Stability Training

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Whether you want to be faster, stronger, improve performance, prevent injury, or just do every day movements with greater ease, stability training is an essential piece for any of these goals. Functional (what something does or is used for) training (the activity of imparting or acquiring skills) is training that improves the quality of movements that you use in your everyday life. It is literally TRAINING FOR LIFE. Functional training is what we do here at Get Fit. We don’t use machines where you sit down and push or pull something, or squat with assistance machines that can lessen the use of stabilizers in movements. We use our bodies and equipment to perform movements that mimic movements in everyday life.

  • Lifting a sandbag off the floor = loading bags of fertilizer in your car.
  • Bicep curls =picking your little one up when they get hurt.
  • Pull ups= playing with your kids on the monkey bars.
  • Burpees= oh wait, those are just for fun!

The list goes on and on. Arguably one of the most important parts of functional training is stability and balance training. Stability training improves the function and strength of your core stabilizers, which in turn improves quality of movement, lessens the risk of injury, and ultimately allows you to move better, firing the right muscles at the right time and building strength and balance. In individuals with injuries or muscular imbalances, a lack of core stabilization can lead to joint dysfunction, ultimately altering balance and leading to potential overload of muscles and additional injuries.

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So how do we improve balance and increase core stabilization? That’s right, PRACTICE. Working on stability and balance exercises 3 days a week as a part of your regular exercise program can significantly improve your core stability and ability to maintain balance even in changing conditions or with outside forces. Because of the functional training emphasis at Get Fit, we are using those core stabilizers and balance techniques in almost every workout, and have some workouts that are strictly focused on stability and balance training(core days as well as stability training days). Challenging core stability can look different for everyone, from someone who is brand new to fitness, balancing on one leg, to the advanced person standing on one leg on balance equipment. Some ways to train for core stability/balance improvements:

● Use balance equipment, such as a Bosu or soft 1” mat to stand on while performing basic exercises like squats or shoulder press.

● Performing single arm/single leg exercises. Changing your center of gravity over one foot while performing basic exercises challenges those core stabilizers to maintain your balance. Performing a single arm pull, press or plank requires that same change in your center of gravity. For more advanced clients, this may look like a single leg box jump or ball slam, additionally challenging those stabilizers to work in a dynamic environment where conditions and movements are changing while balance takes place.

● The TRX is another great tool for core stabilization/balance training. The ability to change your stance by narrowing your feet or standing on one leg, or adjusting your vector resistance by standing closer/further from the anchor point challenges stability!

● The TRX Rip trainer uses movements that mimic real life/sport while challenging core stability because of the offset resistance of the band.

● Changing direction during movement. For example, standing side facing to a box and changing direction as you step up, moving from a reverse lunge right into a side lunge. Anything where you are changing direction will increase your mental awareness of your body in space (proprioception) as well as force the use of core stabilizers to maintain balance.

Balance and stability training is important for more than just performance in exercise. It is a key piece to everyday life that when focused on and developed can reduce the risk of injury as we age, help to maintain balance in functional movements and really just make our bodies feel and move better! As you move about your week this week, I want you to keep this in mind. Step on that bosu when you are going to work your upper body, plank with one leg raised, or shoulder press one arm at a time. Plan in time to focus in on one of the most important functional systems in your body---YOUR CORE!temp-post-image