2LUNGE WITH A TWIST: Braden-Olson likes to use this movement to strengthen the body for efforts like mucking stalls and raking the arena.
A lunge is when you take a step forward while
keeping one foot back. Bend your front leg at
the knee in a 90-degree angle, keeping your
knee behind the toe, while your back knee goes
down towards the ground. When you stand up, drive
up through your front heel, engaging the backs of your
thighs (hamstrings) and glutes.
Add onto this movement by twisting your torso in the
direction of the front leg when you go down. (So if your
right leg is in front, twist to the right.) You can add
resistance to this movement by holding
hand weights or a medicine ball.
Repeat this with nine more lunges
before turning around and doing 10 with
the other leg leading. 1SQUATS: We’ve covered squats in previous columns, but they are one of the most
basic movements you can do to
strengthen your lower body.
Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart, chest up and shoulders
back, then push your hips back
(which transfers the weight to your
heels) and lower your body into a
squat, keeping your knees straight
and behind the toe. You’ll want to
go as low as you comfortably can,
but at least aim for your thighs to be
parallel with the floor. As you stand
up, drive up through your heels and
extend your body up without lifting
your toes off the ground.
MEGAN ARSZMAN is a freelance writer based in Indiana, where she’s learning to balance
motherhood with horses, dogs and writing.
3BENDING ROW: Another exercise to prepare your upper body and arms for heavy chores is a bent-over low row, says Braden-Olson. With your feet together or hip-width apart, hinge at the hips with a slight
bend in your knees, keeping a flat back. Holding a weight in each hand, let your
arms hang, engage your core, and keep your chest and chin up. Pull the weights
up to your stomach while maintaining a bend from the hips, keeping your elbows in.
Squeeze your shoulder blades together and pause for a second, then release without
releasing your stance. Repeat this 10 to 12 times.
Braden-Olson also suggests you make an effort to switch arms when raking or
picking stalls. “You want to be as even as possible with your body, so try to do equal
amounts of work on both sides,” she says. “If you pick stalls everyday, and you only
do it on one side, I guarantee that one side is more developed than the other.”
What exercises can
you do to help prepare
your body for the barn?
owner of BioRider Fitness,
recommends the following.