The Hong Kong Jockey Club has answered the call for more professional support for its riders and top fitness trainer Trent Langlands has been in town working with the city’s jockeys.
Strength and conditioning guru Trent Langlands works with elite athletes from a wide bunch of backgrounds, from the athletes that compete in his country’s various rough-and-tumble football codes, to surfers, runners and boxers. But the Sydney-based trainer saves a special admiration for jockeys.
“They are incredible and that is why I love showcasing their ability,” Langlands told Asian Racing Report at Happy Valley. “Their stability, balance and core strength is just, pound-for-pound, phenomenal.”
Langlands had just watched his long-time client Hugh Bowman win the first three races, including the jockey’s 100th in Hong Kong.
Bowman’s social media is full of vision of Langland’s inventive but strenuous workouts, which include the use of resistance bands and bosu balls, plus bodyweight and balance exercises designed to work core muscles that are used when riding.
The trainer was in town last week at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s request to work with the entire riding roster.
“Jockeys are just really impressive,” Langlands said. “Especially in how fast they pick up things when I put balance and stability work to them. They are as good as any surfer, skater or skier – they have this innate balance, but then you add in the fact they are on a live, moving object when they compete.”
Langlands’ presence is part of a Jockey Club push to provide more professional support for riders.
The Jockey Club has created a gymnasium space above the Sha Tin Racecourse jockeys’ room for riders to work out, as well as receive physio treatment and sports massage.
The moves came after criticism from riders that the club was not doing enough to keep them on track and performing at their best. The response from the HKJC has been strong: not only has Langlands been enlisted, but also top physiotherapist Chris Kamper from the Hong Kong Sports Clinic .
Last week the gym space at Sha Tin was abuzz with a succession of jockeys completing hour-long sessions with Langlands and receiving treatment from Kamper.
“This isn’t just good for us, but it is good for the club and the fans,” one jockey said. “Riding here is intense, and you can pick up some bumps and bruises, and for us to be at our best it takes a lot of effort. I think you will see a difference in the performance out on the track.”
Top Hong Kong jockeys regularly seek their own treatment outside of the Club: that same jockey revealed he regularly spends more than HK$25,000 (US$3,200) per month on personal training and injury rehabilitation or prevention.
Jockeys say the inventive, sports-specific exercises Langlands creates are more mentally stimulating than most workouts.
“I thought it was great, those workouts are totally unique,” English jockey Harry Bentley said. “Different ways to use the reformer and weights, simulating movements we make in a race.”
Australian rider Brenton Avdulla worked with Langlands in their homeland and took in ten workouts during the off-season.
“He makes things interesting, it feels different to going to the gym and lifting weights,” Avdulla said. “I’m a jockey, so there’s no point in me lifting 40kg dumbbells.”
Author: Michael Cox from the Asian Racing Report
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