One of the key benefits of working out is that it helps your body become more resistant to wear and tear. As we get older, our body tends to slowly break down, meaning that things that come naturally during our youth, like energy level, strong posture, and even stability, slowly degrade over time.
Stability is essential to a healthy body because it helps prevent injuries and is paramount when performing physical tasks. For example, if you are a parent, having good stability is needed to carry your child around the house. Similarly, stability is important in physically demanding jobs like military work.
Today, we’ll talk about the benefits of stability, as well as sample exercises to help you become a fitter version of yourself.
Benefits Of Stability Training
Perhaps two of the most critical factors to injury prevention are stability and mobility. Being mobile helps your body perform natural movements, and stability allows you to stay in positions for longer durations. If you lack stability, chances are you’ll experience stiffness in your joints, leading to degenerative changes. This can be dangerous because you’ll be more prone to overcompensation as your other muscle groups have to carry the load. Doing so may cause injuries if not treated appropriately.
Training the core and legs are absolute must-haves when it comes to stability. The core is central to our ability to bear weight. It enables our body to move from the front and back, also side to side. Having a strong core also makes it easier to do twisting and unilateral movements.
The legs are also extremely important to our stability as a whole. This is particularly the case for movements requiring squatting or lifting motions, especially for weight that’s placed on the ground. This is why strength athletes and martial artists train in squatting exercises as part of their everyday regimen. You basically cannot perform optimally if your lower body is unable to support heavy weight.
That said, here are four great exercises to help improve your stability.
The plank is a versatile exercise that strengthens your core, as well as targets your arms and glutes. This is a highly recommended exercise because all you need is your body weight. You can make it as easy or difficult as you wish, depending on the variations and duration of the hold.
Dr. Eric Berg explains that doing the plank toughens your core and makes it more resistant to stress. It gives you symmetrical strength by strengthening your body’s ligaments, tendons, and muscles. This ensures that you are able to maintain good posture at all times.
The squat is a compound exercise that targets the lower part of your body. What makes the squat a good exercise is its simplicity – all you need to do is pick a weight (you can also perform a squat using just your body weight), go down as if you are sitting on a chair, and come back up.
This is a very fundamental movement that we do on a daily basis. Think about how often you sit up and stand back up on your chair. If you are a beginner at working out, it is highly recommended that you include a variation of the squat into your routine.
This video by the Mind Body Soul explains the basics of the bodyweight squat. Notice that the starting position of the legs should be about shoulder-width apart. Lift your arms in front as you keep your back straight. Push your hips back and squat down as if you’re sitting down. Hold the squat position for a bit and return to the starting position. Inhale as you go down and exhale when you come back up.
The lunge is an effective exercise for building leg strength. The squat works the legs as a unit, while the lunge strengthens them individually. Lunges are great because it helps you focus on each leg to work on any weakness you may notice. It also engages your core muscles as you move up and down.
In this video, the Mayo Clinic Youtube Channel shows the basic walking lunge. From the starting position, move forward by doing a big step as you bend your knees. Try to go down until your knees are at around a 90-degree angle. Go back to the starting position and switch to the other leg as you walk forward.
The deadlift is a compound exercise that targets the whole lower region of your body. It is one of the best exercises for building explosive power. You can perform the deadlift using a barbell or dumbbells.
In this video, Men’s Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., explains how to do the barbell deadlift. You start by stepping up to the bar with legs shoulder-width apart. Make sure that your shins are close to the bar. Next is to grab the bar using overhand grips. Ebenezer mentions that using the overhand grip is ideal when starting out; you can then switch to the mixed grip as you lift heavier weight.
Note that your hips should be lower than your shoulders. Also, don’t round your back, and always straighten your spine. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to remove the slack as you lift the barbell up to your hip. Do not bend too far back once you lift the weight.
Perform With Safety In Mind
These examples are some of the best exercises you can do to improve your stability. If you are new to working out, we suggest starting with lighter weights. Make it a point to challenge your body as you become stronger. If your lifts become easier, you can slowly add weight or even add reps to make it more challenging.
Perform these exercises with a trainer to ensure that you follow the proper technique in every rep. Focus on your range of motion and always be mindful of your breathing as you perform these exercises. Remember to always consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise program.
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