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Unlocking the Secrets of Rodeo Fitness: A Comprehensive Guide for Athletes
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Unlocking the Secrets of Rodeo Fitness: A Comprehensive Guide for Athletes

First and foremost, as a rodeo athlete, finding reliable information on proper training programs has been a constant struggle. Unlike other professional sports, rodeo seems to lag in providing athletes with well-defined training protocols. But fear not, as we're about to unravel the mystery and set the record straight.


Addressing Misconceptions


Rodeo athletes often resort to unconventional and intense training methods, chosen more by intuition than expert guidance. From running miles to maxing out squats,or my favorite burpees till you puke,  the choices are often made based on the assumption that replicating the intensity of the arena will lead to better performance. However, this mindset needs a shift.


The Role of Strength and Conditioning


In rodeo, as in any sport, a well-designed strength and conditioning program should complement the specific skills practiced during training. Instead of spurring stability balls or random intense workouts, the focus should be on strengthening the muscle groups essential for the sport. For instance, a bareback rider should emphasize exercises that enhance their strength on the spur board and perfect the mechanics of their event.


Creating a Needs Analysis


To tailor a successful training program, rodeo athletes must conduct a Needs Analysis. This involves understanding the duration of each event, the energy systems involved, specific movements, and the muscles responsible for those movements. Taking goat tying as an example, it becomes clear that the phosphagen and fast glycolysis energy systems dominate the 0-30 seconds of high-intensity work in rodeo.


Practical Training Guidelines


Energy System Focus: Phosphagen & Fast Glycolysis, these energy systems take place from 0-30 seconds of high intensity work,which is where every event in rodeo falls. So when we talk about conditioning its not bad to run 5 miles but it serves zero purpose in the arena because you are using a completely different energy system. Think about 10-20 sec max effort sprint or bike or rower and rest 1:5-1:10 ratio x 5-6 sets. 






Movement Analysis: Target essential movements such as hip abduction/adduction, pelvic tilt, shoulder rotation, core stability, and postural strength. This specificity ensures that the training directly translates to improved performance in the arena.


Examples: Hip Abduction/Adduction, pelvic tilt, int/ext shoulder rotation, Antirotation & rotational Core, spinal extension/flexion, Postural Stability/Strength, ankle dorsiflexion, elbow & wrist ext/flexion


Muscular Involvement: Engage all lower body muscles, postural muscles, shoulders, arms, and anti-rotation elements to cover the complete spectrum of physical demands in rodeo.


Physiological Analysis: Tailor your training to enhance basic strength, establish anaerobic capacity, and promote hypertrophy in specific muscle groups.


A Path to Optimal Performance


In the world of rodeo, the journey to optimal performance begins with a strategic and informed approach to strength and conditioning. By shifting focus from arbitrary workouts to a needs-based analysis, athletes can hone their skills in a way that directly translates to success in the arena. It's time for rodeo athletes to embrace a targeted and specialized training methodology, leaving behind outdated and ineffective practices. This shift will not only improve performance but also pave the way for rodeo to catch up with the advanced training protocols seen in other professional sports.

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