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Horse Riding: Flat back with Knee Raise

picture of a woman on her back performing a back stretch

This exercise is to flatten out your lumbar spine and keep it that way, it is great to use after a ride as your back will take a punishing. When you are on the horse your lumbar spine will be compressed forwards and this will increase spinal curvature in the region of L2-L5 and L5-S1. Many horse riders we have seen have complained of sacroiliac dysfunction.

Note that this is similar to the “table top” exercise in Pilates but it’s not that one.

Level: Intermediate/Return to Sport

Equipment: floor mat

Muscles Working on

  • Glutes (medius, max, minimus),
  • latissimus dorsi,serratus inferior posterior
  • errector spinae,
  • hamstrings,

Exercise

  • Lay on your back on the mat with your feet together
  • Move your feet 12 inches apart
  • Slowly raise your legs and bend your knees bringing them towards your chest
  • *(until nearly and 90 degree angles for the legs and hip as in the picture) *
  • Hold that position and try to flatten out your spine by pushing your back and bottom into the floor
  • Hold that position for 10 seconds then release

“(a great way to release is just relax so everything falls into the floor)* 

  • Slowly bring your knees a few inches closer to your chest – STOP and HOLD again for 10 seconds, try and relax into the floor
  • Rock your hips and knees from side to side to level your spine
  • Slowly bring your knees a few inches closer to your chest than before – STOP and HOLD again for 10 seconds, try and relax into the floor
  • Rock your hips and knees from side to side to level your spine
  • For the third time…
  • Slowly bring your knees a few inches closer to your chest than before – STOP and HOLD again for 10 seconds, try and relax into the floor
  • Rock your hips and knees from side to side to level your spine

Note://Although these exercises are designed to help you help yourself, we urge caution in all rehabilitation that you do. If you do feel pain or are worried you are not doing this exercise properly then call 01522 511834 to make an appointment and see one of our highly trained practitioners.

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