After being asked many times to put together a program for riders using the bodywork exercises I use daily, I have finally come to the table with Sassy F.L.A.B. In a nut shell I have put together over 45 poses in a specific order that work to stabilize the rider’s body for the advanced levels of riding. This doesn’t mean you have to be advanced to do them, it means they will help you on your journey to becoming a rider working toward the advanced levels of your chosen discipline.
Surprising name at first. Who wants to associate themselves with flab!?!?! Knowing my students and myself, I knew a certain crowd could handle it. Laughing at our foibles is much more fun than stewing over them, or worse, being self conscience about them!
So, I decided to take a tongue in cheek approach to my rider bodywork program. It has little to do with actual flab and much more to do with specific parts of the body that I recommend riders evaluate and work to develop.
This is a bodywork program for riders. The program helps the rider identify 4 major areas of the body that effect the ride the most and then gives them a short program (under 15 minutes) to do just before they get on that works to stabilize those 4 areas. These four areas are as follows:
F: Flexors (hip flexors)
L: Legs (hamstrings, inner thigh)
A: Abdominals (all layers therein)
B: Back (upper back muscles)
Once your area of F.L.A.B. has been identified, it is time to address the solution. The solution lies within three areas of athletic fitness.
A: Body Awareness and Focus
In a nutshell, the weak areas of the rider are first identified, then the solution is the stabilizing strategy under all three categories of S.A.S. You will be stretching those areas, mentally engaging through “mind to body” techniques, and finally adding more challenging corrective exercises to improve your stability as a rider.
There are two inspirations for Sassy F.L.A.B. First the results I have seen in myself and riders after following the program. These results are stability in the saddle and an independent use of the aides along with a mental preparedness for the tasks at hand. Secondly, the need for a tool to prepare the rider for advanced work with an instructor. Being physically prepared allows them to benefit the most from instruction, thus saving them time and money. Too often I work with riders who simply are not fit enough to get through a lesson. If they would strengthen their bodies just 10% more, the effectiveness of the lesson would go a long way and they would expedite their learning.