Strength Training by Fiona April 21 2019

Since the beginning of this year I’ve been doing some strength training with a personal trainer. Before you start to wonder, no, I’m not planning on running away to the circus as the ‘strong woman’…although, some days running away to the circus does seem a good idea! I’ve done it because I want to feel stronger. Stronger in daily life, as well as when I ride.

 

I’ve done quite a bit of clinical pilates in the past which I loved but being an hour away from my awesome physiotherapist I was at a bit of a loss of where to go. I thought I’d give strength training a go.

 

Now, of course, I also need to be more fit and lose weight and this isn’t a cardiovascular workout, Nevertheless the sweat still forms, believe me! What this work has done for me is pretty amazing. At the initial appointment my trainer, Justine, spoke about what my goals were. I explained to her about riding and where I struggle. After a few weeks we discovered I was quite strong using two arms or two legs but ask me to isolate them and it turns out I was a bit of a weakling. In just three months I’ve found a huge difference. Mounting is easier. I start standardbreds to saddle after racing so being able to sit out of their way while they sometimes sort their legs out when learning to trot and canter has become much easier. I’m finding as my left leg increases in strength I’m much more even in everyday life, a fact I’m sure my horses are also grateful for.

 

It’s also…well…kind of fun! Justine has pretty much a new set of exercises each week aimed at targeting my weak areas and some challenges for where I am strong. She always has a work-around if there’s something I’m genuinely struggling with and she’s constantly happy and motivating! I might not want to do it when I arrive but every time I leave I feel better and ready to face the day even when I’m pretty sure I’m going to need the towel rack to get on and off the toilet the next day!

 

Simply put, I can’t recommend it enough! Even if you’re a gym member it’s worth having a couple of sessions to put you on the right track in terms of the sorts of work you should be doing and ensuring you’re doing those exercises correctly. I’m looking forward to continuing and having it help me become a better rider! The weight loss and cardiovascular fitness? Yup, I’m getting to that…

 

Massive thanks to Justine at Nineteen76 for helping me! https://www.facebook.com/nineteen76/