How I have made massive improvements in my speed and agility in a relatively short time. Stability training explained.
Stability is your body’s ability to stabilize and neutralize movement. It’s the ability to keep the body stable despite any distraction or disturbance.
The definition of stability from National Strength & Conditioning Association (2012): “The ability to return to a desired position or trajectory following a disturbance”.
In more simple terms, stability is maintaining stable joint positions and body postures when forces (gravity, movement, change in center of mass etc.) are trying to break the equilibrium.
In stability training you are using the strength of your muscles to fight these forces to keep your joints stable.
You need stability in every movement and exercise that you do. The only way to truly isolate any part of the body like the arms is to learn how to stabilize the spine and shoulder joint.
Likewise, when you do any athletic movements, different parts of the body need to provide stability while others produce movement.
Mobility training is serious strength work and so is stability training. Stability training will yield results in strength and size of the muscles that work to stabilize.
The only way to be truly agile and fast is to have good levels of hip stability and core stability, because otherwise you would have very little control over the movements that you are doing.
You may feel that you have good levels of stability, but in reality almost no one does.
It's very rare to see isolation movements like shoulder raises done right and it's even more rare to see good athletic movement.
Boxers dominantly focus on core stability in their strength & conditioning because they know the importance of stability training and realize they always have more to improve.
The reason stability training is commonly avoided is because not many understand it and scientists aren't good at explaining it in laymen terms.
It doesn't matter if you are an athlete or not, because stability training will still make you physically better, bigger, faster, more functional and more defined like an athlete.
Especially if you are a martial artist, stability training should have a great role in your conditioning workouts. Stability will simply make you more explosive, more agile and allow you to kick and punch harder without losing your sense of balance.
If you are a general gym-goer or a bodybuilder, stability training will also change your results.
The best bodybuilders on the planet know how to stabilize their bodies and laser-focus on the muscles they want to isolate. They are masters at this.
Only by having the strength to stabilize everything else, you can truly isolate a muscle. Otherwise all the other muscles will interfere with the muscles you want to target.
There is also a reason why athletes look the way they do. Their training methods are different and multi-dimensional: they work on all the physical attributes.
Your physique will reflect your functionality.
How to Start Stability Training
It's good to have naturally functioning and mobile joints first. This means you should be relatively mobile. Movement 20XX is all about building the foundational strength & mobility in the body.
Once you have a good base, stability training can produce excellent results. We have several stability related videos on this website:
In most of these exercises the purpose of different arm movements is merely to create instability and challenge the stability of your hips or core.
What will also help a lot is to learn how to do the exercises correctly! For example, when you do a pull up, learn how to stabilize the core and scapula.
When you want to target any part of the body, learn how to stabilize the rest of the body. If you want to target the legs, don't use your back in exercises like squats to lift yourself up.
In the beginning you can use walls, benches, all kinds of support and even machines to help you stabilize the body so you can learn how to focus on the target area.
Stability training is not just about learning how to stabilize. It's a lot about learning how to control your body and become a master of it. It's about moving one part while keeping another still.
It takes practice but the results are outstanding.
Train hard, stay safe.