Benefits of Resistance Training For Riders

Robin Martinez - Lifting Weights
  • User AvatarRobin Martinez
  • 24 Apr, 2015
  • 2 Mins Read

Benefits of Resistance Training For Riders

Submitted by member: Cassie

I’ve heard that resistance training can be very beneficial, but I’m afraid that if I lift weights I’ll get bulky. Is “getting big” something that I need to worry about?

Answer by Robin

I always like to tell people that saying you don’t want to lift weights because you might bulk up is like saying that you don’t want to take golf lessons because you might get as good as Tiger Woods. All joking aside, It just doesn’t happen like that. It takes years of focused training to build big muscle – it’s not something that happens quickly or by accident. Yes, some body types build muscle more quickly than others, but it’s always something that can be managed with changes to your specific workout program.

For most of us, the real benefit of classic weight lifting is the increase in muscle density (firm is good) and the resulting fat loss because a body with more muscle burns more calories. Another significant benefit for us riders is the opportunity to work our limbs independently. I don’t know about you but my left leg is much more stable than my right, it’s easier for me to balance on it and to put a load on it (i.e. doing a single leg squat or step up). On the other hand, my right arm is stronger and can pull and push far better than my left. All these details about how my body functions and where it needs work help me to understand why I might have a problem with my horse drifting out to the right when I’m going left (because my right leg doesn’t cooperate with me nearly as well as my left) or why I tend to over bend my horse to the right (because I’m stronger on that arm and I tend to pull more with it). Knowing and training your body is a powerful tool in making every ride more productive and more fun!

If you’d like more personalized help, I offer virtual training to riders everywhere so I’d love to hear from you!

Blackjack Fitness
For more information on virtual training, visit my website:



Happy riding!


“A true horseman will only ask athletic feats of his horse if he has his own body under control.”

– from The Principals of Riding/German
National Equestrian Federation

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