11. Relax & breathe: If you're constantly tense, you'll never achieve ideal balance in the saddle, and proper breathing is a key ingredient of relaxation. To improve your own breathing, combine it with easy stretching.
Stand in a relaxed position with your feet shoulder-width apart. Slowly lift your arms above your head in coordination with a slow inhale (A).
Hold for a few seconds; then release by slowly bringing your arms back down to your sides while exhaling (B).
Repeat several times.
12. Calf stretch: Stand with one foot 3 to 4 feet in front of the other, while slightly bending your front knee.
Place your hands on your hips for balance, and then slowly bring your back heel to the ground until you feel a stretch through your calf up to the back of your knee.
Then, slowly roll onto the ball of your back foot, hold, and stretch back down, so your heel is touching the ground again.
After several reps, reverse and stretch your other calf.
13. Hamstring stretch: Stand with one foot approximately 2 feet in front of the other. Keeping your back leg slightly bent at the knee, stretch down and forward until you can touch the tip of your flexed toe. (Reach down with the arm corresponding with your forward leg.)
You should feel a stretch through your hamstring--the long muscle that runs from the back of your knee up to the bottom of your pelvic bone. Hold for 30 seconds or up to one minute, then switch legs.
Repeat several times in both directions.
14. Triceps stretch: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, keeping your knees slightly bent (don't lock them), and keep your back straight and tall. Stretch both arms above your head, then drop one hand down your back, while clutching your elbow with the opposite hand.
If you're holding the position correctly, you should feel a stretch through your tricep muscles and down your side. Hold for several seconds, then reverse.
Special thanks to H&R Editorial Coordinator Amanda Peterson for demonstrating these exercises.