What is Biomechanics?

There’s been a lot of talk about biomechanics in the equestrian world.

But do you know what it means?

And did you know there are 2 types and what the difference is between those 2 types?

So, there’s Extrinsic Biomechanics and Intrinsic Biomechanics.

Basically, it means external and internal.

But what’s the difference and how do these effect your riding…?

To keep it simple…Extrinsic biomechanics looks at your position on the horse for example.

Have you ever seen people wearing the jackets with the lines or dots across the shoulders and down the spine?

Maybe you’ve worn one of these whilst riding, and been videoed?

Were you straight? Or did you sit to one side? Maybe one shoulder sat lower than the other? Or one leg turned out whilst the other leg was in the correct postion?

If you’ve had this done, you may have been told to sit more to the left, or lift the lower shoulder? You may have been given exercises to help strengthen the ‘weaker’ side…

And this is fine…it’s good to see how we sit and move on the horse. And in all fairness there is probably a little more to it!…but I’m not trained in Extrinsic Biomechanics.

I’m a Personal Trainer who is interested in Movement. I like my clients to move and function as well as they can, to get the most from their riding, and life in general.

Clients come to me all the time with movement issues. They don’t always realise they have movement issues until I point them out mind! But often they have one shoulder lower than the other, or they squat unevenly and put more weight down one leg than the other.

A lot of riders are aware that they may ride to one side, or that their left leg doesn’t function as well as the right leg for example. Often this transfers into everyday movements too, but they don’t necessarily notice that bit.

So, my most used question is WHY?

WHY does that person sit to one side?

WHY do they stand with more weight on one leg than the other?

WHY do they squat to the left?

Ultimately there is potentially a dysfunction within the body that is preventing them from sitting straight, or from both legs being able to give aids evenly.

And this is where Intrinsic Biomechanics comes in…

As an Intrinsic biomechanics coach, I look at finding out which areas and muscles are working effectively and not so effectively.

And then through a series of exercises we work at getting the muscles back into fully functioning order.

Once muscles are working correctly it becomes much easier to sit straighter as what was once restricting the muscle has now gone.

Both extrinsic and intrinsic biomechanics work hand in hand, but intrinsic will help you to move more freely and with as little restriction as you possibly can.

And lets face it, we all want to move freely and be able to put our socks on in the morning without feeling as stiff as a board!

Tiff x


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