Last weekend, Tiger Roll raced his way into the history books, becoming the first horse in 46 years to win back-to-back Grand Nationals. However, something regularly overlooked is the physical fitness required by the actual jockey.
Many may think that to be a good jockey, the most important thing you need is to be of small stature and able to remain upright when riding at speeds. This is far from the case, as the power and strength a jockey must cultivate in their legs is monumental.
To raise awareness and celebrate the heroic levels of fitness that jockeys attain, Great British Racing held a number of five-stage, high-intensity Jockey Fit workout sessions in the London area. These 45-minute sessions were led by Made in Chelsea star Binky Felstead, health and fitness blogger Chessie King, and 2019 Cheltenham Festival-winning jockey Lizzie Kelly. The Jockey Fit regime was created around a HIIT concept, targeting the four key physical attributes that are relied upon in horse racing: quads, cardio, balance and core.
To replicate the intensity and difficulty of a jockey’s regime, the five-stage workout included exercises such as box jumps, TRX pistol squats, bear crawls, kettlebell swings, and a special mechanical horse called an equiciser.
After this gruelling class, newcomers to the jockey lifestyle, Binky and Chessie, said that this HIIT variation was “something else!” and that they had “no idea of the intensity of a jockey’s fitness regime.
Take a look at the Jockey Fit workout in action: