Has anyone heard of or tried max relax ?
This requires you to exaggerate your tension to a ‘ridiculous’ level and then release it. So, if you find that you tend to tense your glutus maximus in the saddle try this …
- While on a tolerant horse, inhale and contract your ass muscles so intensely that they turn into hard rocks and you are lifted out of the saddle and your upper body shoots forward.
- Hold the contraction until you start shaking (or laughing uncontrollably!), then totally let the contraction go as you exhale. Let your upper body rock back and picture your legs melting onto your horse. Just really let go.
- Now get ‘normal’ – that is sit with an appropriate amount of muscle tension and alertness for riding. This now feels quite relaxed compared to the max tension. Remember this feeling it’s the one you want when you register that you are tensing. This is the actual relaxed state you are aiming for – ‘Normal’
You can do this in a variety of situations. It will help you to register a specific feeling and a physiological response. Your goal is to be able to draw on the normal feeling during times of muscle tension and recreate the ‘relaxation’ response.
Tightness in the buttocks emanates down the legs and up the torso and is the single biggest contributor to balance problems in the saddle. So, heavy buttocks allows your legs to relax, ankles to relax and has a revolutionary effect on your riding.
You may have to keep thinking about relaxing that ‘glutus maximus’ and even do the Max / Relax regularly until ‘normal’ comes naturally to you. Oh, and when I say ‘heavy buttocks’ I do not mean HEAVY – it’s relaxed or actually – not so tense as to affect your horses way of going.
It’s not all about the buttocks though, you can do max/relax with any area of tension in your body.
Give it a go, it really is quite good fun!