Archive for January, 2011

Stability/Core Training At Any Age

January 31, 2011

Stability (balance) training is productive at any age. From the athlete who is trying to get across the court to the senior who just wants to go from their living room to their kitchen. A lot of the same principles apply.

Core training (strength and stability) is essential for everyone. The Mayo Clinic states that “Core stability training, part of strength training, focuses on the areas around the trunk. A strong core increases balance and combats poor posture and back pain. Almost any activity that requires movement can help balance. Poor balance is a major cause of falls that result in fractures and disability.” So core and stability training do go hand in hand.

In younger years agility training teaches young athletes how to stay light on their feet while maintaining balance throughout their movements. As we age, and especially if we don’t maintain condition, our bodies don’t react as quickly as they did when we were younger. Which then can put us in precarious situations while just performing simple daily tasks.

In the gym when I train my world class racquetball player I have her perform one-legged hops over hurdles and quick reactive stepping using an agility ladder. This forces her to react very quickly. Even when she is focused in one direction, I force her to react in an opposing direction in a split second.

When I work with clients that struggle due to back strains I work on strengthening their core. Because traditional abdominal moves are not appropriate due to the tenderness of their backs I rely on using stability exercises to force them to use their core muscles to strengthen the muscles that support their back.

My seniors use stability exercises in order to perform simple tasks, from getting up from a chair without assistance, to walking on uneven surfaces. These movements teach their bodies how to react in precarious situations. And at the same time strengthen their core muscles.

Core training. It’s not just about 6 pack abs anymore. Since our core muscles are responsible for the rest of our body to maintain functionality. Shouldn’t we be placing them in as high a priority category as any other body part we use?

Stability training, without a strong core there is no base to build from. Stability training has purpose in your workout routine no matter where you are on the exercise continuum.

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