This exercise provides upper torso strengthening, which improves your balance and stability in the saddle. Flys work your pectoralis major or “pecs”—a thick, fan-shaped muscle situated at the upper front of your chest wall.
What You Need: Two hay bales set next to each other on their sides, covered with a blanket. Two salt blocks, water bottles, fly spray bottles or light hand weights.
Too easy? Increase the weight!
Keith Hutcheson is the owner and fitness director of Middleburg Fitness Club in Middleburg, Virginia. He is a certified personal trainer, lifestyle and weight management consultant, and nutrition consultant and manager. For more information on fitness programs for equestrians or to find out about Keith’s new DVD, Fit2Ride, contact him at email@example.com.
The editors thank photo model Olympic eventer Mara Dean and the owners of Meredyth Farm.
Note: Consult your health care professional before starting any exercise program.
This article was originally published in the May 2008 issue of Practical Horseman.