HomeExpert AdviceArticleWarm-ups for horse riders

Warm-ups for horse riders

Posted in Riding Schooling and Training Fitness

Becoming fitter for riding can seem like a mammoth task, but it doesn’t have to be. By following a few simple guidelines you can get riding fit in only 30 minutes a day.

Personal trainer Matt Luxton is the creator of the Equestrian Athlete Plan (EAP), a specially-designed programme for riders that won him the title of ‘Most Innovative Fitness Entrepreneur 2012’. You can buy the full eight-week EAP, including the ‘Hot to Trot’ Nutritional Plan, for £23.99 at www.theequestrianathleteplan.com

Now try it! Here’s an example of a 30-minute session for you to try at home. It is split into a warm-up, exercises and stretching.


Choose three exercises and do 10 of each before moving on to the next. In this example, we are using vertical woodchops, stiff-legged swings and calf raises. Start slowly and build up – remember, it is supposed to be a warm-up.

Vertical wood chop Girl exercising

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, elbows soft. Hands stay
in line with the sternum, clasped together loosely. Take your arms vertically up above your head, hold here for 30 seconds, then bring them back down towards your thighs. Repeat 10 times.

Stiff-legged swings with glute squeeze

Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, glutes (bottom muscles) squeezed, and your arms straight up in the air and slightly back. With your arms still up above your head, bend forwards from the hip, keeping your knees at the same angle, and reach down between your legs. Then stand tall again, raising your arms up and back above your head, and squeezing your glutes tight. Repeat 10 times.

Calf raises

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, stay tall and push up on to your toes. Then lower yourself back down so your feet are flat on the floor again. Repeat 10 times.

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