Stability has become a buzz word in the fitness world recently. Trainers have come to understand that being able to lift, press or pull heavy weight doesn’t equate to functional fitness and health. New challenges such as unstable or moving surfaces and balance activities are key for building strong and functional movement patterns.
You will often hear trainers refer to stabilizer muscles or stabilizer groups. What does this mean? What they are often referring to are the muscles that turn on to support the joints before you even start moving. These muscles help moderate joint position, and keep structural balance throughout the whole body.
A common exercise I recommend is a simple balance on one leg. Balancing in proper alignment with the arch of the foot lifted, the knee cap pointing toward the midfoot and the pelvis neither tucked or overly flexed with activate the muscles of stability all the way up your leg. Bad alignment will cause unnecessary gripping and inhibit proper motor control at each joint. Try your balance out on different surfaces. Variation in the surface you stand on will ask different challenges from your muscles, which is very important for building functional and versatile strength. Below I am practicing my balance on my dad’s boat while he’s fishing.