Start with your feet shoulder width apart and step forward lifting one knee up to your chest. Bend your knee as much as you can and hug to pull knee to your chest. Stand tall and pull up at the same time as in. Lower and step into the next leg.


Step 2 – Low Lunge

It increases range of motion into your groin, hips and legs. Again great for those who spend their day in limited range of motion positions.
Step forward with one leg and lower your back leg down so that your front leg is 90 degrees. Hands flat on the ground and let your hips drop forward to loosen them up.


Step 3  – Lunge And Reach

It mobilizes your thoracic spine, opening through your chest and loosening your hips further.
Stay in the position from above, but lift opposite hand to leg open to the sky and take your eyes up with it. Both arms should form a straight line.


Step 4 – Hip Lift Hamstring Stretch

It stretches the hamstrings and brings more mobility through into your hips.
From your lunge position, lift and shift your hips back to straighten your front leg. Let your hands rest on the ground and look down.
Then step forward and do the series on the left side, hold each pose for a breathe or two and move through to the next move. Keep flowing through the sequence 6 times and notice how much more energized and looser the body feel because of it.


Bring It All Together Into A Flow

Now watch how to bring all of these stretches for dressage riders together into a seamless flowing 5 minute routine to get the entire body more mobile and warm.

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