Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cross Training

Thanks to people who responded to my last posting.   You have all given me much to think on and new ideas to process.   Perhaps the differences between disabled from birth and born able bodied play a bigger role than I realize.

Cross training is important for humans and animals alike.   We try to change our horses and perhaps dogs routines to avoid boredom and challenge new muscles and balance skills, and I would suggest must challenge those same principles in ourselves.    Some riders find yoga to help them with both concentration and balance as well as limberness and strength.    I have not had much success with yoga (and that may have been instructor driven) but have found all I was looking for in Pilates.   Because of my rather obvious physical challenges I did not try a group class, but did some research first.   I was able to find an ocupational therapist with pilates training locally.    I started with private classes (eek - expensive) until she became used to my strong and weak points and how to modify exercises for me.   Then I was able to switch to a semi=private and work along with someone else.   This cut the cost and has kept me more task oriented in many ways.

In the past I worked one on one with a professional body builder as a personal trainer.  He was able to instill a love of perfect practice over much practice to weightlifting which really has carryover to dressage training.   He insisted on the so called principle of muscle confusion which had you quickly alternate muscles used and the way in which they were challenged.   This, while not perhaps the best way to grow BIG muscles, certainly hepled me gain strength throughout the muscles range of motion.   Sadly as my hands have continued to deteriorate those exercises have all had to be modified and many watered down.   I do remain in Peter's debt for the habits he instilled, such as doing all your work at such a pace as to make you slightly breathless.   That way grooming and tacking adds to aerobic workout!   Think of the possibilities........

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