7 Exercises To Become A Stronger Equestrian Athlete

We are here to look after you in and out of the saddle.

So, whether it's a three hour hack or three day event, these 7 exercises are set out to help strengthen your body and reduce the likelihood of injury, allowing you to ride comfortably for many years to come.

Let's get stronger together!

👆Walking Lunge 

This exercise will help improve your strength, control and coordination.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart
  • Step forward with your right leg and concentrate on putting the weight in your heel as you step
  • Bend the right knee as close to a 90-degree angle as possible
  • Hold for a brief pause and keep your knee behind your toes to avoid straining the joint
  • Without moving your right leg, step your left leg forward and repeat the lunge motion as above
  • Start with 10 to 12 reps on each leg
  • Repeat two or three times

👆Iron Cross 

The aim of this movement is to strengthen your shoulders.

  • Stand with your chest tall, shoulders back and pull your belly button towards your spine to engage your core
  • Lift your arms to your sides
  • Hold as long as you can


The squat works so many muscles, such as your quadriceps, hamstrings and gluteus maximus to name a few, all of which are needed for maintaining strength in the saddle.

  • Set your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out
  • Pull in your lower abs, and keep your eyes forward
  • Slowly bend at the knees and drop your hips to lower your body
  • Keep your heels flat on the floor
  • At the bottom of the exercise pause for a moment and strongly push back up to the starting position, mirroring the descent
  • x 3 sets of 10 reps in total

👆Press Up 

This exercise focuses on working your triceps, pectoral muscles and shoulders to strengthen your upper body.

  • Start with your hands shoulder-width apart and directly below your shoulders
  • Legs straight out behind you
  • Lower toward the ground until your chest touches the floor
  • Then push back up to start
  • Keep a tight, activated core and flat back through the movement

If you struggle with this movement then put your knees on the ground instead.


This targets your abdominal muscles, but also the erector spinae, shoulders, quads, glutes, and calf muscles, making it one incredible all in one exercise.

  • Get in the press-up position, then put your forearms on the ground instead of your hands
  • Squeeze your glutes and tighten your abdominals
  • Keep a neutral neck and spine
  • Create a straight, strong line from head to toes

How long can you hold it for?

👆Bent Over Row 

The bent-over row recruits the back and biceps while the glutes and legs to stabilise your body.

  • Grab the weight/object with your hands (palms-down), just wider than shoulder-width apart and let it hang with your arms straight
  • Brace your core and squeeze your shoulders together to row the weight up until it touches your sternum, then slowly lower it back down again.
  • x 3 sets of 10 reps in total.

All exercise is at your own risk.

Make sure that you only push yourself to whatever you feel is suitable and achievable for you.

This guide is designed for a healthy adult with no existing medical conditions or injuries.