Stay with me, this is a bit tricky. I was approached by my girlfriend who wants get a bit more back into shape. Since this is what I'm studying to become, I took it as a challenge. And yeah, it was a bit complicated.
The task was to design a training program to do at home, with bodyweight (and a medium rubber band), and it should target muscles you use in horse riding. Yeah, that's cool. About her, she's normal weight, average, a bit unknow fit, and has several years of riding background, but it's been on hiatus for a while now. My main goals here are to get some endurance and strength on the muscles needed, and to improve her cardio and mobility a bit.
Now, I figured the training should be divided into two workouts, plus later we introduce one other exercise. In this case the exercise is swimming, what I'd recommend her to do once or twice a week, we'll start with one per week. Since horse riding takes a lot of isometric work, I figured I'd put one workout day a week dedicated to isometric and static training. The other workoutset is also supposed to improve her endurance and cardio, so I thought intense circuit training would be good, especially when you think about our starting pointers. Circuit training is easy to target, you get exhausted and you get the strength training also. And it's quite simple to modify into bodyweight training.
Here are the workout sets:Workout A:
- 15-30 reps per move, do six or seven different sets in a row. Then 1min - 1½min rest, and repeat the circuit. This will be done for a total of three to four rounds.
- Wide stance squat (Mainly targeting the adductors but also hamstrings, quads and glutes.)
- Lunges (Quads and hamstrings.)
- Calf raises
- Abs (I gave her many options here)
- "Bird Dog"
(Good exercise for the whole body.)
- Band pull aparts (Scapula adductor exercise)
- And an optional Bicep curl or push-up for more upper body work.Workout B:
Basically what I tried to do, is to convert the exercise into more isometric work. You do one move for 8 to 15 reps, 3 to 4 sets, with 30sec-1½min rests between sets, then move ahead to next exercise.
- Wide stance pause squats (you hold the squat in the low position for a few seconds on each rep.)
- Calf raises, after the set static hold for 5-15 seconds. (Tried it myself, it burns.)
- Abs done as in workout A, but in the last rep a static hold where legs are few inches from the ground (Back and rest of body on the ground) for a few second.
- Bird dog with a few second static hold on each rep
- Additional band pull-aparts, bicep curls or pushups, with consentration on the eccentric phase of the move.
Workout A is done twice a week, workout B once a week. Also I'll be changing the moves occasionally, but trying to work the same muscles.
So, now I would like to hear some opinions. Any kind. This is the first time I've ever done anything like this, and my knowlegde about circuit training is very limited. If there is a seed of good stuff in here let me know. But I need some feedback on how to make it better.
* Also, while doing wide-stance squats, her knee-areas keep popping/cracking/making sound somewhere in the middle part of the squat. I've located the noise, it's near the patella and the joint, I think biceps femoris is goes from near there. Sometimes me knees also pop. I've kept it harmless, since it usually goes away soon and near feels bad, and doesn't always appear, but I still worry a bit. Is it normal? Is there something to do about? Is it the technique or some muscle? I just want to be sure I'm not giving harmful workout for anyone.