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Just because horse racing is a sport where races last around two minutes or less, it doesn’t mean that it is not a physically demanding sport. In fact, horse racing athletes (jockeys) are some of the fittest athletes in the world and go through very tough preparations before a race.
Not to mention their diet, which is very strict since they have to meet weight requirements, and also weighing less means faster times on the racecourse.
Therefore, jockeys in horse racing are required to balance their health, fitness, and passion for the sport at all times. Even celebrations after big wins don’t last long for these athletes. They are usually back to work the next day.
With that said, the jockey’s health plays an important role in the race. That’s why many handicappers do a lot of research on horses’ health before placing a bet on the best horse racing picks by TwinSpires.
Though, we must give credit to other competitors in the sport. We have horses, which are also prepared for the race in terms of performance, health, and fitness.
The Importance of Jockeys in Horse Racing
The jockey is an essential component of each victorious race. They control their mounts’ speed and tactics to help them win, such as pushing up on a corner or slipping inside for an early lead in races where setting the pace is critical; jockey talent may be the difference between success (or failure!).
One of the most typical questions that every newcomer to the world of horse racing has been: who is more important in racing: the horse or the jockey?
There is no simple answer here; the horse and jockey are crucial. Most experts believe that you can’t win without a decent horse, but having the appropriate jockey is also important. In a horse race, jockeys are extremely crucial.
The ability of a horse to win is frequently determined by its jockey; they influence how fast it comes out of the gates, sets the pace, or conserves energy for a late push.
Jockey’s and Horse Fitness
Anyone who has ever attended a horse race understands how skilled jockeys must be. It takes great ability to try to tame a strong-willed thoroughbred. But how fit must jockeys be?
They are among the strongest athletes on the globe, and because horse racing is a physically demanding activity, developing muscle strength, endurance, respiratory control, and quick thinking are essential for success.
The Lower Body Strength
Leg and lower body strength is critical to a rider’s fitness and the balance required to be a good jockey.
How do they build their lower body strength?
Well, one of the exercises is facing away from the wall while sitting and leaning on a gym exercise ball. They must next perform 20 squat repetitions while rolling the ball up and down the wall with their back against it.
Jockeys will be challenged to sit for as long as possible while holding a 5kg weight to their chest. If they hold it for two minutes, they will receive a 100% pass, with one minute counting as 50%.
The Upper Body Strength
A jockey must have exceptional upper body strength. It is an essential component of a rider’s fitness, whether it is to calm a sharp horse or ride a finish.
The first test is to keep the push up posture for 90 seconds, with elbows bent at 90 degrees and at the rider’s side. That is a perfect score.
A metronome timer is also used in the first of the core strength exercises. The jockeys lie on their backs, arms folded over their shoulders, hanging on to a firm foundation, set to 50 beeps per minute.
They must elevate their feet to point at the sky coordinated with the beep and return to the starting position on the next sound.
Horses, on the other hand, must progressively work their way back to full condition after taking seasonal rests. The training regimen normally begins with ‘road’ exercises to increase muscle strength.
This entails hours of walking over several weeks to begin the route to full fitness and assist in reducing the chance of any blips.
Health Benefits of Being a Jockey
So, are there any health benefits to following a strict diet and fitness plan for jockeys? – Yes, there are!
As a horse racing enthusiast, you don’t have to ride a racehorse in order to gain all the health benefits that jockeys have. You just have to follow their diet and fitness plan.
But since jockeys follow very strict diets, for some people this is impossible. But you don’t have to do it to that extent. Essentially, jockeys need to maintain a lower body mass, which is not the case for regular people. With that said, you don’t have to stay away from all carbs, like jockeys.
Additionally, attending horse riding lessons can also really help you build up your physical strength. After the first ride, some muscles that you never knew existed will be sore.
So, there are a lot of health benefits to following a jockey’s fitness and health plans, even for regular people. This is a great way to balance your health, fitness, and horse racing passion.
Disclosure – this is a collaborative post.