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When you visit the race track, there is no denying the fact that the horses are the star of the show.
People place their faith in them, as they place real-life bets rather than play online pokies, focusing on one horse or another in the hopes they will win the race.
But behind those majestic beasts, you can find people who are instrumental in turning every race into a success – the jockeys.
Although the horses bear the brunt of the workload in every race, the equestrians can still influence the horses’ performance.
They are the ones that have to push the horse and hold on for dear life when they are moving at 40 mph. Not surprisingly, jockeys used to get injured a lot, as the sport is quite dangerous.
From bone fractures to spinal injuries and chronic conditions, the riders had to deal with a lot of ramifications for participating in the sport, which shows how committed they are.
Another way the sportsmen show their commitment is in the way they work out and get ready for the races. Do you want to learn how to jockeys train, so you will be able to do the same?
Why Jockeys Have to Stay in Shape
Nowadays, anyone who aspires to become a jockey in the UK and other countries has to pass a fitness test to become a professional.
Since jockeys have to be extremely light-weighted to ride, they strive to maintain a lean body frame. In most races, the weight limit stands at 118 to 122 pounds, which includes their equipment.
But their weight is not the only thing that can affect the rider’s chances of winning the race. Since the jockeys are small in general, as it is easier for them to stay within the weight limits, they have to work hard to be able to control the horse while flying through the course.
On top of it all, many jockeys participate in more than one ride a day, and if they want to perform well on all races, they have to stay in shape and improve their endurance.
That is why a jockey’s training includes strengthening, balancing, and cardio exercises that are designed to improve their general fitness levels.
If you want to train like a jockey, here are the main things you need to focus on:
- Cardio-vascular endurance.
- Legs muscles – Quads, Gluts, and Adductors.
- Core muscles.
- Upper extremity muscles.
When it comes to strengthening lower-body muscles, there are plenty of exercises to choose from: squats, jump lunges, and various resistance-band exercises.
Every jockey has a different workout routine, but most professional riders train at least five days a week.
Here are some examples of what kind of exercises the riders perform during their workout session:
- To improve endurance, many choose to cycle, run, or do a HIIT workout that includes cardio exercises such as burpees and bear crawls.
- When it comes to strengthening lower-body muscles, there are plenty of exercises to choose from: squats, jump lunges, and various resistance-band exercises.
- To train your core muscles, you can do the plank (fit jockeys need to be able to maintain the position for an average of 3 minutes), flutter kicks, scissor exercise, the prone superman, and more.
- Balancing exercises include various one-legged drills: one-leg squats or the running man exercise, or use special equipment such as a BOSU, balance disk, or a balance board.
- Weight training is suited for a whole-body workout, as deadlifts activate an assortment of muscle groups, but weights also allow you to focus specifically on your upper extremity.
By adding all those types of exercises to your training schedule, you will be able to achieve a higher level of fitness, just like a professional jockey.
To reach a higher fitness level and imitate your favourite jockey there are simple exercises you can implement in your training schedule. Are you ready to start your workout?
Allison is the Publisher of Eclipse Magazine. She loves going to the Races and is learning to bet (despite being officially the worst bettor in the History of the Universe), there’s a lot more to learn…