From January 2008 through June 2009, Practical Horseman magazine published a series of fitness exercises developed by Keith Hutcheson, until recently the owner and fitness director of Middleburg Fitness Club in Middleburg, Va., and demonstrated by Olympic eventer Mara Dean. You do not need to join a health club to make them work, and they are designed specifically to improve your riding fitness, strength and flexibility.
According to Keith, you should do some form of cardiovascular training every day and some form of strength training three days a week. Divide the strength training into three areas: core, upper body and lower body. Here are three exercises from the series to get you started.
- Core: Hay Bale Superman (April 2008)
- Upper Body: Flys (May 2008)
- Lower Body: Inner/Outer Leg Raise (June 2008)
The “Exercise of the Month” is in the Tips & Talk column in every issue of Practical Horseman magazine. To read Jim’s full column on rider preparation for eventing, see “Rider Fitness = Better Performance” in the December 2009 issue.