Something we often forget about as riding athletes is taking care of our bodies when it comes to mobility.
If you already upkeep a solid movement routine to offset the stresses of riding on the body, you know how important it is. Not only do you feel better on and off the horse, the ability you have to ride well is greatly enhanced!
While there are endless options when it comes to mobility for riding athletes, there are a few favourites I have for the riding body.
1. Lunge Variations
Lunged based stretches are awesome because there are endless ways to work them and they hit some important areas of mobility that as riders we benefit from hugely. Key areas lunge based mobility will hit are the hip flexors, the inner leg, the hip and ankle joints. This will in turn help the knees, back, ankle stay healthy and ready to absorb force while we're riding. You can also add in rotations, extensions and other movements to factor in the spine and shoulders. Try this short series a few times each week, or daily, and see how your hips feel after a few days!
These aren't a passive stretch- in any lunge position, be sure to engage the butt muscles to push the pelvis forwards and tuck the tail bone under. The spine stays long and as you engage the glute muscles/back body you'll find the stretch in the hips deepen. No effective stretch is done passively, opposing muscles groups engage to encourage the muscle group in question to begin to release.
2. Open Book Rotations
Honestly, everyone should be doing this type of movement daily. Simply lay on your side and bring the knees up to about 90degrees. Begin with the arms stacked straight in front of you and on an exhale open the top arm up and over to the opposite side finding a twist through the spine.
Rotation is a very important movement ability for us as riders and working on this mobility wise helps to open the chest, release low back tension and move the rib cage effectively. I also love this move for helping to ease anxiety, bloating, encourage relaxation and total body settling.
3. Legs up on the Wall and/or Kick Stretch
Spending time in inverted positions is hugely beneficial for our whole body. Find a wall and get the legs up long on the wall with your butt right close to the wall. You should be able to passively relax with the legs in this position. Not only does this help with lymphatic drainage via gr
If you'd like to deep this you can lift one leg away from the wall, holding behind the thigh and flexing the ankle to find a pull through the hamstrings and calf. Alternate sides for a few breaths on each side. You can also bend the knees and find a passive squat position. Another great restorative position for the hips and low back, with gentle compression into the joints.
There are endless options for mobility. It really comes down to taking a few moments each day to move through your joints and breathe. Your body, mind and horse will thank you in the long term.
If you'd like to check out a longer full body mobility series, I have one available here!