Last week, I posted a blog video on “How to Stop Bouncing When You Ride“. In that video, I proposed the idea that most “bouncing” comes from too much tension, and I demonstrated how by deliberately tightening an area of my body, through pulling my shoulders back or gripping with my legs for example, I would start to bounce, losing the easy movement I'd had with the horse.
But a really good question was asked… “How do I keep a good posture and alignment without tension?”
My response has two parts.
First, there is a term often used in fitness called positive tension. This is tension or tone in the muscles that still allows supple movement. It tends to involve more postural and stabilizing muscles.
Negative tension is characterized by contraction – think tight, hard muscles. This negative tension is what causes our bouncing. Positive tension allows us to maintain good posture in movement, negative tension or too much tension, prevents good movement.
The second part of my response is that when we have good alignment, we don't need to do as much work to hold ourselves in position.
I'll explain more in this week's video: