Ride Fit: How to feel better in breeches
Everyone wants to look good in their store bought clothes, especially when that item makes up ¾ of your daily outfits. No, I’m not talking about miniskirts or booty shorts. I’m talking those body hugging bandits, “BREECHES”.
There is no hiding in breeches. Every flaw, every curve and every shape is going to be illuminated with every sit trot, milk-shaker stride you take. Let’s look at tricks, aesthetic and fitness/ health based, to elongate those pins into “90% spandex, 10% nylon” showstoppers.
Unfortunately ladies, genetics make up a huge amount of the “how and why” when you feel thick in these equestrian pantaloons, so if you are wanting to feel more 6’ long- legged, Elle MacPherson before you present in your thigh-huggers, here are some quick fixes to aim for.
1. Dark colours
It’s no secret that dark colours make you look thinner. They cover up any shadows of imperfection and elongate the visual flow of the leg. Ahhh but what if you have to wear vir- gin white??!!! Aim for breeches that have a contrast colour shaped around the glutes and widest parts of the body and inner thigh. This will act as an illusion that the light colour
is the contour of your body and the dark will fade out the extra width or roundness of your physique.
2. The cut
It’s great to aim for bargains but save your extra dollars for breeches with a designer cut. Brands that work with riders themselves can offer a technical approach to design and freedom within the seat. Low cut waistlines can only offer muffin tops from even the most tiny of physiques with the body spilling over the top of the waist line. Worse, a low cut waistline will also mean a short crutch and unless you enjoy a “hard seam greeting” while you sit trot across the diagonal, stay away from low cut items.
High waist or high-backed breeches, like dark colours, elongate the line of the body from the lower back, all the way to the hamstring, especially if the side seam is uninfluenced by embroidery or clusters of motif. To continue the visual illusion, wear with a belt the same colour as the material or if you like a contrast of colour, add some bling to the belt to keep the colours lengthening not cutting you in half.
I’m short though!!! But are you really?? To elongate the leg and aim not only for a lithe look but also a more functional muscle response, my advice is to not only stretch before you mount for your comp or training but after as well. Stretching the fascia increases flexibility, improves your range of motion and therefore improves your shape and will definitely improve your athletic performance.
Examples of stretching: Kneeling hip flexion / Hamstring stretch / Standing quad stretch /
Wide stance adductor stretch.
Holding water? Especially in lower body…Your body needs water to survive because every single organ, tissue and cell in your body relies on it to function. Water cushions and lubricates your joints, helps your body maintain its temperature and flushes waste out of your system. These are just a few examples of the many ways in which water is vital to your body.
Fun fact, when you don’t drink adequate amounts of water your body goes into survival mode and holds onto it… especially where you don’t want it. If I described the hydration cellular systems in your body as a series of pipes and hoses and I asked you how to get water through those cells to flush out stagnated toxins and trapped water…what could you do? Turn the taps on more to flush it all away! The more you drink the better your system will flow and the less water you will hold. Try adding fresh lemon or naturally flavoured amino acids to your water to not only flush but eliminate toxins and help those cells recover.
5. Pelvic floor control
Battle of the bulge…. Do you feel the line of your abdominal wall behind your zipper fly is being held in by a miracle and at any minute a cough or a sneeze may “RELEASE THE KRAKEN!!!”Besides nutritional intolerance's to be identified and eliminated, another great tool is tightening your pelvic floor and core control.
Think of the muscles that insert at the top of the rip cage, then continue all the way down to the pubic bone and then the muscles that wrap around the midsection to give you the glad wrap effect.
1.Lie down with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Inhale.
2.Exhale gently, draw in your lower abdominal muscles towards the spine and squeeze in the muscles around the urethra like you’re trying to stop gas or urine. Lift groin up 10cm off floor and squeeze inwards.
3.Hold for 1–2 seconds, then let everything go. You should feel the pelvic floor muscles release and drop.
Repeat x 10
6. Pilates for shape and strengthening
1.Lie on your back and bring your legs up off the ground.
2.Bend your knees and bring them up, forming an inverted ‘V’ shape.
3.Raise one leg above you. Keeping your foot pointed out- wards, rotate it clockwise.
4.You should feel tension on both sides of your hamstrings as they contract during this exercise; if not, try doing it with more speed or range of motion till they do.
5.Bring the toes back to the neutral, and repeat ten times on both sides before switching legs and repeating on the other for 20 total reps.
1.Lie on your back with your feet flat and slightly apart.
2.Raise your straight arms above your head.
3.Lift one leg off the ground and bring it towards you before lowering it again and pressing it into the floor.
4.Repeat the movement by alternating the leg.
1.Clasp your hands behind your head to support your neck in a neutral position.
2.Engage your abdominals and press your pelvis towards the ceiling till it’s higher than flat on the mat (don’t overextend).
3.Hold for 3-5 seconds before returning to the starting position.
7. Style confidence – embrace your style!
Wear what makes you feel ahhhmazing!! If it’s comfortable… JUST ROCK IT MAMA. There is nowhere on a score sheet that is scribed “thighs were trailing” or “junk in trunk =3". Style confidence has a lot to do with our perspective, body image and our inner monologue. Draw strength through your style, aim to be a healthier version of yourself and radiate your character. No point starving yourself to abuse your body into a temporary thinner version. Think health first. Embrace your curves by buying the next size up with a high Lycra blend and throw away old, faded clothes that make you depressed. As you age or change don’t be afraid of a fuller or different version of you. Stay strong. Ride - don’t hide! And love the skin you’re in! XX AM
Anne-Marie wears Zebu Designs on location at Rivermead Estate, Guanaba, QLD.
Anne-Marie Lasserre is a former body builder who achieved international success in both Miss World & Miss Universe competitions. She was a figure model from the age of 19, a passion which she turned into a career which lasted more than 2 decades. She retired from competition at age 40 and decided, on the pIane coming home from her final Miss World appearance in Las Vegas, that she had to find a new sport which the arthritis in her knees and hands wouldn’t stop her from enjoying. That meant tennis & pole dancing were out. When a friend invited her on a trail ride a week later, she hadn’t been in the saddle since her 20’s. Riding for 2 hours along a bush trail, the wind in her pony-tail, she felt herself letting go of all the pressure and intentsity which went with being a pro body builder. So horse riding is was!
Now at age 47, Anne-Marie is a personal trainer, boxing coach, posing and deportment mentor, who is passionate about helping Equestrienne's with aesthetic conditioning. She has 5 horses in work under the guidance of dressage coach Harvey Besley and currently competes in dressage Young Horse classes with her team. She is married with no kids & two Chihuahua’s. Follow her on Instagram @annemarielasserre