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Laura’s Exercise of the Month: Reclined Half Pass for Your Obliques
Fitness

Horsing Around: The Reclined Half Pass For Your Obliques

Monday, June 25, 2018 | Laura Crump Anderson


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Laura Crump Anderson is an Equestrian Fitness Specialist at InForm Fitness Leesburg. She is certified as a personal trainer by the American College of Sports Medicine and specializes in working with riders of all ages and disciplines. Read more of her EN fitness columns here.

The reclined half pass for the obliques is an abdominal crunch that involves the muscles of the rider’s sides. Obliques are the muscles that one must engage to hold themselves upright in the saddle, so the rider sits centered and is not collapsing to the left or the right side.

It is simple-but simple does not mean easy.

      1. 1) Lie on your back with feet on the floor, and arms raised up with your fingertips touching the side of your head. *Do not apply any pressure or pull on your head with your hands.

     

    1. Reclined Half Pass Step 1
    2. Fiona Coulter, the assistant trainer at Sara Spofford Dressage in Waterford, VA. Photo courtesy Laura Crump Anderson
      1. 2) Bring your knees over to one side, stacked one on top of the other.

     

    1. Reclined Half Pass Step 2
    2. Photo courtesy Laura Crump Anderson.
      1. 3) Start the abdominal contraction motion by sitting up and engaging through your side obliques, bringing your right elbow up toward your right knee. Try and keep your legs down. But as ever, do not let perfect get in the way of good enough. The point is to engage your oblique side muscles.

     

    1. Reclined Half Pass Step 3
    2. Photo courtesy Laura Crump Anderson.
    1. 4) The range of motion and movement should be short, so shoot for five seconds. At the top of the repetition, maintain the abdominal contraction for a two-second squeeze, and then in a controlled and slow manner, un-squeeze, and take another five seconds to lower yourself back down. The intensity will build, but never let yourself rest or disengage your core at bottom of the rep.
      1. 5) Time yourself and continue to do this exercise until the muscular fatigue literally brings you to temporary muscle failure. That’s the GOAL! Once achieved, switch to the other side.

     

    1. Reclined Half Pass Step 5
    2. Obliques are the muscles that one must engage to hold themselves upright in the saddle, so the rider sits centered and is not collapsing to the left or the right side. Photo courtesy Laura Crump Anderson.

Your obliques work together, so best to start on your weaker side first. When you switch to your stronger side, you already have pre-exhausted one side of the body, and the final GOAL is closer in sight. Whichever direction you start, if you are doing the exercise correctly, the second side, irrespective of its dominance in strength, should feel more challenging.

Interested in additional core strengthening exercises? Check out The Plank The One Exercise For Every Eventer and  The Wheelbarrow: Two is Better Than One.


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Barbara Walters hates exercise but loves the InForm Workout
I am committed to this workout regimen for the rest of my life. When you learn about the reasoning behind this workout regimen, you will realize how much sense it makes. It’s so easy to get pumped up for a 20-25 minute workout and to use maximum effort. I used to blow off the gym all the time as I didn’t look forward to a 90 minute workout 3-4 days a week. It’s the best workout anyone could possibly imagine. After most workouts, I literally struggle to walk down the stairs, or raise my arms, I am so physically exhausted. I am in the best shape I’ve been since graduating college.
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