Saturday, September 29, 2012

The low-down on the upper body II

In my last post I summarized the Dressage Connection article on the upper body and the concept of knitting the ribs.

Extending the metaphor
Another way of thinking about the upper body that helps me is to form a mental image of a cat toy -- a tunnel that is made of a nylon covered coil/spring that you extend for the cats to play in, and compress for storage. I picture my "core" -- seat to shoulders -- as a cat tunnel toy, sitting on a moving horse. When the tunnel is fully extended it's  flopping all over. I need to use my upper body muscles to keep the coil compressed -- solid, yet flexible over the top of the horse, but my butt has to stay soft while my upper body keeps the lid on.

Another image I've used is from observing people at a local gym. There is a guy I've see who is not muscle-bound but is super solid through his trunk -- "built like a fireplug" as they say. I think about that solid muscle and try to make my trunk solid like that.

Sometimes those thoughts help me -- maybe they'll work for you?


  1. Those are some great images. I like the idea of being "plugged in".

  2. What helped my core strength most was pushups... just plain old Army-style pushups, with correct position, no girly style compromises. When I started I could do exactly none, and now I can do fifty, and the difference in core strength and stability is tremendous. I don't remember who suggested it to me but after a lifetime of doing other exercises which were supposed to help core strength and didn't, it was absurdly simple.


Hi Guys, Your comments are valued and appreciated -- until recently I never rejected a post. Please note that I reserve the right to reject an anonymous post.