Improve Your Riding Balance, Strengthen Your Inner Thigh, and Stretch Your Side Body with the Triangle Pose

Photos by Tally Ho Creative

If there was one pose I wish most yoga instructors would spend more time helping their students get into correctly, it would be the triangle pose. This is such a beneficial exercise for the equestrian because the key actions of the pose directly translate to improved control in the saddle.

Improve Your Balance

I consider this a relative controversial topic in the exercise community.

Exercises that improve your balance standing on two feet do not directly translate to improved balance in motion on a horse. However, they do improve your proprioception, which is your body’s ability to tell where it is in space. Improved proprioception, complimented with time spent on a horse, does translate to better balance for riding.

I want to make this point very clear, though – the best way to improve your riding balance is riding. Off the horse, you can build up and strengthen your body so you have the best body to work with. Though, nothing can truly replace time spent on the horse in the tack.

Strengthen Your Inner Thigh

When the triangle pose is done correctly there is an inner, upward lift in the perineum (what most people think of as the pelvic floor).

With a strong core you are have to hold your inner thigh tight to remain in balance, while not rotating forward or falling out of balance. As riders, we tend to have very strong inner thighs. This exercise is a great for turning on the pelvic floor and getting inner thigh communicating correctly with one another.  

Photos by Tally Ho Creative

Stretch Your Side Body

I absolutely love the stretch that I get in my side body, that is closer to the ceiling, from this pose. The sensation runs from midthigh all the way up to under my armpit. This is actually one of my favorite side body stretches of all times because it such a focused stretched. 

Photos by Tally Ho Creative

How to Get Into a Triangle Pose

  • Start with a confident wide stance on the yoga mat, with your left toes pointed to the left, and right toes pointed straight ahead. Bring your arms out to “T” position, and ideally your ankles are under your hands.
  • The first motion is to reach to the left, let your hips shift to right – pretend that your left arm is a tea spout and pour the tea out like a little tea pot. You can either land your left arm down on you left leg or let float to the inside of your left leg.
  • If you float your hand you will be more muscularly engage the key action is more building strength in your inner thigh.
  • Hold for 15 to 30 seconds, Looking up to challenge your balance or looking down to be kinder to your balance. Listen to your neck – you don’t want any sharp shooting pain!
  • Then, engage through the core and come back up switch to the other side.
  • If you land your hand the key action is more stretch of the side body.

Learn more about Laura Crump Anderson and Hidden Heights Fitness here.

About Laura Crump Anderson:

Hi, I am Laura Crump Anderson and I love helping riders achieve results that keep them sound and able to compete. I have noticed riders getting frustrated with their riding. So I created a plan to help riders improve riding through exercise programs. These programs are accessible and challenging they can be done by riders of any level and age. All you need to get started is yourself, dedication and an internet connection.