Improving Your Mobility And Suppleness
Maintaining a healthy range of movement throughout our entire body is one of the key’s to aging well. Improving your mobility and suppleness will reward you in more ways than being able to easily touch your toes or bend into challenging positions on your yoga mat. To me keeping my body healthy and supple is ultimately about helping me improve my riding and to help me continue to be able to ride as long as I choose. By putting the time into this today I know it will aid in preventing injuries that can occur as I do normal day-to-day activities around the stables and help improve my alignment from to much time at my desk.
Mobility is about reducing the pressure on your bodies joints and therefore decrease the wear and tear. You’ll see a reduction in aches and pains as the restriction and tension around your body is reduced. Debilitating conditions like tension headaches or arthritis won’t show up as often, if at all. And you’ll notice the everyday tasks like bending down to lift your children, putting a saddle on, lifting feed bags and even putting your shoes on or hanging out the washing will be done with more ease.
While many people disregard stretching to improve mobility and suppleness, it’s really the valuable part to your rider fitness.
How to improve your mobility and suppleness
It doesn’t take much to start seeing improvements in your movement and flexibility once you get started. You don’t need to be able to move into a split or perform like a gymnast, flipping and tumbling on the mat with ease.
That means, you don’t need to spend a great deal of time in order to improve your body’s flexibility, but you do need to do it regularly and you do need to be aware of the environment you place your body in each day. Just like a tree moulds itself to the environment with time, so to does your body. So understanding this we can put habits in place to ensure we don’t adapt negatively.
If you’re new to stretching, begin with just 10 minutes a day focusing on areas you find tight. You can break it up into upper body and lower body to ensure all areas are looked after. And make sure you pay particular attention to areas of your body that are tense or strained, like your lower back if you sit in a chair for long periods of a time, or your shoulders if your hunched at your computer.
For those who work out, before you go for your run, gym class or get into your online training, warm up. This could mean doing some soft-tissue work on a foam roller, gentle movements like squats or lunges, or activate certain muscle groups that may be underdeveloped a a nice brisk walk to get the blood flowing.
Cooling down after the workout is equally important and can be done by doing some stretching and paying particular focus to those areas that are tight.
It’s really a habit you need to get into for your health and wellbeing, and once you begin to do it regularly, you’ll start seeing the benefits in not just how you perform during exercise, but throughout your daily activities and ultimately your riding.
Here’s some simple tips on how you can begin to increase your mobility and suppleness during your days with very little effort:
1. Set your alarm at your desk
If your job requires you to sit at a desk all day, set your alarm so it prompts you to get up every 60 mins and stretch.
2. Alternate between desks
Sitting in the one position all day has major impacts on our body, so alternate between a standing desk and sitting throughout the day to create movement.
3. Sit on the floor
While you’re watching TV, reading your child a book or scrolling through Facebook, sit on the floor with your legs crossed or kneeling to increase your mobility in the lower joints.
4. Practice yoga
Whether you join a class or practice it in your living room, yoga is a great way to improve your mobility and suppleness. This is why its a big part of our Dressage Rider Training 12 Week Program.
Take a look at all the stretching articles specific to dressage riders that I have created just for you.
To get access to over 72 rider specific workouts in a step by step program. Check out our Dressage Rider Training program. Yoga, core and strength workouts to help you improve your health and fitness to ultimately improve your riding. All the tools you need to take your riding to the next level off the horse and you can train in the comfort of your own home. Learn more here.