Top 5 Core Exercises for the Rider

Importance of Core

A rider’s core is the most important element to continuously work and keep strong, as your balance comes from your core. Your balance affects your horse so it is essential to have a strong core to ride well. Having a strong core also helps your posture and enables you to be soft and supple in your seat and body while riding, making it more comfortable for both you and your horse.

There are plenty of exercises you can do to strengthen your core, but you need to do a variety of exercises to make sure you target all areas including your sides, lower and upper abs, and your deep ab muscles.

In this day and age it can be hard to find time to do any kind of working out, especially when you have a full-time job and own a horse that you have to take care of and go see. Here are some quick, easy exercises to help you strengthen your abs but don’t require going to a gym or too much time.

You can watch our HorseShoeBox YouTube Channel Video to see an example of each exercise-

1. Planks

I do this almost daily, as it targets your whole body and works out a wide range of muscles.

You can start out at 15-30 seconds and add on from there. Your phone has some great apps that you can download to do a 30-day Plank Challenge or other Ab Challenges.

There are many variations of the plank that you can do as you get more advanced, such side-plank and single-leg plank.


2. Bicycles

I love this exercise as I can really feel it in my abs, especially my upper abs. This also works on toning your thighs!


3. Supermans

This works your lower back which is an important part of your core. I know my lower back gets really sore after riding for 4-6 hours on long trail rides if I haven’t done any strengthening exercises lately.


4. Leg Lifts

I really enjoy doing leg lifts, they can be challenging but I can really feel the burn when doing them. You can do straight up leg lifts, hanging leg lifts, or side leg lifts. All of these variations are great to do. You can also increase the hardness by adding weight to your legs or holding a medicine ball in between your legs.

leg lift


5. Bridge Exercise

This is a simple and quick exercise you can add into your daily routine. This works your glutes and hamstrings, and is a great core stabilizer. You could also increase the intensity by doing single-leg bridges, which really makes you focus on your stabilization and is great to do.



Remember, it’s important to exercise your core regularly as it is the most important part of your body to keep strong in order to ride well!  You and your horse will both be happy you do!

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