Q.  Iím a recreational rider, why do I need to work out?

  A.  Youíll be more comfortable in the saddle, have more control over your seat which will give you better communication with the horse.  If you trail ride, for instance, youíll be in a better position to follow your horseís movements over various terrains and conditions.  Additionally, increasing your muscle strength will give you the added benefit of feeling less pain and fatigue through your back as you ride.

  Q.  Iím a professional rider riding many horses each day, why do I need more exercise?

  A.  While riding is certainly exercise, itís exercise with repetitive movement and limited range of motion which means it should be supplemented with an activity that increases the range of motion and varies the muscles used. A core fitness program does both of these allowing you to become a more effective rider.

  Q.  Why 20 minutes a day?

  A.  Talking to people as I travel and knowing that many riders already own exercise equipment and DVDs, I ask them how many actually use these on a regular basis.  Over and over I hear the DVDs are too time-consuming and the equipment takes up too much space.  So by compounding exercises, using several muscle groups at once, you will be able to maximize the time spent exercising.  Everyone has 20 minutes a day to improve their overall well-being.

  Q.  Iíve heard that Pilates is the best type of exercise for equestrians.  Why, then, should I do a core workout?

  A.  While Pilates is a great form of exercise, it is not the only form of exercise for the equestrian.   My program incorporates several Pilateís moves that mesh nicely with some more dynamic core fitness moves.

  Q.  What about work on a stability ball or board.

  A.  Exercises on the stability ball are very useful and provide variety; however, my program is meant to be done with no equipment.  Remember, there can be no excuses whether youíre traveling to a show or just getting ready to ride your routine.  This is a workout you can do anytime, anywhere.

  Q.  I work out regularly with a personal trainer.  Why do I need this DVD?

  A.  Working out with a personal trainer again is another way to stay motivated and committed to your workouts.  This program though would be a great supplement on the days youíre not working out with your trainer.

  Q.  Iím on a tight budget.  Can I afford this?

  A.  With a complete program of 3 DVDs you get not only six 20-minute workouts but also the option of combining those workouts in any way that works for you-all for just $59.95.   Thatís less than the cost of most riding lessons.
  Q. I am a dressage rider who just purchased Volume I, II, & III of the S.I.T.S. core fitness program for the Equestrian DVDs. I have tried the DVDs and like the exercises but I was disappointed that no where on the DVDs, in the accompanying information or on your website is there a description on how to properly engage my core to do the exercises correctly. I would think this is critical information for a core fitness program. Maybe this is obvious to the instructors and other people but it is not obvious to me.

  A.To engage the core you should tighten your muscles as you would if you anticipated someone or something giving you a hit in the stomach. You would engage your abs to brace for the impact. The bracing or engagement happens in the exertion phase of the exercise. You should exhale on the exertion as you engage the muscles.
In a squat the upward push is the exertion. So as you push upward exhale and engage your glutes and abs.  In the ab work it is easier to engage your core by bringing your belly button to your spine.  In the S.I.T.S.workouts there are some cues to bring the belly button to your spine, to keep your chest up, to tighten the glute in the standing leg or to keep your hips and shoulders stable during an exercise, these are all cues to engage your core.

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Debbie Rodriguez USEF 'S' dressage judge, a USEF 'r' eventing judge and is a USDF Bronze, Silver and Gold Medalist.  Debbie is an ISSA certified personal trainer and is first and foremost a rider herself. Work with her through The Ultimate Rider Fitness System with Volume 1 through 3 and for a greater challenge, now Volume 4 with two more sessions.  Discover for yourself the value of core fitness to your own riding.  This is a functional fitness program for riders of all disciplines!
Tina E. Keasey ATC/L, CSCS acquired her B.A in Exercise Science with a concentration in Fitness Management from Christopher Newport University. Tina is a licensed and certified athletic trainer with the National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) and the Virginia Board of Medicine.  She is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist through the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). Tina worked with the 2001 Junior Olympics, 2003 Senior Olympics, several other semi-professional associations.  Tina was also recognized in 2009 as a "Woman With a Cause" honoree for her dedication and service in her community promoting health and wellness.  She has over 13 years of fitness experience helping individuals of all ages and abilities achieve their wellness goals.
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