Stability during exercise generally refers to balance, but it also covers the physical stability of your joints. Improving your stability with specific exercises will strengthen the ligaments and tendons surrounding your joints, meaning less sprained ankles or other injuries.
Adding a few stability exercises into your routine will help to improve your balance. I’ve worked with people in their later years who could barely walk without assistance. Within a month of regular stability training, one 86 year old client was able to stand on one foot for 10 seconds completely independently.
In terms of reducing injury, stability training strengthens your joints. Not only does this help you feel better in the long run, but strengthening those tendons will reduce your risk of straining a shoulder muscle when lifting heavy weights, rolling your ankle while out for a walk, or having knee problems. Think of your tendons and ligaments like muscles. Just as with regular resistance training, stability training helps strengthen and thicken them, helping you with your workouts in the long run. Here are a few basic stability exercises and tools to get you started.
The bosu is one of your best friends when it comes to developing stability in the joints. A lot of exercises can be adjusted to be performed on a bosu and it’s a great way to strengthen muscles, increase stability, and improve your core.
Balance discs are a great way to improve your stability bilaterally. Taking basic exercises and performing them with one point of contact on an unstable surface like this will make the exercise more challenging and benefit you in a different way than the standard variation.
Performing your regular squats on the flat or curved side of this piece of equipment will help to strengthen the stability of your ankles, knees, and hips. Start near a wall or an object you can use as a stabilizer if needed, and slowly increase the difficulty by relying on it less and less.
Bosu push ups
In your usual push up position, place your hands on the flat side of the bosu. This will not only help strengthen your pectoral muscles, but the stability of your shoulders and elbows as well. In addition, to really keep yourself stable you’ve got to engage your abs a little more — that’s always a plus. As you start to feel stronger, try making this style of push up more challenging by lifting a leg up in the air.
Balance disc split squats
Start in a staggered stance with your front foot on the disc. Then bend your front knee, keeping your knee aligned with your foot, until your back knee touches the ground. Then stand up, pressing into your front foot and driving your knee out. The disk will help to improve your ankle and knee stability.
Balance disc plank row
Start in a plank position with your arms straight. Put one arm on a balance disc and hold a dumbbell in the other. Push the weighted hand back, driving with your elbow. Keep your shoulders pulled back from your ears and squeeze your abs to maintain a level plank. The arm on the balance disc has to work to balance even more than usual, thus improving your wrist, elbow, and shoulder stability.
Maddy has worked in the health and fitness industry for 5 years. She has a bachelors in Exercise Science and has recently received her Masters in Exercise Physiology. She has worked with a wide demographic of clients as a Personal Trainer and loves helping people reach their goals and continue to grow. She is an outdoor enthusiast and dedicates her workouts to rock climbing, hiking and whatever new experiences may come her way.
Main Photo Credit: Maridav/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: Dusan Petkovic/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Mark Nazh/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: Serhii Yevdokymov/shutterstock.com