Barrel Racer Personal Training - BALANCE
Sport specific training is important for ALL athletes in ALL sports. While being generally physically fit is step-one to performance for the human athlete, each sport calls for something just a bit different to develop the specific skills required to be proficient in the movements of that sport. Barrel Racing (and all other equestrian activities/disciplines) is no different. Horsemen/Horsewomen rely on a few traits more than others to excel in competition. The 3 things we’ll focus on for our sport specific training are BALANCE, CORE, and PULL. While we know general fitness and weight play a factor in anything you do on the back of a horse, improving these 3 factors of your fitness will certainly have a positive influence on your riding and ability to compete.
In this post we’ll focus on BALANCE!
Unfortunately for some, BALANCE is NOT something that comes naturally. We all have that friend who is a bit more clumsy than everyone else or seems to just not be THAT athletic. If you don’t have one, don’t look now, it MAY be you! HA! Luckily for you (or your clumsy friend), you don’t compete on your own 2 feet while on a horse, however the strength and balance in those 2 feet are still immensely important. First and foremost BALANCE IS EFFECTED BY WEIGHT. I won’t sugar coat that. Here’s the facts: The less you physically weigh (and your strength-to-weight ratio) play a BIG factor in your ability to balance on the back of horse. So being physically fit is important. The exercises I’m about to tell you about are exercises that should be done IN ADDITION to a overall full-body fitness program. Today I’ll talk about 3 exercises that you can do to improve your balance. 2 will be “isometric” exercises you can do with just your body weight. The third will require an inexpensive piece of gym equipment that you can easily obtain, the balance ball (or BOSU ball).