Stability and Core Training – What it can do for you
A strong core is essential for maintaining balance. Balance not only requires equilibrium, but also stability of the core muscles and the joints – particularly the hips, knees and ankles. There are several ways to improve balance and stability – from simply standing on one foot to using stability balls. It doesn’t matter how strong your arms and legs are if the muscles they are attached to are not equally as strong.
Benefits of Balance Training
The human body is amazing. It has the ability to interpret and use information about your position in space. Through a complex system of environmental feedback – from cues on the bottom of your feet to vibrations in your inner ear – your body senses which muscles to activate or deactivate in order to maintain your desired position. This is a continuous SITUATION. Your body knows to maintain balance when you stand up, walk on the sidewalk, ride a bike, train at the gym or stand on your tiptoes. When the information received is too complex to translate, the system (your body) gets overwhelmed and you lose your balance. With practice and experience, you can master greater balance from which you will recognize improvements in coordination, athletic skill and posture. This in turn will result in fewer injuries and greater stability as you age which can help prevent falls – keeping you both strong and independent.
Core training has many benefits including:
- More functional workouts that translate into better ability to perform activities of daily life
- Improved performance in sports
- Reduction in the risk of injury
How to Build a Strong Foundation
Core stability training is essential to sports performance and injury prevention. The body’s core muscles are the foundation for all other movement. Torso muscles stabilize the spine and provide a solid foundation for movement in the extremities. These core muscles lie deep within the torso – attached to the spine, pelvis and muscles that support the scapula. When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulders – creating a solid base of support. We are then able to generate powerful movements of the extremities.
Build Pillar Strength – stability ball exercises are ideal for building pillar strength since they increase the demand of your shoulder, hip and core stability.
Improve Balance and Coordination
- Improve balance and coordination. The unstable nature of stability equipment forces your muscles to heighten their readiness. Your body will call more muscles into action to help stabilize your body and control an unstable surface.
- Activate key muscles. Stability ball exercises also help activate and elongate key muscles.
- Better sports performance. Stability ball movements create better body awareness. This can lead to a lower risk of injury because there is less chance of turning an ankle or twisting a knee if knocked off balance.
- Balance training (Standing or sitting on various stability apparatuses) can drastically improve your core strength as well as balance, not only in everyday life, but when its needed most, like when running or hiking on uneven terrain.
Challenge Your Brain and Body
When doing a set of pushups on the floor, strength is required, but not a lot of balance, agility or coordination. However, doing push-ups while balancing on a stability ball, the body is forced to compensate to keep the ball from moving. The central nervous system has to recruit more muscles in order to remain balanced. More muscles in the shoulder are activated, creating more stability.
Don’t worry if the moves seem awkward at first. Even gifted professional athletes have difficulty when they first use the ball or utilize stability equipment. The exercises are usually picked up quickly and you’ll be rewarded with an almost immediate benefit. Muscles you didn’t even realize you had feel activated and stabilized.
As the degree of difficulty is increased even slightly, the benefits will increase exponentially.
Innovative Health & Fitness’ certified staff of personal trainers can show you exercises and techniques to help you improve your balance and core strength, as well as encourage and coach you in all areas of good health.