Getting back in the saddle - the final countdown

As Hannah counts down the hours until she can get back in the saddle later this week, we look back at her final few days of her rehab fitness programme and see what she’s been up to in her quest to be riding fit before she gets back on board.

As we’ve seen over the last few weeks, the main story has been one of adding in different exercises as the period has gone on. Apart from one not-to-be-repeated session on the bicycle, where the machine somehow set the resistance so high it almost stopped the pedals being able to be turned by the average human, Hannah has maintained the cardio aspect of using the elliptical trainer. As in previous weeks she has slowly built up the intensity of this part of the workout, mainly by using the settings on the machine itself to measure her heart rate and set the resistance according to how far off the ‘optimum’ the heart rate is. The idea behind this is to maximise the impact the exercise has on the body by keeping the heart rate at a set percentage below the maximum possible heart rate for the individual based on their height, weight and age. Technical stuff.

With all that cardio out of the way, Hannah has focused on re-strengthening the muscles most needed for riding, namely the core muscles and those of the inner thighs. To target the core muscles, Hannah found the most effective way of doing this has been a combination of holding the plank position for increasing amounts of time, as well as balancing on the upside down Bosu ball. As for the inner thighs, we saw in week 2 how having the ‘ball’ in the upside down position is much harder to balance on, giving a more intense workout for those thigh muscles, as well as making it harder to roll/twist an ankle and it’s a great workout for the core too.

A new series of surprisingly effective and (dare we say it, more fun?) exercises Hannah has been trialling this week for more of a core workout have included a 3kg medicine ball and an angled trampoline.

The basic idea is to do a sit up holding the medicine ball, then bounce the ball off the trampoline and repeat the process. Hannah has been using this technique to do both ordinary sit ups and the alternating variety, where you hold the ball by your left side as you do the sit up, then alternate with doing the same on the right side.

Time will tell if all this has been enough to get Hannah riding fit again, but as the hours count down to her appointment with the saddle, we’ve certainly enjoyed seeing the journey. Has this inspired you to get riding fit again? Let us know!

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