The bedrock of being fit
When I took my course to become an NASM certified trainer, something struck me during the classes. There was a LOT of time spent on stabilization. Not just how to do exercises that involved stability, but the reasons for it’s importance in a well rounded fitness regiment.
Stabilization isn’t about getting ripped, and it’s not necessarily about getting stronger. Stabilization is about creating balance within your body. Proper exercises can help strengthen weak spots and balance out imbalances. Stabilization helps create unity throughout your kinetic chain. In short, stabilization helps create harmony and balance in your fitness universe.
Stability isn’t sexy
Ok, so stabilization is wonderful. But if it’s so great, why don’t I see anyone doing stability exercises or routines at the gym? I’ve visited many gyms over the last few years, and almost always, the rooms/equipment that are designed specifically for this type of workout, are ghost towns. This isn’t because the gyms are empty. I can bet you a liver that the dumbbell area is full of bros curling and slamming 25s. After all, girls love curls.
And therein lies the problem. Stability exercises are not sexy. There is no cool catch phrase for doing exercises to fix imbalances in your adductors. Your over-active latissimus dorsi isn’t the fodder for gym talk in the locker room.
You also don’t typically see marketing for fitness programs that tout how much more balanced you could be in your single leg step up balance movements. You will find plenty of abs, ass, and chest workouts on any social media platform regarding fitness. That type of marketing sells. Stability programs, well, just don’t quite match up.
But it matters…
Stabilization gets overlooked, and sometimes completely forgotten. That is, until it’s needed. Injuries are more likely during working out if your body is out of whack. And then often times, recovering from those same injures due to lack of balance, require stability exercises for proper healing.
Imbalance doesn’t just show up in the form of injury, either. Ever hit a plateau in your workouts, regardless of how hard you are pushing? That might be a simple matter of a muscle imbalance, restricting your body’s ability to progress further without finding some better balance.
Sometimes, progressing requires going back to step 1, and covering what you missed.
I recommend searching youtube for good stability exercises and starting working them into your routines. It will be hard to walk away from the bench or the hammer curls for a bit, but your fitness future will thank you.
Rob is a Certified Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. For the past 10 years, Rob has been navigating the health and fitness landscape to better himself and those around him, focusing on tools such as calorie and macro counting, intermittent fasting, and HIIT training techniques.