Tabata Workout
for Equestrians

19 December 2018

Has there ever been a time, after the end of a ride when you’ve felt more out of breath than your horse?!

To tackle any endurance sport, increasing your aerobic endurance or ‘staying power’ is crucial.


If you are running out of breath and energy early on in your ride, the effective part of your training can become more frustrating than it needs to be or worse, cut short or even dangerous.


This workout will be focused on one particular workout trend called the Tabata workout - is one of our favourites to get our equestrian athletes moving! It’s a type of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and is one of the most efficient ways of building oxygen capacity and boosting your metabolism. This workout consists of short bursts of exercise with either “active recovery” (less intense exercise) or complete rest in between.


Watch the video below!

We have chosen these particular exercises to target the needs of equestrians.

For example plank jacks will train your body to hold strong and stable in your core, while activating the muscles in a dynamic way, much as you would need to do while sitting tall yet applying or yielding your leg in the saddle.


Jump squats will target the muscles of the legs and glutes needed to stand actively in your stirrups, and walkouts to pushup combine a gentle hamstring stretch with entire body activation of the core, legs and arms. We know you love riding, and we want to make you fall in love with equestrian cross training on the ground.


In this specific Tabata timed workout, we will guide you through four different exercises, each for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest.


We will repeat each of the 4 exercises twice, meaning a total of 8 sets, giving us a quick and effective 4 minute circuit style workout.


But you don’t need to worry about all those numbers as we’ve done all the hard part for you, all you get to do is scan through the descriptions below, then follow along as we do this entire workout in the video!


Explanation of Exercises


Plank Jacks

Description: Starting position should be holding a static plank then jumping out with both feet at once and return and Repeat. Don’t let your hips drop, keep your spine stable and try to maintain a tight core. Focus on keeping a straight line from your shoulders down to your ankles.

Modification: Holding a static plank step one foot out at a time to the side and back alternating sides with each repetition.

Primary Muscle Focus: Core, lower body and shoulders


Glute Kickbacks

Description: Starting in a table top position lower your arms down to your forearms. Kickback your foot straight behind you making sure you keep your foot flexed and extending your leg Contract your glutes while performing this part of the exercise. Alternate sides with each repetition

Modification: Start in a table top position and don’t extend your leg as far

Primary Muscle Focus: Targets the glutes


Jump squats

Description: Standing up right with your feet shoulder-width apart. Jump up explosively landing with both feet underneath your shoulders and descending down to a squat position. Explosively jump back to your starting position with feet together landing as quietly as possible, which requires control.

Modification: Stationary Squats. Start with feet shoulder-width apart and descend down into a squat and then return to starting position and repeat.

Primary Muscle Focus: Works glutes, hamstrings, quads, and calves


Walkouts to Pushup

Description: Start with feet underneath your shoulders in an upright position and hinge at your  hips to bend forward to walk out to a plank position. Then perform a pushup and maintain a stable plank position, hinge at the hips and walk the hands back toward the feet and return to standing position.

Modification: Start with feet underneath your shoulders in a upright position and hinge at your hips to bend forward to walk out to a plank position(you can always drop down to your knees in your plank). Walk your hands back to a standing position

Primary Muscle Focus: Target Abs, Delts and Triceps


Summary of Workout

1. Plank Jacks : 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

2. Glute Kickbacks: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

3. Jump Squats: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

4. Walkouts to Pushup: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

5. Plank Jacks : 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

6. Glute Kickbacks: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

7. Jump Squats: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds

8. Walkouts to Pushup: 20 seconds

Rest: 10 seconds


Check out Mari & Ali on their channel at mind.body.vault


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