Whether you are herding the bulls or just out for fun, it is important to stay safe while practicing proper riding, and one of the most important things to remember is to keep your heels in place.
While proper technique is crucial, a large part of control also comes down to calf and leg strength.
If you find that you could use a little more help in this area, try some of these easy exercises from Livestrong.com.
Having loose hamstrings is crucial whether you are a rider or not.
But if you do ride, stretching these muscles will help you with a deep seat and help you ride with a more secure leg position.
These types of stretches are very simple.
- Stand with your legs and feet directly in front of each other, with the leg that you want to stretch in front.
- Then bend your back knee and lean forward from the hips.
- Once you feel the muscles stretch, hold it for a few more seconds before alternating legs.
Strengthening your calves helps when riding because it enables you to ride with a long leg.
Try this very easy exercise to increase your calf strength.
- Stand on a flat surface roughly 3 feet from a sturdy wall, and place your hands flat against it.
- Then square your body to the wall.
- Keep one leg back as you put the other in front with a bended knee until you feel your calf start to stretch.
- Hold it for 15 seconds before switching legs.
Lunges are another great way to improve your balance, and proper balance is essential to centered riding.
There are many ways that lunges can be done improperly, so it is important to do them correctly to get the greatest benefits.
- Start by keeping your body straight and your core engaged.
- Then step forward with your leg of choice while keeping your other leg straight behind you.
- Bend the knee of your front leg at a 90-degree angle while keeping your knee directly above your ankle, but don’t let your back knee touch the ground.
- Once you feel a good stretch, make your way back up to the standing position and repeat the process with your other leg.
- You can repeat this exercise for about 10 reps per leg.
As you are working your way through these stretches, you may even find new ways of stretching that may do more to increase your leg strength.
Always remember to practice caution and don’t to overdo any particular exercise, but focusing on leg strengthening and stretches will surely help you keep your heels in place.
Do you have other tips for making your ride more comfortable or helping to keep your balance? Share them with us in the comments below.
Don’t forget that before and after your ride, you want your horses to be comfortable and protected, and there’s no better place than inside a high-quality barn from Deer Creek Structures.
To learn more, give us a call today 254-546-2276.