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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 December;59(12):1944-50

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09530-6

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Physical fitness profile in female horseback riders

Anne-Maarit HYTTINEN , Keijo HÄKKINEN

Neuromuscular Research Center, Biology of Physical Activity, Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland



BACKGROUND: The purpose of the present study was to examine the levels of endurance and neuromuscular performance variables in female horseback riders.
METHODS: 52 female Finnish riders were involved (age 29.4±8.9 yrs, height 1.68±0.06 m, weight 67.5±10.0 kg), 19 show-jumping riders (SJ) and 33 eventing riders (E), riding-time minimum of 4 times/week, jumping level of minimum 1.06±0.11m. The measurements were maximal bilateral isometric leg press force (MVCLP), maximal unilateral isometric knee extension (MVCKE) and flexion forces (MVCKF), countermovement jump (CMJ), maximal isometric force of the trunk extensor and flexor muscles (MVCE, MVCF), weight distribution of the body (WD), handgrip strength (HGS), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), lactate threshold (L) and heart rate (HR).
RESULTS: Mean force in MVCLP was 1887(±455) N, MVCKE right/left 633(±134)/628(±138) N and MVCKF right/left 420(±79)/411(±74) N, respectively. CMJ height was 19.8(±3.9) cm and trunk forces in MVCE 51.2(±13.7) kg and MVCF 61.3(±11.4) kg. Mean WD in the right/left side was 50.5(±2.2)/49.5(±2.2) % and mean HGS of the right/left hand 39.9(±5.1)/39.2(±4.9) kg, respectively. Mean VO2max in the cycle ergometer test was 32.1(±4.5) mL/kg/min, HRmax 184.5(±9.6) beat/min, timemax to exhaustion 18.50(±2.50) min and Lmax 10.2(±2.1) mmol/L.
CONCLUSIONS: SJ and E groups did not differ significantly from each other in any of the variables. MVCLP, MVCE and MVCF were at about the same level but VO2max somewhat below compared to non-athletic Finnish women of the same age. It would seem that the present female riders would obtain benefits from additional strength training for both maximal and explosive strength gains.


KEY WORDS: Horses; Sports; Physical endurance

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