Seven Killer Off-Season Interval Workouts for Equestrians December 02 2015

If you're like me, the off-season kind of looks like this. You manage to ride and/or workout pretty much every day in October. November rolls around and you still manage to get out there every second day. By the holidays, you're lucky to work out once a week. You rally after New Years', but it's always an uphill battle to get into show shape by the Spring.

There's an air of inevitability about this, but there doesn't have to be. Winter is cold and dark, and it can be a struggle to schlep your way to the gym - so here's a full week's worth of at-home (or at the gym) workouts for any equestrian looking to get fitter in the off-season.

1. Butt Day

That's right, it's butt day. If you want to sit the canter without bouncing around in the saddle like a sack of potatoes, strong glutes are a must. So here's a quick interval training workout you can do to strengthen your butt, with no equipment needed.

2. Upper Body Day

Riding is surprisingly demanding on your upper body. And your back and obliques are particularly important for keeping your posture on point as you ride. This workout is pretty demanding, so make sure you take short breaks during sets if needed. Prioritize maintaining good form over doing exercises quickly.

3. Sweaty Cardio Day

Full disclosure: this workout is pretty real. It'll run for about 30 minutes, and you'll be struggling pretty much the whole time. BUT it's a full body workout and it'll burn a ton of calories. And as with any other tabata or anaerobic workout, you'll keep burning calories for up to 24 hours after you're finished.

Cardio and strength tabata workout

4. Lower Back Day

Great news! You've earned a day off. Everyone needs at least a day or two off every week, even total workout monsters. And if you've been working out and riding regularly, chances are your lower back gets pretty tight. This is a nice, easy stretch and light workout to help loosen up your lower back.

A lower back workout for horse riders

5. Core Day

For any rider, strong core muscles are a must. They're the difference between a rider who looks (and feels) in control, and a rider who looks like a piece of overcooked linguini. And as countless infomercials have probably told you, crunches are boring. So here's a complete core workout that's far from boring.

6. Arm Day

You don't need John Cena's meaty cannons to ride a horse. But you do need the muscular endurance to keep your arms firm but relaxed throughout a ride. This interval training workout will help you strengthen and tone your arms without adding bulk. And once again you don't need any weights, just some space at home or the gym where you can jump around safely.

 No weight arm workout for equestrians

7. Leg Day

Nobody likes leg day, so we decided to leave it til last. But that doesn't mean you should skip it - strong thighs and hamstrings will help you look solid as a rock with they finally add a section of no stirrups in the senior eq championships leading up to the finals (thank the Lord!).

Great leg day workout for horse riders


Keep Your Eye on the Prize

Remember that show season of 2016 will be on you again before you know it, and you want to be in tip-top shape when it arrives. When you start next season in tip top shape, you'll be glad you put in the effort over the winter.

Got any at-home workouts to recommend? Let us know in the comments below!