Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > The Feasibility of an 8-week, Home-based Isometric Strength Training Program for Improving Dressage Test Performance in Equestrian Athletes

PURPOSE: To determine the feasibility of an 8-week, home-based isometric strength-training program in equestrians. Secondary purposes examined changes in muscular strength, endurance, and riding performance. METHODS: 18 riders (≥1yr dressage experience, riding ≥1hr/week, otherwise untrained) completed pre/post muscular tests and a US Equestrian Federation (USEF) Training Level Rider Test. A progressive, 3 day/wk riding-specific intervention using Therabands was implemented. Feasibility was determined as >50% of riders completing ≥18/24 sessions of ≥2 sets/exercise of prescribed volume. Dependent samples t-tests compared pre/post composite muscular strength/endurance, and riding test scores. RESULTS: 55.5% of riders completed ≥75% exercise sessions. Significant improvements were observed for muscular endurance ((pre 149.8±82.2, post 209.2±112.2), p=.003), and for riding test scores ((pre 57.8±7.4, post 60.8±5.1), p=.037). Exploratory analyses revealed a significant correlation between improvements in muscular endurance and riding test score (r2=.285, p=.02). CONCLUSION: The intervention was feasible and produced improvements in muscular strength, endurance, and riding test performance.