A1 Journal article (refereed)
Physical fitness profile in female horseback riders (2019)

Hyttinen, A.-M., & Häkkinen, K. (2019). Physical fitness profile in female horseback riders. Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness, 59(12), 1944-1950. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09530-6

JYU authors or editors

Publication details

All authors or editors: Hyttinen, Anne-Maarit; Häkkinen, Keijo

Journal or series: Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness

ISSN: 0022-4707

eISSN: 1827-1928

Publication year: 2019

Volume: 59

Issue number: 12

Pages range: 1944-1950

Publisher: Edizioni Minerva Medica

Publication country: Italy

Publication language: English

DOI: https://doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.19.09530-6

Publication open access: Not open

Publication channel open access:

Publication is parallel published (JYX): https://jyx.jyu.fi/handle/123456789/65919



The purpose of the present study was to examine the levels of endurance and neuromuscular performance variables in female horseback riders.


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).


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.


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.

Keywords: horse sports; horse riding; riders; physical fitness; strength training; endurance training

Free keywords: equestrian sports; horseback riding; strength training; endurance training; combined strength and endurance training

Contributing organizations

Ministry reporting: Yes

Reporting Year: 2019

JUFO rating: 1

Last updated on 2023-10-01 at 14:02